Science & Tech

Halal nail polish raises complex discussions among Muslim consumers

By Fiona André — August 11, 2023
(RNS) — The halal cosmetic market is growing rapidly, but many customers remain skeptical.

New AI app lets users ‘text with’ Jesus and other biblical figures

By Fiona André — August 7, 2023
(RNS) — The app replicates an instant messaging platform, allowing users to chat with ChatGPT impersonations of biblical figures, including the apostles, the prophets, Ruth, Job, Lot and more.

Richard Dawkins has abandoned science to justify his transphobia

By Hemant Mehta — August 1, 2023
(RNS) — It’s jarring to see the world’s most famous atheist use his massive platform to downplay or deny trans identities.

A chatbot willing to take on questions of all kinds – from the serious to the comical – is the latest representation of Jesus for the AI age

By Joseph L. Kimmel — August 1, 2023
(The Conversation) — As a chatbot, dressed in a hooded brown-and-white robe, Jesus is available 24/7 to answer any and all questions on his Twitch channel, ‘ask_jesus.’

Meet the Christian creators designing chatbots ‘with a biblical worldview’

By Fiona André — July 20, 2023
(RNS) — Since its launch in November 2022 by the research laboratory OpenAI, the chatbot spurred excitement among Christians, forcing leadership to reckon with this technology and adapting their habits.

East Palestine church hosts chemical exposure study in wake of train disaster

By Kathryn Post — July 20, 2023
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (RNS) — ‘In the Lord’s prayer, we ask that his will be done on earth as in heaven. So how can we make the situation better?’ asked Erin Haynes, who is leading the study.

Rare Einstein letter rebutting biblical creation story for sale

By Richa Karmarkar — July 19, 2023
(RNS) — The letter, written on April 11, 1950, to a group of Jewish students in America, is valued at $125,000.

400 years ago, philosopher Blaise Pascal was one of the first to grapple with the role of faith in an age of science and reason

By David Hoinski — July 7, 2023
(The Conversation) — Blaise Pascal, a mathematician and a Catholic theologian, born 400 years ago, left a deep and lasting influence on the world that can be felt today.

Can chatbots write inspirational and wise sermons?

By Joanne M. Pierce — July 6, 2023
(The Conversation) — Not quite, writes an expert on Christian worship. Chatbots do not have human experience of love – and, above all, they lack a soul.

USC researchers use AI to help translate Bible into very rare languages

By Fiona André — July 5, 2023
(RNS) — Their goal is to target ‘very low-resource languages that are not even in the top 500.’

Saudi Arabia’s new Hajj booking process has left many foreign pilgrims frustrated

By Fiona André — June 27, 2023
(RNS) — After postponing their trip for three years, many American Muslims expected a return to normalcy for this year’s Hajj, but a new online platform intended to streamline the process has instead brought complications.

Can a chatbot preach a good sermon? Hundreds attend church service generated by ChatGPT to find out

By Kirsten Grieshaber — June 12, 2023
FUERTH, Germany (AP) — The 40-minute service — including the sermon, prayers and music — was created by ChatGPT and Jonas Simmerlein, a theologian and philosopher from the University of Vienna.

What is ‘ethical AI’ and how can companies achieve it?

By Piers Norris Turner and Dennis Hirsch — May 30, 2023
(The Conversation) — Companies that want to avoid the harms of AI, such as bias or privacy violations, lack clear-cut guidelines on how to act responsibly. That makes internal management and decision-making critical.

Intel wins 2023’s most faith-friendly company as Fortune 500 warms to religious diversity

By Kathryn Post — May 22, 2023
(RNS) — 'The basic idea of religious freedom is that you're free to have a faith, change your faith or have no faith at all,' said Brian Grim, Religious Freedom and Business Foundation president.

Fewer evangelicals support public school childhood vaccine requirements, survey shows

By Adelle M. Banks — May 16, 2023
(RNS) — Significant majorities across religious groups say the benefits of childhood vaccines outweigh the risks from getting them.
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