Technology and Theology

An image blending modern technology symbols like smartphones and laptops with ancient symbols of wisdom such as scrolls, books, and philosophical figures. A soft glow emanates from the ancient elements, highlighting their enduring importance amidst the digital chaos

In the flickering glow of screens that connect and dictate our modern lives, amidst the unending stream of notifications and updates, there lies an unspoken yearning for the eternal truths that have guided humanity for millennia. As we stand at the pinnacle of technological achievement, we find that our most sophisticated gadgets offer little in the way of understanding the heart’s simplest desires—to love and be loved, to live passionately and purposefully. We begin at the crossroads of innovation and ancient wisdom, exploring how, despite the passage of time and the advent of groundbreaking technologies, the teachings from the Bible and the musings of ancient philosophers about love and passion remain not just relevant, but necessary. Through this exploration, we seek to rediscover the foundational pillars of human existence that technology has not displaced but perhaps has made even more essential.

Every Friday morning, I study ancient sacred texts via Zoom with Rabbi David Soloff. Occasionally, he inquires if I have access to additional texts for reference. Indeed, with nearly every book ever written available online—many for free due to expired copyrights—combining ancient wisdom with modern technology is seamless.

Ancient wisdom has been well-defined for millennia – since, well, ancient times. Modern technology, on the other hand, keeps evolving, to keep up with, well, modernity. Today, what exactly defines modern technology?

I recently pointed out to my 83-year-old mother that the cellphones we carry are far more powerful than the computers available in her youth—or even mine, for that matter. The same holds true for the technology available when my twenty-eight-year-old son was young. We are witnessing an unprecedented surge in technology integration into daily life, a phenomenon unparalleled in human history.

At the dawn of the 21st century, we find ourselves at the heart of a technological renaissance, an era marked by explosive advancements and widespread integration of technology into every aspect of human life. This expansion is not merely altering daily routines but is fundamentally reshaping the fabric of society, economies, and the global order.

The Digital Tapestry: Ubiquitous Connectivity

Central to this technological boom is the internet, a vast digital network that links billions of people worldwide, heralding an era of ubiquitous connectivity. Social media platforms and messaging apps have revolutionized communication, transforming it into an instant, global phenomenon. This connectivity has also spurred an unprecedented level of information exchange, making knowledge and data more accessible than ever before.

Search engines have long supported World Wide Web users in finding the information that they want. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) stands aside the Internet and search engines as one of the most important technological tools ever invented. I define AI as the technological tools that support people in fulfilling their objectives and continuing to learn.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: AI and Automation

The rise of Artificial Intelligence and automation signifies the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, pushing industries towards a future where machines enhance or even replace human labor. AI’s capabilities range from improving diagnostic accuracy in healthcare to optimizing logistics routes, demonstrating its transformative potential across various sectors. Meanwhile, automation in manufacturing increases efficiency and productivity, though it also poses significant challenges for the workforce. Simply put, workers, both blue and white collar, must be trained to use the ever-evolving tools of technology, or they will be unable keep up with economic needs. It is the responsibility of educational institutions to ensure that their students obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to do this.

The University of Florida (UF) campuses stand as beacons of innovation, leveraging partnerships and investments to spearhead cutting-edge research in fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI). UF’s collaboration with industry giant NVIDIA underscores the university’s commitment to staying at the forefront of AI education and research. By establishing the NVIDIA AI Technology Center (NVAITC) on its campus, UF cements its dedication to integrating AI across diverse disciplines. Indeed, as provost Joseph Glover told me, AI is going to impact every discipline the university teaches. He asked me to imagine the ways in which artificial intelligence could support agricultural workers in better determining the nutrients with which to fertilize the product.

AI can also support the study of more esoteric topics such as biblical theology. It can provide access to vast amounts of scripture, historical texts, commentaries, and theological resources in an organized and easily searchable manner. AI-powered tools can assist in analyzing complex theological concepts, identifying patterns and themes across different biblical passages, and even generating insights for sermon preparation or scholarly research. Hopefully, people will use this research as a foundation for their study enabling them to have more insightful thoughts and ideas than ever before.

At the heart of UF’s AI endeavors lies the NVAITC, a joint venture with NVIDIA aimed at advancing AI education and research while fostering invaluable partnerships between academia and industry. This pioneering center, the first of its kind in North America, serves as a hub for groundbreaking projects that merge cutting-edge AI technologies with traditional academic disciplines. Through close collaboration with NVIDIA, UF researchers gain access to state-of-the-art tools and resources, accelerating their projects to new heights and reinforcing the university’s position as a leader in AI research and application.

The NVAITC’s interdisciplinary approach transcends departmental boundaries, inviting researchers from across UF’s diverse academic landscape to participate in collaborative projects. By embracing a wide range of perspectives and expertise, the center ensures that AI innovations are infused into every corner of the university, from the sciences to the humanities. Through initiatives like the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute (DLI) training programs, UF equips students and faculty alike with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an increasingly technology-driven world.

Our technology, and society, is advancing at a speed never seen before. With this advancement, however, the timeless wisdom found in the Bible and ancient philosophy remains as relevant and indispensable as ever. Foundational texts offer profound insights into the human condition, morality, ethics, and the search for meaning and purpose in life. In a time marked by uncertainty and rapid change, the enduring truths contained within these ancient teachings serve as guiding lights, providing comfort, guidance, and a framework for understanding the complexities of our modern existence. As we navigate the challenges of the digital age, let us not forget the enduring value of these age-old tenets, which continue to inspire, challenge, and enrich our lives in profound ways.

Andrew Pass

Andrew Pass

Founder and Visionary

Andrew Pass is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded A Pass Educational Group, LLC in 2009. Under his leadership, the company has grown into a multi-million dollar educational content development business, and he now also coaches other businesses as an EOS implementer. Andy was named a top EdTech influencer in 2023.

Who is A Pass?

A Pass Educational Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the development of quality educational resources. We partner with publishers, K-12 schools, higher ed institutions, corporations, and other educational stakeholders to create custom quality content. Have questions?

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