Texas churchgoers get ‘shotgun sermon’ cooked up by chatbot

A church in Texas held a Sunday service entirely generated by artificial intelligence.

According to a report from KXAN, Violet Crown City Church in north Austin uses ChatGPT to create sermons, and Pastor Jay Cooper read about the technology and discussed how it works when used during worship services. He said he came up with the idea after thinking about what it would look like.

“ChatGPT launched with about a 15-minute service that was like a shotgun sermon,” Cooper said. “It’s clear that the human element is still needed. We’ve had to fill out additional prompts in our worship services and add some prompts to enhance our sermons.”

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ChatGPT logo on a laptop computer. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, has been gaining popularity in recent months. This service is used for a variety of purposes, including creating ideas and summaries for articles, essays, and books. You may write articles or entire books using ChatGPT or similar platforms, or you may use the technology to support your research.

“AI has so many different uses,” Cooper said. “The idea came to me: ‘What if we incorporated this into worship?'”

Cooper said he spoke with members of his congregation before trying the service, but some said afterwards that it would be difficult for AI to replace the human element.

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“I don’t know if AI can actually express emotions like love, kindness, empathy,” Ernest Chambers, who attended the service, told KXAN. “I think we have to practice love and express it. Not only do we feel love, we have to express it.”

OpenAI ChatGPT logo appears on mobile phone

In this photo illustration, the OpenAI ChatGPT logo is displayed on a mobile phone. (Jaap Arrians/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Cooper seemed to agree, saying that “that human touch” is “important” in both “life and service.”

Nevertheless, Cooper believes the experiment was an opportunity for both himself and his participants to learn more about what worship means.

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“The big question that comes to my mind when having AI lead worship is can prayers written by artificial intelligence somehow convey truth, through which we can experience God? “? asked Cooper.

artificial intelligence language model

This photo illustration shows Microsoft Bing Chat and ChatGPT AI chat applications on a mobile device. (Jaap Arrians/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Cooper said AI-generated sermons could pick up on elements that resonate with people and help open their eyes to new ideas and ways of thinking.

“Maybe something resonates with them and it opens their hearts. Maybe I’m not looking for something sacred enough in other parts of the world.” Cooper said.


Despite the experiment, Cooper said the use of AI for this service is a one-time deal and there are no current plans for similar services.

“I think the confusion of humanity should be present in worship,” Cooper said.

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