“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Jesus Christ — Matthew 24:24)
Reports about the acceleration of artificial intelligence and cybernetics continue to emerge on a daily basis. We are living in the dawn of the hybrid age, with exponential advancements in robotics, biogenetic engineering, nanotechnology, and virtual reality.
Many Christians, though vaguely familiar with these terms and advanced concepts, haven’t considered the potential applications of such technology in an anti-christian world. In this case, ignorance is not bliss, and if the church does not wake up and become engaged, it likely could be to our peril.
Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples about the coming spiritual deception in the last days — a deception so astounding and believable that the whole world will be enthralled and mesmerized by satanic powers and wonders. Although there will almost certainly be multiple aspects of this spiritual deception, I believe the technological phenomena we are witnessing today will be one of the primary tools of the devil to lead the world astray in the end.
A Fortune article dated February 21, 2018, interestingly was titled, 4 Things Everyone Should Fear about Artificial Intelligence and the Future. Though trying to downplay apocalyptic scenarios while at the same time addressing real concerns, the article mentions the emerging problems with artificial news and images, particularly because the human eye can no longer distinguish what is real from what has been artificially generated.
“If you thought the spread of misleading news on social networks like Facebook was bad now, get ready for the future. Advances in AI have led to researchers creating realistic audio and videos of political figures that are designed to look, and talk like real-life counterparts,” such as “state leaders seeming to make inflammatory comments they never actually made.”
Consider the applications of such technology in nefarious hands. Not only could political leaders be blackmailed, framed, misrepresented, and falsely accused, but church leaders as well. Those who boldly stand on the truths of God’s word and who are unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ could be publicly destroyed or criminally charged. Anyone who is a threat to the satanic world system potentially is a target.
A recent Business Insider report announced the staggering potential processing power of the latest supercomputer. Intel, working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, is building the most powerful supercomputer in the country, so fast that it could process 1 quintillion — 1 billion times 1 billion, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 — calculations per second.
“To put that in perspective: If every person on Earth did one calculation (say, a math problem involving algebra) per second, it would take everyone over four years to do all the calculations Aurora could do in one second.”https://www.businessinsider.com/intel-department-of-energy-aurora-first-exascale-supercomputer-2019-3
Even more troubling is the quote from Rajeeb Hazra, VP of Intel. Knowing that computer processing power is doubling every year and that transistors are now being reduced to the atomic size, the probability of reaching technological singularity is almost certain. For those who aren’t familiar with singularity, it simply is the point of technological runaway growth that fundamentally threatens human civilization. Consider Hazra’s quote behind that backdrop.
“The biggest challenge is also probably the most exciting part: to envision and create technologies that have never been created before,” Hazra said. “Because this machine requires a level of capability we haven’t seen before, the biggest risk is we’re inventing something new — but to us, that’s also the most exciting part.”
Granted, many doubt that singularity is even possible, but the reality is that technology is growing exponentially with no apparent end in sight. It is not difficult to see a scenario much like the one at the Tower of Babel, when the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:6)
Finally, I must comment on what I consider one of the most likely applications used of the satanic forces of evil in the last days — virtual reality. We are witnessing an entire generation gradually being sucked into a virtual world that is ruled and controlled by the prince of the power of the air. What may have been introduced as innocuous and entertaining is now one the great epidemics of this generation. Children in our culture are immersed and overstimulated with unceasing technology. They have been raised on smart phones, tablets, the internet, social media, and video games. They have grown ever dependent upon this technology and find their identities in it. For the first time in modern history, there is an entire generation that is primed and preconditioned to take the next logical step into an entirely new world — a virtual world.
Steven Spielberg’s latest sci-fi movie, Ready Player One, is just another case of predictive programming that will soon be reality. Basically, when the lines between reality and fantasy become indistinguishable, all perceivable boundaries will disappear and an entire generation could potentially get lost — literally and spiritually — in this virtual world of demons and warlocks and sirens and sorcerers. Our children are facing a spiritual dimension through virtual reality that will be so real and so astounding and so alluring that without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, it will be impossible to resist or escape. If even the strongest Christian could be deceived, how can we expect the mind of a child to survive the spiritual deception being used against them?
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we must open up more dialogue, rightly assess the situation, beware of the enemy’s strategy, protect our children, discern the times, test the spirits, make disciples, engage the spiritual battle, preach the gospel, and most importantly get our heads out of the sand! If we aren’t willing to be the watchmen sounding the alarm, then there will be many casualties and much blood on our hands.
“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6)