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Innovation and the Spiritual Gap of AI?

Wed, 10 May, 2023

There are several things that humans bring to the table that AI and automation cannot replicate, at least not yet. This article aims to explore the one most ambivalent of them all: spirituality, faith, or a deep connection with the divine.

Much of human creativity and innovation are the result of deeply personal, emotional and often spiritual experiences. Faith has guided creativity and inspired numerous innovations throughout history and it seems that some of the most admirable innovators possessed a deep sense of spirituality.

Many early astronomers were inspired by their faith to study the heavens and explore the mysteries of the universe. Nicolaus Copernicus, who is credited with the development of the heliocentric model of the solar system, was a devout Catholic who saw his work as a way of understanding God's creation. In medicine, many early hospitals were founded by religious organisations, and faith has inspired numerous medical innovations. For example, the development of modern nursing is often credited to Florence Nightingale, a devout Christian who saw her work as a way of serving God by caring for the sick and wounded.

In music, faith has inspired countless musical innovations throughout history, from the composition of hymns and religious chants to the development of new instruments and musical styles. Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time, was deeply religious and saw his music as a way of praising God. In the area of civil rights, faith has played a central role in many social and political movements throughout history, including the civil rights movement in the United States. Many of the leaders of the movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr., were motivated by their faith to fight for justice and equality.

Nicola Tesla is often regarded as one of the most innovative and brilliant inventors of the modern era. Tesla was born into a Serbian Orthodox family and received a religious education as a child, although he later became sceptical of organised religion and rejected many of its tenets.

Despite this, Tesla remained deeply spiritual and believed that his work was driven by a higher purpose. In a letter to a friend, he wrote, "My scientific work is motivated by an irresistible longing to understand the secrets of nature and the universe. I am convinced that there is a higher power that governs everything, and I feel it within me continually pushing me toward greater understanding and discovery." He saw his work as a way of understanding and harnessing the natural forces of the universe, which he saw as evidence of a divine intelligence at work.

Despite his rejection of organised religion, Tesla's faith inspired many of his most ground-breaking inventions, including the Tesla Coil and the alternating current motor, which revolutionised the field of electrical engineering and paved the way for many of the technologies that we rely on today.

These are just a few examples of how faith has inspired innovation throughout history. Faith has provided individuals with a sense of purpose, meaning and transcending experiences that have driven them to pursue new ideas and create positive change in the world in a way that AI will never be able to possess.

Although The Enlightenment – also known as the 'Age of Reason' – saw an intellectual focus across Europe towards a rigorous scientific, political and philosophical discourse in the 17th and 18th centuries, faith has maintained an important place in global society.

The Up-Skill project is working to develop an understanding of how business can improve human and machine interaction for the benefit of society, with a particular focus on industrial and manufacturing environments.

Could it be that the future of our intelligence as species relies exactly on our ability to cultivate a deeply ‘human’ spiritual connection?

To find out more about this exciting project, please visit the dedicated website HERE and follow our LinkedIn channel HERE.

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