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Rabbi Joshua Franklin ’06 on Artificial Intelligence and Empathy
Episode 43rd February 2023 • Challenge. Change. • Clark University
00:00:00 00:14:23

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Seeing the growing popularity of artificial intelligence like ChatGPT, a chatbot launched by OpenAI in November, Rabbi Joshua Franklin ’06, M.A. ’07, engaged his congregation in a quirky, but poignant, experiment. Franklin asked ChatGPT to write a sermon based on a Torah portion about the idea of vulnerability and read it to his congregation. No one could guess who authored the text. 

Franklin believes artificial intelligence tools will have implications across all industries. Everyone from doctors to lawyers to rabbis will need to evolve and develop their skillset. One way they can start is by focusing on empathy and developing relationships — something ChatGPT can’t do better.

“I think when we have meaningful relationships and connections with other people, be it in a one-on-one relationship, a face-to-face encounter, or a communal encounter, we're able to experience some kind of divine spark,” Franklin says. “Those are very human things that can't be emulated in the digital realm.”

Challenge. Change. is produced by Andrew Hart and Melissa Hanson for Clark University. Listen and subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Find other episodes wherever you listen to podcasts.