AI is becoming ubiquitous. Whatever its arrival portends for our future, whether riches or ruin, it cannot be avoided. The Artifice of Intelligence explores two questions at the heart of a theological response to AI. Is it possible for human beings to have authentic relationships with an AI? How does the increasing presence of AI change the way humans relate to one another? In pursuing answers to these questions, Herzfeld explores what it means to be created in the image of God and to create AI in our own image. It utilizes and expands Karl Barth's relational understanding of the imago Dei to examine humanity's relationship both with AI and, through it, with one another.
Barth's injunctions--look the other in the eye (embodiment), speak to and hear the other (communication), aid the other (agency), and do it gladly (emotion)--provide the basis for the main chapters, each of which concludes with a case study of a current AI application that exemplifies the difficulties AI introduces into human relationality. The Artifice of Intelligence concludes with an examination of the incarnation, one that points toward the centrality of embodiment for full relationality.