Iliff School of Theology
Iliff’s project, “Incorporating Science and Launch of Artificial Intelligence Institute,” will see the beginning of the Artificial Intelligence Institute in Fall 2019. The Artificial Intelligence Institute seeks to partner with organizations across the country to examine artificial intelligence from both a theoretic and practical stance. The expansion of artificial intelligence raises a host of ethical issues, some of which center on equity—algorithms often perpetuate racial and gender biases. Are there ways of preventing this, even when an algorithm is based on a complicated neural network, or is produced by direct evolution? Can we ensure both transparency and predictability in algorithms? Changes brought by artificial intelligence (AI) raise questions that are classic to theology, but raise them in radical and new ways. What does it mean to be human?
In addition to the creation of artificial intelligence-based courses listed above (which will likely be offered as electives and/or offered as open-access courses to the public), and the 2019 launch of our EcoJustice Lab (which focuses on ecology, environmental science, theology through education, hands-on tours, and grassroots partnerships), Iliff will incorporate science into two primary core Master of Divinity courses. Additionally, they plan to incorporate science into two additional core Master of Divinity courses and to create at least one science-based theological course that will be offered as a First Year Interdisciplinary Course, which is a type of course required by all master’s students.