The AI Factor
Would you know if I used Artificial Intelligence to write this article?

Many people question the true worth of Artificial Intelligence. Although it simplifies tasks and aids decision-making, concerns arise about privacy, biased algorithms, and potential job losses. Some raise the question that its dangers overshadow its values by obscuring truth and usurping our will to think. It’s vital to implement AI responsibly, following ethical guidelines to maximize benefits while minimizing drawbacks. Ultimately, it falls upon users to ensure AI is used responsibly and ethically.

The previous paragraph was mostly generated by AI. Are you able to tell which parts were or were not? Are you certain? And does it even matter?

Is It Fine to Use AI?

Many young people use AI all the time. Perhaps you’re one of them. And why not? Isn’t it impressive that a non-human entity could generate a full-length article from a one-sentence prompt?

I’m impressed by it. I asked AI to write this article, but what it wrote was shallow, impersonal, selective and biased. I gave it all my main points so it could turn it into an essay, and it chose to eliminate some of the most critical points I gave it! Rather than confess that it might pose a real danger to our thinking, our morals, our creativity and our ability to reason and discern the truth, AI suggested that we embrace it—with care. This, in truth, is what most technological “professionals” would have you believe: AI is a real force for worldwide progress—in most hands. As far as they’re concerned, the future is AI, and we should all get used to using it.

But should you?

The Truth About the Dangers

What professionals do not say, (because they do not know), is that humans are not innately good (Jeremiah 17:9). What’s more, Satan broadcasts his evil attitudes to our minds, and he is not about to let such a powerful tool for deception as AI go unabused. That’s not to say that AI does not have possible appropriate uses—such as drafting a class outline or an exercise routine geared toward strengthening your lower back—but that’s simply not what many are using it for. Too many are using AI for cybercrime, blackmail, plagiarism, cheating and worse.

In January 2021, an OpenAI source named DALL-E launched online. It made producing complex imagery as simple as typing a command. In consecutive years, OpenAI launched updated versions, leading to November 2022, when ChatGPT became available to the public. This OpenAI source has since become remarkably powerful—and popular! It’s intuitive and “friendly” to users. With one sentence, anyone can “write” a 500-word essay about the first man to step foot on Antarctica. Thousands of students have been caught using ChatGPT to do research and writing for them, even cheating on tests. The Daily Mail reported last year that experts believe “well over half of students are likely using AI tools to cheat the education system in exams or essays,” but that the stats could be higher.

If you use ChatGPT to write essays, solve math problems and get the gist of a reading assignment without reading it for yourself, you’re using AI for the wrong reasons. It requires real strength of character not to take the easy way and allow a computer to do your thinking for you. Failing to think for yourself now—when your brain is most malleable—will handicap your capacity to use logic, reason and sound judgment later on in life.

Audio and video call deepfakes are another rising AI issue. Today, anyone can pay one dollar and make any figure with available online audio say anything they want—however they want them to say it. Talk about putting words in someone else’s mouth! Perhaps this is fine to a point if approved by the person being cloned, but how many people are cloning voices with approval from others? AI doesn’t have to get approval to do this. It only needs your approval.

That is a powerful technology! How quickly a rumor that so-and-so said something they never said can spread now—with fake audio “evidence” of them saying it! It shows how young people must be watchful of their words, making a good reputation for themselves in person by what they say and do every day. A person’s good reputation may be the only thing that would save them from public humiliation.

And there’s an even darker side to artificial intelligence that most people won’t talk about. The most common use of AI-generated deepfakes is in producing pornographic material, which can be used to debase, humiliate and blackmail the victims—usually women—that it frames.

It’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s real and what’s fake. Even real video and audio clips can be called into question. In fact, it won’t be long before it’ll be nearly impossible to tell the difference. Real videos will drift into the past, and by 2026, Europol estimates that 90 percent of all data used to inform and train AIs that generate deepfakes will itself be fake. When AI uses fake content to generate more fake content, truth is cast to the ground.

The old adage is true: You really cannot believe whatever you read—or see—on the internet. There is such a mixture of truth and error. The Devil has made it increasingly difficult to find the truth, and few people will even try as a result. It simply takes too much effort to do so.

Will you be different? Are you willing to work for truth? Most teenagers aren’t. That’s why many are using it to cheat in school. How about fake audio clips and images? Are you moral enough to steer clear of plagiarism and deceit—in or out of school? It’s easy to use AI to fake an image, a soundbite, an essay or even a video. But fake for too long, go too far, and you lose your grasp on truth, on ethics and on reality. Many “educated” of this world want AI to advance, but the last thing children and teenagers need is another form of escapism—one where AI plays the lead role. Why not go outside and escape to God’s creation? At least you know you’re not being preoccupied with something artificial.

What Do YOU Think?

There are really two clear dangers associated with AI.

First, it muddies the waters of truth. It is often a mixture of truth and error—good and evil. The Devil is the father of lies (John 8:44), but he also likes to combine truth with his lies so that it seems more convincing. This is the way of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and AI is quickly going the way of this tree.

So value truth—the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Love the truth! And what is truth? God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). “Prove all things,” writes the apostle Paul, “hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Second, it threatens our will to think for ourselves. It puts your brain out of commission. After all, if artificial intelligence has a good answer to your question, why labor to find it on your own? If AI can work for you, why work for yourself?

Why? Because this is the difference between reasoning with a computer and reasoning with God (Isaiah 1:18)! As a teenager, you’re in the crucial preparatory years of life. You are forming opinions and principles at this age that will impact how you think for the rest of your life. You’re developing a more spiritual approach to the big questions in life, and God wants to guide you to the answers. He wants you to become a deep thinker that can use logic and reason to make wise decisions. He wants you to make time to meditate on your education, studies and experiences. He wants you to be creative—not to use other people’s work to create your own. He wants you to develop original thoughts that are informed by the Bible, to reason your way through a problem, and to write and weigh a matter­­­—without the help of artificial intelligence.

The one sentence I added to the opening paragraph of this article was composed of these two main points: “Some raise the question that AI’s dangers overshadow its values by obscuring truth and usurping our will to think.”

It’s a slippery slope to use AI. There are some small cases where it is appropriate to use, but as writer Samuel Johnson once wrote, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” Satan wants us to enslave our minds to artificial intelligence because he can guide its influence. He wants you to depend on him for truth, not the Word of God. He wants you to circumvent hard mental work. He wants you to give up on your true education.

You must choose for yourself. Will you use AI? We are still in the early stages of the use of this technology, but like the smartphone, it may soon become apparent how dumbed down we have become because of artificial intelligence. Fight for truth! Think for yourself! Be a moral teen! Fill your mind with God’s truth. In this world where artificial, deepfake content multiplies all around us, God’s truth is the only official intelligence we have left.