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AI-Powered Chatbots and Audio Bibles Transform Worship in South Korea

AI-Powered Chatbots and Audio Bibles Transform Worship in South Korea

AI-Powered Chatbots and Audio Bibles Transform Worship in South Korea

South Korean Christians are embracing the use of chatbots and audio bibles powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for worship. In a country where Christianity is the dominant religion, online church services using AI have become increasingly popular, with thousands turning to these technologies for spiritual support. Local start-ups have developed generative AI bible study and prayer service apps that specifically target young Protestants. These apps have enabled pastors to have more time to care for their followers, who constitute about a fifth of South Korea’s population of 52 million. However, religious leaders emphasize the importance of maintaining the human touch and not overly relying on technology for religious activities.

One of the notable AI-driven services is Meadow (formerly Ask Jesus), developed by Awake Corp. Meadow uses Open AI’s ChatGPT technology and has its own extensive theological database. It responds to spiritual inquiries and offers bible verses, interpretations, and prayers. It has gained traction among Christians worldwide, including users from Muslim countries like Pakistan, the US, and other western nations. Pastors have also recognized its usefulness as a tool to assist in sermon preparation. ChatGPT has been adopted by around 20% of Protestant ministers in Korea, with 60% finding it beneficial for generating sermon ideas.

Another AI-backed platform making an impact is Biblely, created by Voiselah. This platform offers audio bibles recorded with the voices of pastors from around 50 churches. It utilizes generative AI technology trained on each pastor’s voice. Biblely saw increased demand during the Covid-19 pandemic when large-scale religious gatherings were suspended. Many churchgoers are inspired by the AI-powered audio bibles without realizing that the recordings are generated using AI technology.

While these AI applications have brought convenience and efficiency to religious practices, there are concerns about the limitations of AI in providing genuine spiritual experiences. Some pastors have requested completely AI-generated sermons, but Kim Min-joon, the CEO of Awake Corp, declined, emphasizing that technology cannot replace the soulfulness of spirituality. Furthermore, pastors and religious leaders in South Korea express caution and acknowledge that sermon creation and preaching require human interaction that cannot be replicated by AI.

In conclusion, AI-powered chatbots and audio bibles have become an integral part of worship for South Korean Christians. These technologies offer convenience and support in bible study, prayer, and sermon preparation. However, it is crucial to strike a balance and remember that the human touch is essential in religious practices and spirituality.

– Source Article: Financial Times
– Meadow by Awake Corp: AI-based bible chatbot service
– Biblely by Voiselah: AI-backed audio bible platform

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