Rabbi uses chatbot to preach to a shocked New York congregation
Rabbi Uses Chatbot to Sermon to Shocked New York Congregation: Warns Artificial Intelligence Will Eliminate 375 MILLION Jobs in a Decade
- Rabbi Josh Franklin runs the Hamptons Jewish Center in East Hampton
- On January 1st he uploaded a video of a recent sermon written by AI
- Little did the community know it was written by a computer
A New York rabbi shocked his congregation by preaching a sermon and then informing them that the entire text was written by artificial intelligence.
Rabbi Josh Franklin, who runs the Hamptons Jewish Center in East Hampton, uploaded the sermon to the website Jan. 1.
He can be seen addressing the congregation and telling them that he is indeed plagiarizing and using a sermon that was not written by him.
Franklin speaks for five minutes, quoting the Torah and discussing Joseph’s forgiveness and the eventual salvation of the Israelites.
Rabbi Josh Franklin delivers a sermon to his congregation in East Hampton, New York
He warned them the text wasn’t his own, saying it was “plagiarized” – and then asked the congregation to guess who wrote it
Franklin goes on to discuss the power of opening up and being vulnerable, referring to author Brene Brown – a professor known for her work on shame, vulnerability, and leadership.
He closes with a prayer.
At the end of his sermon, Franklin asks if anyone can guess who wrote it.
Some suspect his father, who was a rabbi at Riverdale Temple in the Bronx. Others suggested Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the spiritual leader of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue establishment in the United Kingdom.
Franklin then revealed under the breath of the congregation that the sermon had been written by the AI program ChatGPT.
Franklin said the power of technology made him worried about jobs – but noted it couldn’t be empathetic
He said his prompting was to write a sermon of about 1,000 words with the idea of intimacy and vulnerability and to quote Brene Brown.
“You gossip – but I’m definitely scared,” he said, and laughed.
“I thought truck drivers would be way ahead of the rabbi in losing our positions to artificial intelligence.”
He said he warned it would wipe out 375 million jobs in a decade.
Franklin said the lyrics weren’t in his voice and contained rhetorical flourishes he didn’t like — but they were impressive.
However, he noted that he could not be empathetic and responsive to the crowd.
“It can’t love it, it can’t show compassion, it can’t connect with the community,” he said.
“What we really do is build relationships. I don’t think ChatGPT or any kind of artificial intelligence will replace us, but it will push us forward.
“It will force us to evolve in what we do and in what we do best.”
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