Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., O.P., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream.
Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); The Human Advantage; Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; The Hobbit Party with Jonathan Witt; and Eat, Fast, Feast. His most recent book, with Douglas Axe and William Briggs, is The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic Into a Catastrophe.
Richards is also executive producer of several documentaries, including The Call of the Entrepreneur, The Birth of Freedom, and Effective Stewardship (Acton Media and Zondervan, 2009). He has been featured in several television-broadcast documentaries, including The Call of the Entrepreneur, The Case for a Creator, The Wonder of Soil, and The Privileged Planet, based on his book, The Privileged Planet, with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez.
Richards' articles and essays have been published in The Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Washington Post, Forbes, National Review Online, Investor's Business Daily, Washington Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, The Federalist, The American Spectator, The Daily Caller, The Imaginative Conservative and many other publications. His topics range from culture, economics, and public policy to natural science, technology, and the environment. He has appeared on many national radio and TV programs, including Larry King Live; and he has lectured worldwide on a variety of subjects, including to Members of the US Congress.
Richards has a Ph.D., with honors, in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an M.Div. (Master of Divinity), a Th.M. (Master of Theology), and a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Religion. He lives with his family in the Washington DC Metro area.
When giant corporate actors like IBM and Microsoft promote “transparency and compliance with ethical principles?”, we run the risk that they are helping to craft regulations that hinder future competitors (“regulatory capture”). Rather than partner with them in making statements, the Church should stay clear.
Irish playwright John Waters warns of a time when we might have to grant moral discretion to computer algorithms, just as Christians now grant to the all-knowing but often inscrutable decrees of God. Not likely.
There are, of course, empirical implications of both the materialist and non-materialist understanding of the human mind. But the success of human cloning won’t weigh on the question one way or the other.
At first sight, the number of options might seem bewildering. The key question is: Will you ignore the coming job disruption, fear it, or treat it as an opportunity?
Too much of the debate over AI is dictated by prior metaphysical commitments that are rarely examined. This Evangelical Statement is a welcome contrast because it makes the theological issues explicit.
Although the coming shift will be abrupt, new technologies enable us to focus, as economists would put it, on our comparative advantage over machines.