Anxiety Makes Humanity Unique

Eric Chinski at the Paris Review, has a great interview with Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive.

The article is a fascinating look at the interaction between humans, computers and AI (artificial intelligence)…and a probing look at what makes us human. Brian won ‘The Most Human Human’ award…which is basically this:

The Most Human Human is an award given out each year at the Loebner Prize, the artificial intelligence (AI) community’s most controversial and anticipated annual competition. The event is what’s called a Turing test, in which a panel of judges conducts a series of five-minute-long chat conversations over a computer with a series of real people and with a series of computer programs pretending to be people by mimicking human responses. The catch, of course, is that the judges don’t know at the start who’s who, and it’s their job in five minutes of conversation to try to find out.

But in the midst of this article, this statement jumped off the page at me…

“humans appear to be the only things anxious about what makes them unique”

What if anxiety not only makes us human, but what if anxiety is a gift? A gift that reminds us of our humanity. A gift that reminds us of our freedom. A gift that reminds us to pursue the God who uniquely created us. Created us to live with anxiety in order that we may continually seek after and depend on him.

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Rhett Smith
I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (MDiv, MSMFT, LMFT-A) and pastor to youth and families. I write about the relationships between psychology, theology and technology.