As calls to take a cautionary approach to artificial intelligence (AI) continue to percolate, a persecution watchdog is sounding the alarm on how the emerging technology could harm persecuted Christians.

David Curry, president and CEO of Global Christian Relief, an organization devoted to uncovering Christian persecution and advocating for believers across the globe, spoke with CBN’s Faithwire about the concerning ways repressive regimes, terrorists, and others might utilize the technology to cause further harm.

“The example that pops out that is a clear and present danger is China and their use of artificial intelligence to monitor the movement of their population,” Curry said. “They have a social scoring system which tracks church attendance and can prohibit children under the age of 18 from going to church or, if it can’t prohibit it, it will certainly punish you in your social score.”

He said this dynamic is already underway inside China, but added he’s also worried about what could come next.

“What we’re trying to raise the alarm on is the effects that will grow as more and more of these artificial intelligence technologies come online — the way in which the biases and assumptions that are built into this predictive modeling could affect religious faith,” Curry said. “We’re focused right now on the persecution of Christians, the monitoring of Christian activity, the censorship of worship services, pastors posting of videos — all the various implications of artificial intelligence.”

Among Curry’s concerns are the use of “deep fakes,” or videos that purport to show actions or infractions that never actually unfolded. He said he’s worried such videos — increasingly made to look believable with AI — could create new threats for the persecuted church.

Christians in many areas across the world already face retribution simply over stated claims; deep fakes could up the ante on their suffering and the associated threats underpinning such claims. Watch Curry describe a number of other concerns as well.

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