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2084: Artificial Intelligence, the Future of Humanity, and the God Question

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Where did we come from? Where we are going? How will the increased incorporation of AI into our lives affect our individual and corporate privacy, the security of our jobs, our political and personal freedoms, and the future of our species as a whole?

Popular answers to these questions portrayed in the bestsellers Sapiens and Homo Deus by historian Yuval Noah Harari and Ori
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Zondervan
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Nicholas Kotar
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely timely, very readable, and thought-provoking. I think everyone should read this book, whether or not you are a believer or an agnostic.
Josh Olds
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
So…I’m not quite sure what to do with this book. John Lennox is a bona fide genius (PhD, DPhil, DSc, Professor Emeritus at Oxford). He’s the intellectual that comes out to dispute Dawkins, Harris, and the other New Atheists as the resident British scientist in the field of Christian apologetics. And usually he’s quite good. I was very curious what his take on technology and artificial intelligence would be even though those ideas are a bit out of his normal wheelhouse.

Despite its small size and
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Colin Buchanan
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’m so grateful for John Lennox, a Christian author of substance and rigour and breadth who models engagement with his subject, who looks into the thoughts behind ideas, who streps into the lion’s den of alternatives and contends for his position in the light of the views of his opponents.

Although a brief book, 2084 is a substantial book. Lennox undertakes a broad consideration of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), citing both researchers and philosophers who
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Christopher Humphrey
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Artificial Intelligence is no longer just a science fiction dream. AI is part of our present and part of our future. But what is Artificial Intelligence and what does this penumbra of technologies mean for the future of mankind? Will AI overtake humanity, and if so, will AI operate within an ethical construct? These questions and more are addressed in “2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity” by Dr. John Lennox.

Dr. Lennox is a Professor of Mathematics (Emeritus) at Oxford Unive
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Christian Barrett
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this short book John Lennox plays off of George Orwell’s “1984” and looks to the year 2084 in light of the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Lennox looks at the human infatuation with AI through a biblical lens. His primary focus of the book is showing whether or not AI, as autonomous computers, is ethical in light of the world we live in with a holy creator God. The last half of the book is spent look at Daniel and Revelation has he highlights the reality that in seeking to create AI we ...more
G. Connor Salter
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lennox takes an honest at the current state of AI development and how Christians should respond to things like the transhumanist movement which present a view of human nature far outside what the Bible teaches. His arguments are intelligently made, his research is very well-done (taking the time to look at specific things that transhumanist and atheist writers have recently written on the subject and then deconstructing their ideas). All told, a wonderful book on the theological implications of ...more
Daniel Funke
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book on a topic that is becoming increasingly important, and John Lennox does a good job giving an overview of developments and different strands in Artificial Intelligence research, and then giving a biblical response.
The book is focused on two questions: (1) Where did we come from, and (2) Where are we going? He addresses these questions by first considering them from the viewpoints of various AI researches, and then considering them from the Bible.
The first part on
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Daniela Lupsanu
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’m not saying I agree with everything in the book and admittedly I’m lucky to be familiar with the other works on which the biggest arguments are based, but I have to admit Lennox lives up to his genius. I particularly enjoyed him calling out Yuval Noah Harari on his bullshit, which I don’t think many scientists have done since Sapiens came out. All in all, worthy read.
Joel Sam
Feb 26, 2021 rated it liked it
John Lennox's summary of the state-of-the-art in AI was well-presented and easy to understand. Lennox makes a crucial distinction between AI tools (such as machine learning) and AGI: Artificial General Intelligence. AGI is what Lennox sees as not only technically implausible, but also an affort to the biblical view of anthropology.

