AI Rappers, Robot Pastors, and Calling
Recently, Drake and The Weeknd had a new video of a song out on Tiktok that gained 10+ million views.
- Except, it actually was not them – it was a “fake” video created using artificial intelligence by someone named, “ghostwriter”
Yes, AI-based generative technology is now good enough to create realistically-sounding songs (and/or virtual music artists who sing and such).
- In fact, the super-famous label Capitol Records just signed an artist named, “FN MEKA” – an AI-generated rapper (or an AI that raps, not a person).
- And, Instagram has been giving verification (blue checks) to CGI-based people (as in, computer-generated images of people, not actually people).
Back in 2020, I tried to tell as many people as I could about Mindar – the robot Buddhist priest.
- There’s also, apparently, the German Protestant version called, “BlessU-2”
While so many are wondering if AI will, “take our jobs,” and even that of clergy, I wanted to try and ask a deeper question:
- If AI were to do the job of clergy (ie. preaching, sacraments, etc.), does that mean it has eliminated the call to ministry?
Back in the most difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pastors were (rightfully) wondering if all that they were now were, “content creators.”
- To me, by the way, the answer is, yes. – Content is any material with which you want people to interact. That means everything that church has always created – from live music to stained glass to public speaking to community rituals – is and has been, “content.”
And, I think that it is just fine that ministry is, “content creation.”
- That is because I believe that the job of ministry is distinct from the call to ministry.
The job of ministry (ie. preaching, sacraments, community, etc.) is today’s version (and changes based on each cultural milieu) of faith-making encased in the position known as, “pastor,” and the institution known as, “church.”
- The call to ministry, however, is eternal – It has never changed and it serves as the basis for the job.
That call is something primordial that is related to the nature of our reality and the definition of existence.
- I define the call to ministry as the instinct to create new options (faith) when the existing options are seemingly no good (finitude).
In today’s terms, I call it: Creative Courage
- And, I believe that everyone is called to it – that every life can materialize it.