Volume 42 Issue Ten October 2023
Last Trumpet Ministries · PO Box 806 · Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” I Cor. 14:8
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
II Corinthians 4:3-4
When George Orwell wrote 1984, he imagined a world in bondage to an oppressive dystopian government. The population was always at war, news and literature were heavily censored, and a sophisticated surveillance apparatus allowed the government to constantly surveil all people. The book has long been considered a cautionary tale even as many have worried that our world is beginning to resemble Orwell’s vision. For example, “Big Brother,” which is a term coined by Orwell to identify an invasive government, is a term still used by many today to describe an authoritative power structure intent on eroding our privacy and freedom. If we make an honest assessment of our current reality, however, it becomes evident that the world that now is, along with the changes soon to come, is far worse than anything Orwell conceived in his novel.
Orwell had no idea that we would have the Internet, which has encapsulated the world in a web that transcends borders and language barriers. We are also on the cusp of monumental change as artificial intelligence comes to the fore and dramatically alters many aspects of modern life. Scientists have devised methods to grow meat in laboratories, megalomaniac Elon Musk is endeavoring to implant microchips in human brains, and we are moving ever closer to a global cashless society. If Orwell were alive today and could see what is happening, I have no doubt that he would think it’s worse than he ever dreamed it could be. In fact, if it were possible to go back in time and describe 2023 to our great-grandparents, they would likely say we have a grandiose imagination. In this special edition of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will take an in-depth look at artificial intelligence and some of the ways it could change the world.
AI’s Impact On The Workforce
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is poised to become one of the most disruptive technologies ever invented. Although we are still in the early days of development, AI has already disrupted the labor force, the education system, the entertainment industry, and the medical profession. The emerging technology has the potential to change the way militaries conduct operations and transform the manner in which wars are fought. Even religion is being impacted by AI. In other words, artificial intelligence has ramifications for nearly every aspect of our lives. Whether you choose to use the technology or not, it will impact your life in some way, shape, or form.
For those who have studied artificial intelligence, the number one question for many might be, “How will this affect my job?” According to experts, the impact could be profound. To be sure, artificial intelligence has been around for years. If you’ve ever used Siri on an iPhone, Alexa on an Amazon device, or have ever said “Okay Google” to your Android phone, you’ve already used AI. Nevertheless, the rise of generative AI, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has proven to be a game-changer because it is highly advanced, easy to use, and gives responses that are surprisingly human-like. A recent survey conducted by the Israeli firm known as Salesforce found that 49 percent of respondents in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and India have incorporated generative AI into their lives. Of those who do not use the technology, 70 percent said they would be willing to try it if they understood it better. The results prompted Salesforce CEO Clara Shih to say, “This data shows just how quickly generative AI usage has taken off in less than a year. In my career, I’ve never seen a technology get adopted this fast. Now for AI to truly transform how people live and work, organizations must develop AI that is rooted in trust and easily accessible for everyone to do more enjoyable productive work.” (1)
It is not just individuals who are using artificial intelligence. According to OpenAI, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the United States are using ChatGPT. (2) A report by the iconic technology firm known as IBM also informs us that 40 percent of workers in the United States will have to “reskill” in the next three years. In other words, these workers will have to learn how to use AI. “AI won’t replace people – but people who use AI will replace people who don’t,” the report informs. (3)
As would be expected, the impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce is causing a great deal of anxiety. “Anything new and unknown is anxiety-producing. The technology is growing so fast, it is hard to gain any footing,” said therapist Clare Gustavsson from New York. (4) Some workers are already anticipating being forced to change careers. “I anticipate that my job will become obsolete within the next 10 years,” said a bank teller featured in a piece by AFP. “I plan to change careers. The bank I work for is expanding AI research.” (5) A study published by Gallup on September 11, 2023, found that 22 percent of workers in the United States fear technology will make their jobs obsolete. This number represents a 7 percent increase over the same study that was conducted just two years ago in 2021. (6) Is this anxiety really justified?
