Welby: Artificial Intelligence and gene therapy could hand super-rich ever more power

Posted: January 24, 2015 at 6:43 am

He added that one passage in the Bible, the Magnificat or the Song of Mary is so revolutionary he was surprised it was not banned as un-American during the McCarthy era.

His comments came as he took part in a conference at the Trinity Wall Street church in New York discussing the idea of the common good.

In an address on whether inequality matters, he argued that a message of basic equality can be traced through the Bible from the Garden of Eden to the New Testament accounts of the early church.

He said that although wealth is, in some parts of the Bible, viewed as a blessing, in others it is linked to corruption but that overall there was no right to be rich.

He added that some people had labelled passages in the Book of Acts, talking about wealth being shared between the early Christians, as communist but said this was untrue because the common ownership in the Bible was voluntary not obligatory.

Looking ahead to the next 40 years, he said: In an era in which we will see the growth of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and gene therapies, economists like Lawrence Summers foresee growing inequalities between the small minority who can maximise the benefits of new technology and the large majority who will see only stagnation in income.

We face the challenge of a society in which inequality of education or health or opportunity becomes and continues to be a life sentence to poverty.

And that is the challenge which is exactly the one that we find the prophets so concerned about.

Mr Summers wrote last year that the devastating consequences of robots and technologies like 3D printing replacing human workers would become the main story in economics and politics in years to come.

The Archbishop said: The theological understanding is that wealth is always in danger of corrupting its holders in most cases, and the corrupted become too powerful.

Welby: Artificial Intelligence and gene therapy could hand super-rich ever more power

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