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'Let's never do that again': Pastor reflects on church service created entirely by ChatGPT

by Kelly Valencia

A pastor in the US who decided to use ChatGPT to build his entire Sunday church service is now expressing reservations about repeating the experiment.

Speaking to Fox News Digital, Pastor Jay Cooper said he felt uncomfortable with the lack of a "human element" needed for God to communicate with the congregation, resulting in a service that was not "spirit empowered."

"It can get relative real quickly. But then, you know, some of it was just goofy. It would make these odd jokes, these kinds of metaphors, or things they would try to tie in, and it just did not make any sense," Pastor Cooper said.

Last month, he informed his congregants at Violet Crown City Church in Austin, Texas, that he had tasked ChatGPT with crafting every facet of their worship experience, from the order of prayers to song choices and even composing an original song linked to the sermon.

Pastor Cooper emphasized that the primary objective was to evaluate whether AI could contribute to the spiritual aspect of a worship service rather than simply finding a more convenient way to worship.

He said: "It was kind of twofold. One, I mean, I really believe that if it's happening in the world, our people need to be very aware of it and not just have a loose understanding, but to have seen it in action, be able to speak intelligently about it because a lot of ethical concerns are going to be coming up here soon. And so to address these things head-on. Okay. So does this have any role in the church at all?"

"This is not like a Sunday off for God. We're not doing this as kind of like a, you know, a bizarre stunt or something. It's actually like a learning opportunity."

"And, you know, how do we experience the sacred? So, is there any sacred at all in artificial intelligence? And that's yet to be seen. Or is it possible that in some way, as believers, we can use this as a tool for the betterment of the world?" the pastor added.

Reflecting on the congregation's general sentiment, the pastor shared that while they were content with the experiment, they had no intention of repeating it. Instead, they've taken away valuable lessons and will "try to discern how can this be used in ministry."

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