This paper discusses social and ethical challenges that arise through the application of artificial intelligence on the genetic analysis of humans. AI can be used to calculate individuals’ polygenic scores which statistically predict character traits and behavioral dispositions. This technology might foster the selection of unborn children according to the likelihood of engaging in socially compliant behavior or developing a certain level of cognitive abilities. Through exercising moral and cognitive enhancements on individuals and groups, AI-enhanced personal eugenics runs the risk of undermining or destroying essential characteristics of humanity such as moral responsibility and autonomy. It is shown that an argument for the rejection of this technology requires certain philosophical or theological assumptions concerning the essence or teleology of human nature.
This book discusses major issues of the current AI debate from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, and the social sciences: Can AI have a consciousness? Is superintelligence possible and probable? How does AI change individual and social life? Can there be artificial persons? What influence does AI have on religious worldviews? In Western societies, we are surrounded by artificially intelligent systems. Most of these systems are embedded in online platforms. But embodiments of AI, be it by voice or by actual physical embodiment, give artificially intelligent systems another dimension in terms of their impact on how we perceive these systems, how they shape our communication with them and with fellow humans and how we live and work together. AI in any form gives a new twist to the big questions that humanity has concerned herself with for centuries: What is consciousness? How should we treat each other - what is right and what is wrong? How do our creations change the world we are living in? Which challenges do we have to face in the future?