There is no question that many jobs are at risk. In fact, a report published by CBS News indicates that nearly four thousand jobs were lost in May 2023 because of artificial intelligence. (7) This past July, Business Insider reported that an Indian startup company had laid off 90 percent of its support staff and replaced them with a chatbot. Summit Shah, who is the CEO of the company known as Dukaan, explained the rationale for his decision on the website formerly known as Twitter. “We had to lay off 90 percent of our support team because of this AI chatbot. Tough? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.” Shah claims the decision cut costs in the customer service department by 85 percent. (8)
News Corp, the international media juggernaut that owns such brands as The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Times and The Sun in the United Kingdom, and The Australian, Herald Sun, and Daily Telegraph in Australia, and book publisher Harper Collins (9) has announced plans to integrate AI into its businesses. “Momentum is surely gathering pace in the age of generative AI, which we believe presents a remarkable opportunity to create a new stream of revenues, while allowing us to reduce costs across the business,” said News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson. (10) In another piece published by The Guardian, it was revealed that News Corp is already using artificial intelligence to produce three thousand articles a week in Australia. (11) Next time you read the news, you might find yourself wondering, “Did a human or a machine write this?”
A recent survey of chief executive officers in the United States found that 49 percent of respondents admitted that artificial intelligence is capable enough to replace them. “It is clear that a lot of [executives] think that AI is going to be transformative. I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan. People believe this is big, and this is probably bigger than the Internet,” said Anant Agarwal, the founder of the online education firm known as edX. In an article published by CNBC, Agarwal noted that much of his time as a former CEO was spent on mundane tasks such as reports and presentations. He believes these tasks could easily be performed by AI instead. (12) It is interesting to note that economists at Goldman Sachs have predicted that artificial intelligence will replace about 300 million jobs over the next ten years. That’s about one out of every eleven jobs on earth. (13)
Universal Basic Income And A Cashless Society
If AI proves to be as disruptive and transformative as experts predict, a huge number of workers could soon find themselves seeking new employment. Interestingly enough, a piece published by The Atlantic in May 2023 suggests that the solution to this problem is adopting a global system of universal basic income. Under such a system, people would no longer be required to work at all but instead would be given money by the government for doing nothing. “Say hello to universal basic income,” writes Annie Lowrey. “A 500-hundred-year-old policy idea whose time has perhaps finally come. It is simple and radical in its design. The government would raise revenue by raising taxes. It would then distribute the money to everyone, in small amounts, in perpetuity, with no strings attached.” (14)
It’s not hard to imagine that those who are still working would resent paying higher taxes to support those who do not work. It’s also a safe guess that the government wouldn’t want to send out millions of checks every month. The system, if implemented, would no doubt require digital payments. Thus, a system of universal basic income could also hasten the arrival of a central bank digital currency or a digital dollar in the United States. American President Joe Biden issued a statement in March 2022 stating that his administration would “place the highest urgency on research and development efforts into the potential design and deployment options of a United States CBDC.” (15) The trend toward a global cashless society is undeniable. As of May 2023, more than 130 countries were researching central bank digital currencies, or CBDC. Meanwhile, in the United States, only 18 percent of all payments conducted in 2022 were in cash. (16)
Why should this matter to Christian people? Revelation, chapter 13, inextricably links the end times mark of the beast to an economic system. Revelation 13:16-17 tells us, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Whatever this mark ends up being, no one will be able to buy or sell without it. If people are offered free money, but they’re also told that they have to sign up for a digital currency system to get it, many people would probably do it. We know that digital transactions today are conducted with credit cards, debit cards, and smartphones. However, cards can be lost and phone batteries can die. What happens then? Without cash as a backup plan, some might opt to receive a microchip implant that stores all of the information necessary to buy or sell. This idea is not far-fetched. According to an article from The Hill published in January 2023, more than 50,000 people have received microchip implants in their hands. (17)
The Future Of Education
The implications of AI are overwhelming. While some may struggle to understand artificial intelligence - what it is, and what it is capable of - today’s young people and future generations are going to grow up immersed in this technology. To help prepare children for this brave new world, PBS is developing a television program called Lyla in the Loop. The show’s main character is seven-year-old Lyla Loops who will experience new and interesting challenges in each episode. “Lyla is curious and resourceful, and when it comes to figuring out solutions to everyday problems, she doesn’t give up, even when it takes several tries to get it right,” said Sara DeWitt, senior vice president and general manager at PBS Kids. Some of the episodes will feature plotlines that involve artificial intelligence. However, what will truly make this show different are the plans to produce interactive episodes. In these episodes, Lyla will ask the viewers questions which they will answer with a microphone-enabled device. Lyla, with the help of artificial intelligence, will then respond to them individually. Although it will seem as if the children are talking and interacting with a television character, in reality, they will be talking to AI. This government-funded show is no doubt being produced to prepare today’s young people for a world where AI will have a prominent role in their lives. The show is set to debut in February 2024. (18)
