ChatGPT conducted a church service in Germany


At a Protestant gathering in Fürth, Germany, the chatbot ChatGPT conducted a church service during the Evangelical Church Convention. The avatar, a dark-skinned bearded man, delivered a 40-minute sermon, greeting the parishioners and encouraging them to leave their past behind and keep the faith in Jesus Christ.

The digital service was the brainchild of a 29-year-old theologian and philosopher, Jonas Simmelheim, from the University of Vienna.

"I came up with this service, or rather, I just accompanied it, because about 98% of the text was generated by the machine. I told the chatbot,'We're at a church gathering, you're the preacher. What will a church service look like?'. Then I asked the artificial intelligence to include psalms, prayers, and blessings in the text," Simmelheim said.

According to him, ChatGPT conducted a "solid church service," but it cannot replace a live pastor because it doesn't know its parishioners at all.