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Guiding Principles for the Church of Jesus Christ’s Use of Artificial Intelligence

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Emergent technologies including in construction, communication, and transportation have allowed the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to reach out to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the latest tool to help the message of Christ spread throughout the earth.

Knowing that the proper use of AI will help the Church accomplish God’s work of salvation and exaltation, the Church has issued the following guiding principles for using AI. These were introduced to employees of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, by Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (co-chair of the Church Communication Committee) and Elder John C. Pingree of the Seventy (executive director of the Correlation Department).

“We can create appropriate balances in our perceptions, plans, and implementation of generative AI that are realistic both of opportunity and challenge — put another way, that are neither giddy nor alarmist,” Elder Gong said of these principles.

Spiritual Connection

  • The Church will use artificial intelligence to support and not supplant connection between God and His children.
  • The Church will use artificial intelligence in positive, helpful, and uplifting ways that maintain the honesty, integrity, ethics, values, and standards of the Church.

Transparency

  • People interacting with the Church will understand when they are interfacing with artificial intelligence.
  • The Church will provide attribution for content created with artificial intelligence when the authenticity, accuracy, or authorship of the content could be misunderstood or misleading.

Privacy and Security

  • The Church’s use of artificial intelligence will safeguard sacred and personal information.

Accountability

  • The Church will use artificial intelligence in a manner consistent with the policies of the Church and all applicable laws.
  • The Church will be measured and deliberate in its use of artificial intelligence by regularly testing and reviewing outputs to help ensure accuracy, truthfulness, and compliance.

“The guiding principles are intended to support the responsible use of AI by the Church workforce,” Elder Pingree said. “These principles may also be helpful for members and friends of the Church as they navigate a world changing due to AI.”

The Church of Jesus Christ sees several opportunities with AI including in family history work, accelerating and automating processes, and great potential for language translation and interpretation. Generative AI may also offer natural language queries and prompts to help Latter-day Saints find current, accurate information from designated, grounded, and approved Church sources, such as ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

“Overall, I am optimistic about our ability to use these AI technologies wisely and effectively, and to protect Church members and friends from deceitfully spread falsehoods or untruth,” Elder Gong said.

Elder Gong acknowledged that some people will weaponize AI tools. Of particular concern are deepfakes, the fictitious or malicious use of someone’s name, image, and likeness. These are most likely to happen to people — such as Church leaders — who have a recognizable face and voice, a significant amount of video and audio in the public domain, and known and motivated antagonists.

Elder Gong said reliance on the Holy Spirit, wisdom and trusted sources can help inoculate against deepfakes.

The Holy Spirit

“‘Light and truth’ are a scriptural definition of intelligence,” Elder Gong said, speaking of Doctrine and Covenants 93:36. “While generative artificial intelligence may be quick to offer information, it can never replace revelation or generate truth. If something does not feel right or is inconsistent with what you know is true, seek to discern before believing.”

Wisdom

“Wisdom,” the Apostle said, “helps us use knowledge, experience, and judgment to make good decisions. The scriptures remind us: ‘blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom’ (2 Nephi 28:30). Draw from your experiences and apply wisdom to know what is true.”

Trusted Sources

Because so many voices vie for our attention, it is critical we “anchor ourselves with trusted sources of truth,” Elder Gong said. These include “the Holy Ghost, scriptures, words of the prophets, and the Church’s authoritative website, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.”

The Church of Jesus Christ will, as needed, address deceitful content through official Church channels.

Elder Gong gave two cautions for employees and service missionaries as they use AI in their work. First, he said, they should avoid the temptation to use the speed and simplicity of AI to oversaturate Church members with audio and visual content. Second, he said, is a reminder that the restored Church of Jesus Christ is not primarily a purveyor of information but a source of God’s truth.

“The Holy Ghost only attests to truth,” Elder Gong said. “The Holy Ghost must always be able to attest to the truth and authenticity of all we say and share both in our form and in our content.”

Elder Gong said he is optimistic the Church of Jesus Christ can use AI tools wisely and effectively and protect Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith from deception.

“As employees and missionary volunteers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you have opportunity to learn about, understand, and apply artificial intelligence wisely, according to the guiding principles outlined [above], as we advance the Lord’s sacred work together,” Elder Gong said.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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