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Why Machines Won't Replace Us: A Defense of Human Uniqueness

In this lecture, Dr. Jay W. Richards gave highlights from his upcoming book on human uniqueness and the claim that machines will replace us. He will show how the Christian understanding of the human person helps provide guidance in the debate about artificial intelligence and automation, and how to respond to it.

A thousand futurists predict that in the next few decades, machines will take over even more of our work, leaving mass joblessness in its wake. How should we respond to these claims? It’s true that machines will do many tasks we imagined could only be done by people. But many of these claims are based on a materialistic view of the human person that contradicts both faith and reason.

Dr. Richards argued that we do need to prepare for massive job disruption. And we'll need to adapt by focusing on key virtues that separate man from machine. But machines will never replace us.

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is the Executive Editor of The Stream. He is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is author of many books including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013), and Indivisible (2012), co-authored with James Robison. He is also the author of Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; and co-author of The Privileged Planet with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. His most recent book, co-authored with Jonathan Witt, is The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that J.R.R. Tolkien Got and the West Forgot. He has a Ph.D., with honors, in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.