Much of the book is devoted to responding to Yuval Harari's claims in the books 'Sapiens' and 'Homo Deus'. Perhaps too much. Lennox's theological perspectives in resp
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Tyler Brophy
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Well thought out... prophetical... interesting and fun read
Hannah O'Malley
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible. It grapples with the origin of humanity - along with our past and future - while navigating the complex questions that rise when we think of AI.
Barry Ickes
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clear, yet broad and sweeping tale of the past, present and future glory.
Melissa Travis
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lennox never disappoints. Loved his take on the subject of AI.
Matt
Sep 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Not a terrible book by any means. As someone who picked up the book based on it seeming interesting upon first glance without knowing who Lennox was. Consequently, I wasn’t anticipating this to be argued from a religious perspective. With myself being irreligious I likely wouldn’t have agreed with a purely philosophical argument of AI from a religious perspective, and Lennox takes this a step further making a biblical argument.

This is where Lennox lost me. While it was still mildly interesting
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Brodie
Jul 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
I came upon this book rather randomly and was immediately excited about the prospects it offered. The first couple of chapters drew me in as Lennox introduced some truly fascinating and important issues in the world's of technology, evolution, philosophy and religion.

It is hard to express my true disappointment in what followed. Lennox appears to shift gears suddenly; and goes from a man who seems well educated, reasoned and capable of coherent argument to a man who does nothing but make wildly
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Evghenii
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: apologetics
Excellent! Having read all the books Dr. Lennox is responding to as well as those that appear to inspire this work, he put the thoughts I had at different time into a more systematic contemplation. Excellent book for apologetics of the future. A great response to futuristic forms of materialism. Highly recommend.
Phil
Mar 21, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I'm familiar with Lennox from lectures, debates, and interviews, this was my first time reading a book of his. He writes competently and clearly, although I think he is better as a speaker. Maybe it's that Irish accent.

Lennox is undeniably brilliant, but I was not sure how well he would deal with the field of AI since it is a bit outside his usual wheelhouse. That being said, I don't know much about AI, so I was looking for a basic introduction to the issues from a Christian perspective.
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Jeffrey
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Harari: And with the next stage of human evolution, man will ascend from being Homo Sapien to Homo Deus by means of technological integration. Perhaps this will be some nascent form of what we know as androids, biologically integrated AI, etc. Either way, technology will lead the way towards the fountain of youth.

Lennox: Homo Deus via Technology? Hold my beer.

Uncle Lennox is always a ride to read, and this work has him contemplating Yuval Noah Harari's recent works of "Sapiens", and particularly
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Lim Paul
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2084, not a sequel of George Orwell 1984 novel, and certainly not a dystopia novel as highlighted by John himself in the preface of his book.

Anyway, this book lays out the concerns of AI not pertaining to the possible domination of AI like skynet in terminators, rather it gives a good grasp of what AI is and capable of, least we start making false association of the development of AI, whatever the outcome is, John makes a comprehensive probe to the potential of what AI can do, though the future
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Derek London
Mar 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Finally! A voice that can drown out the almost gleeful pitch of techno-utopians who know nothing more sacred than themselves and the productions of their own hand. No…I’m not a Christian. I’m not even religious. I’m an Atheist. But when the emeritus Prof. Lennox speaks, I listen…carefully!

I do not share his worldview. Having abandoned my upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness, I’m also somewhat impatient should conversations turn speculative and eschatological. When it comes to challenging the evange
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Alex
Overall I enjoyed this book and I think it's a very useful appraisal of AI from a non-materialist and specifically Christian view. The first part of the book is an even-handed assessment of the technology, looking at its pros and cons and possible futures.

