If you could talk to an AI expert, someone who knows how it works, what it can do, and what impact it is likely to have on the world, what sort of questions would you ask?

Unfortunately, I am not one of those experts, either in AI, or in genetic engineering, or in neurology. Most definitely I am no expert in quantum physics.

What I am is a translator. I move data from one discipline to another, and from one people group to another. Writing about all these subjects and what they may imply for the rest of us required me to work with people who are experts in these fields. That’s why I am sure that what I said in Faith in the Age of Ai is reasonably accurate.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke four times at a local Nashville church. At the pastor’s suggestion, I opened up each session for questions from the audience. At the end of my presentation, I opened up the floor again.

It worked like a charm! Our sessions were interesting and informed because they ‘scratched where the people were itching.”

My publisher wants me to do something like that online: gather a group of experts in AI and discuss – at a level we can all understand — how this exploding technology is about to impact our lives, our faith, and our jobs.

We all realize that AI, robots, and other mind-blowing technology is about to utterly transform our lives. So, we all want to know more about it. However, when hard-working people come home at the end of the day, they have little energy to wade through heavy material full of specialized terms. That’s why we need translation – from technical language to everyday speech.

So what sort of questions do we have about AI and related technologies? No question is too trite, trivial, or elementary. After all, nearly all of us are bewildered and befuddled by being thrust headfirst into the world of the Jetsons.

I meet with that group of experts, I will begin the discussion with questions I have heard from you.

One of the things I most enjoyed when I was young, was translating for people. I was especially delighted doing spontaneous translation, listening to English speakers, and immediately rendering their words into Spanish. Years later, I did the reverse, turning Spanish sermons into English ones. I did this for Alberto Mottesi, a Billy Graham affiliate in Latin America who preached to enormous crowds. Mottesi liked the fact that I didn’t require long pauses between sentences.

I translated for many people in my young adulthood. In 1980, the United States government borrowed my translation services once. It was during the Maribel Boatlift crisis. I once translated for a Spanish-speaking pastor into French, for a congregation in Montréal. I recall that clearly because I had to go home and go to bed afterward!

If I were asked to do spontaneous translation today, I would need to immerse myself in one of those languages for many days — perhaps weeks! Language skills require attention. I read scripture, sometimes watch movies in Spanish or French, and have no problem with everyday conversation in either language. However, specialized vocabulary can trip me up, especially in French.

As the years have passed, I have realized that much of what I do involves translation. In most cases, this is not between the languages I speak, but between specialists in a few specific fields and the general public. Faith in the Age of Ai is an example. I read tons of books on computer science, physics, and genetics and tried to turn what I discovered into everyday speech. Then, I asked experts in those fields to read what I had written, checking for any misunderstanding on my part.

Now, I want to take that ‘translation work’ to another level. I want to gather questions from my readers about AI and pass these on to experts. Then, I want to discuss with you what we hear from them – that way, we can make sense of it!

I originally asked this questions on Facebook, but I’d also like to hear from readers here. So in the comments, please pose the questions you have about information technologies and what they imply about our future.

Come, let us reason together!

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