The AI ​​bot “Father Justin” was intended to spread the faith. It ended in a scandal

Will artificial intelligence (AI) really take jobs away from everyone? The Catholic support group Catholic Answers even wanted to replace priests. However, it turned out that – to put it mildly – ​​it didn't work out. “Father Justin” didn’t work.

“Father Justin” wanted to be a priest

Catholic Answers created a chatbot and a 3D avatar connected to it. She named him “Father Justin.” He was supposed to “talk” to the faithful and answer questions about the Church's doctrine.

All of the above sounds innocent. A Catholic organization is creating a program to help spread the faith. But it's AI-based. It's a bit of a step up from a Facebook fan page. Except something went wrong.

As Futursim writes, the bot turned out to be… sexist. What's more, he wanted to become a full-time priest and administer sacraments to Internet users. He even offered absolution to one! But what's wrong with that? The point is that “Father Justin” is not ordained a priest. He therefore deserved excommunication. Or maybe even transfer to a neighboring parish!

But that's not the end. AI is famous for its creativity. This time was no different. The chatbot offered a baby baptism using a popular drink. He probably thought that holy water was obsolete.

Everything happened very quickly. “Father Justin” had to disappear from the Internet just two days after its launch. Catholic Answers concluded that the initiative harms rather than improves the image of the Church.

However, we have good news. The creators of the project did not abandon it. They simply laicized him – they took off the priest's collar. This is how “Justin” was created.

The idea was to provide a tool that would allow people around the world to get reliable, consistent answers about the Catholic faith 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

– he explains his Catholic Answers idea on his blog.

Will there be an AI Church?

The “Father Justin” idea shows that AI is unlikely to replace human clergy. On the other hand, an AI Church may appear in the future. Yes, today it sounds like a crazy idea from a science-fiction writer, but considering that some people seek out “oracles” and spiritual guides, it cannot be ruled out that they may be willing to listen to what artificial intelligence has to tell them. Then “Justin's” idea of ​​baptizing children with a sweet drink with a large dose of caffeine may seem quite appropriate.