In the second part, Lennox critiques the claims and aspirations of proponents of AI and trans-humanism. He digs quite heavily into the Bible's apocalyptic literature: especially Daniel and Revelation, as well as some of Paul's teaching, and co
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Anthony Locke
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Lennox does a good job introducing the current state of AI - including its limitations - but the real strength of the book is in his assessment of the utopian desires that underpin the AI movement (i.e. transhumanism). I loved how he deconstructed the transhumanist approach through the Bible bookends - both the Genesis creation account and sections of Revelation. He reminds readers that the whole Homo Deus enterprise of Yuval Harari is as old as the serpent's temptation. In Christ we actually ac ...more
Kezia Olive
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was never exposed to John C. Lennox before, but thanks to covid, an online conference allowed me to 'meet' him and hear his talk. I figured I need to know more about his work and what he had produced from such a great mind.
And there I was, listening to this audiobook while having my regular walks. And as I listened to the thoughts presented in the book, how it links, how it pokes at the hard questions and brings in the facts and the arguments, I just found myself boiling angry. Angry that I ha
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Frank Peters
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I greatly enjoy reading anything by John Lennox. As anticipated, this book was captivating, interesting and enlightening. Prof. Lennox is careful not to be overly utopian or dystopian as he discusses the potential of artificial intelligence, but rather reflects on both scenarios. He does point out (to which I agree), that he best AI currently offers in terms of consciousness, it at the level of a bug or a work – that is a simple programme. And since no one understands what consciousness is, it i ...more
Abram Martin
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"We shall need all the wisdom from above that God can give us in this AI age in order to fulfill Christ's directive that we should be salt and light in our society. We have often referred to the fact that we live in a surveillance society. Let us therefore live with the myriad of cameras and tracers on our lives in such a way that even the monitors can see that we have been with Jesus. After all whereas the "artificial" in artificial intelligence is real. " The divine upgrades are real and not a ...more
David Meiklejohn
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Christian look at the consequences of artificial intelligence. The author covered the subject fairly well in the first half of the book, and while giving the usual extreme views on what might happen if computers got to the point where they could outthink us, he also represented the cautious ones who think that it’s never going to happen. I liked that. The second half mostly concentrated on man’s attempts to better himself artificially and how this amounts to a homo deus, and how Jesus is the r ...more
Alireza Hejazi
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
This book attempts to address the question of where humanity is going. Doing this, technological enhancement, bioengineering, and especially, artificial intelligence (AI) is used as foundations to envision humanity’s future through the Christian worldview. The Christian philosopher, John Lennox offers a discussion in which the advantages and disadvantages of AI for humanity as well as its potential implications are addressed. The core message of the book is that the Christian worldview can provi ...more
Hannah Kelley
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
How smart is AI really? without consciousness? without creativity, emotion, motivation? the ethical question comes into play when we realize that the ethics of AI do not come from AI, but from the programmer and/or controller. AI can be beneficial in the sense of reducing “poverty, loneliness, disease, and the increasing depression and despair in our society and promote growth, learning, giving, and human connection,” but what AI is being used for is power, control and greed. The future is unpre ...more
Timothy Haas
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
2084 by John C Lennox

I was given a copy of this book for review.

Mr. Lennox takes the time to explain what AI is and the different types in a manner that easy to understand. Many examples are given that show the abilities of AI and also what they are not able to complete. Mr. Lennox goes on to explain how AI can never be human, as we are created from God.

This book explains in detail the manner of AI, its possible uses and the vast difference between man and machine.

I just reviewed 2084 by John
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Josh Morris
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book: biblical, concise, relevant. Lennox does reference Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and Origins by Dan Brown extensively. I had not read either. Lennox gives non-technical insight into artificial general intelligence (AGI). He seems skeptical of AGI ever being actualized given this would likely require making software systems conscious. (He does not think passing the Turing test is enough). But AI need not become truly strong AI for it to change the human landscape. We are witnessing t ...more
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John Carson Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. In addition, he teaches for the Oxford Strategic Le ...more

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“Harari thinks that physical death has been reduced to a mere technical problem that is ripe for solution by medical science.6 In other words, he thinks that within the not too distant future, although we may die, we shall not have to die. A “cure” for death will be found. As if death were a disease – but is it? I would not be so sure for reasons that will appear later. At any rate, this claim seems very far-fetched.” 0 likes
“The big question to be faced is: How can an ethical dimension be built into an algorithm that is itself devoid of heart, soul, and mind?” 0 likes
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