As would be expected, there is growing concern amongst educators about students using ChatGPT to cheat on their homework and essays. “The majority of the teachers are panicked because they see [ChatGPT] as a cheating tool, a tool for kids to plagiarize,” said a high school principal from Newtown Falls, Ohio. (19) Education consultant AJ Juliani warned that many students have started using AI because they’re uninterested in their education. “Many of them are just using it to do the work because they’re bored. They’re not engaged. They don’t care. And we have to own up to that,” he admitted. (20) Other teachers are embracing the new technology and have even started using it in their classrooms. Such is the case for one social studies teacher in San Marino, California, who is using ChatGPT as a teacher’s assistant. “What I feel that I don’t have to do any longer is cover all of the content,” he said. Instead, he uses the chatbot to explain some topics to his students. (21) A survey published in July by the Walton Family Foundation found that 73 percent of teachers had heard of ChatGPT, and 33 percent of them use it to find “creative ideas for classes.” (22) Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who helped bring the Microsoft Windows operating system to prominence in the 1990s, is very excited about AI and its integration with education. “I do think AI will be like a great high school teacher who really marks your essay, and you go back and think ‘OK, I need to step up there,’” he stated. (23)
Predicting the future is hard. Many past predictions have been wrong, so let’s hope futurist Tracey Follows is off the mark in her vision for the future of education. The author and professor of Digital Futures and Identity recently partnered with the tutoring platform known as GoStudent to publish a white paper on what education may look in the years to come. The paper is titled “The End of School as You Know It: Education in 2050.” According to the paper, artificial intelligence will begin to make inroads within the educational system in the 2020s. This, of course, as detailed above, is already happening. It is then predicted that AI will become even more entwined with education in the 2030s. “This decade will be defined by autonomous systems. The AI that entered the previous decade will now act in an agent role, working on behalf of people to carry out tasks, and communicate what we don’t have time to do as humans,” the paper states. It further goes on to suggest that virtual reality, coupled with AI, will transform education in the 2040s and do away with the need for physical classrooms. The paper’s most troubling prediction, however, is found in its vision of the 2050s. “This decade will deliver the promise of brain-computer interfaces. As a result, knowledge will be accessed more directly and immediately - perhaps by merely downloading it directly to one’s brain. In ‘hive mind’ mode, knowledge no longer resides with one individual but across the group, delivering greater knowledge more immediately.” (24) In the above scenario, individuality and the ability to think for ourselves is lost. The human brain, becomes merged with technology, and that network is then merged with everyone else in a digital collective consciousness. Humanity would essentially be enslaved by antichrist technology.
Hopefully, the above predictions will never come to fruition. However, it should be noted that the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, is using his company known as Neuralink to develop a microchip implant for the human brain. This chip, which has already been implanted in monkeys and other animals, is one of the early forms of a “brain-computer interface.” The Food and Drug Administration in the United States gave its approval to Neuralink to begin human testing back in May 2023. According to a report from Reuters published in September, human trials could begin soon. Musk, for his part, has said the implant could be useful for treating conditions such as obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia. (25) According to Time Magazine, Musk has also claimed that his brain chip will help humanity keep up with artificial intelligence. (26) Before anyone signs up for human trials, however, they probably should be informed that Neuralink killed about 1,500 animals during early testing. (27)
The Scriptures make it very clear that we as Christians are to surrender our minds to God, not to Elon Musk. In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus told an inquisitive man, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” The Apostle Paul also reminds us of the need to have our minds renewed by the Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:21-24 tells us, “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” We are also warned that we have an adversary who wants to blind the minds of the people. II Corinthians 4:3-4 admonishes, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” I have no doubt that a brain-to-computer interface would blind the minds of the people. It would have the ability to alter human thoughts much to the spiritual detriment of all who receive it.
It is my belief that the “son of perdition” prophesied of in II Thessalonians, chapter 2, will use artificial intelligence to perform signs and wonders. While on earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ became well known for His miracles, including many healings that he performed for the sick and infirm. Now, some are turning to ChatGPT in their time of need. In one case, a four-year-old boy developed chronic debilitating pain. He suffered with his mysterious condition for three years and saw many doctors, but none of them could diagnose him correctly. “We saw so many doctors. We ended up in the ER at one point. I kept pushing,” the boy’s mother said. “Nobody’s willing to solve for the greater problem. Nobody will even give you a clue about what the diagnosis could be.” Finally, in desperation, she turned to ChatGPT. “I went line by line of everything that was in his (MRI notes) and plugged it into ChatGPT,” she recounted. Amazingly enough, ChatGPT did what so many doctors could not do, and quickly gave her the correct diagnosis. The boy then underwent surgery to correct his condition. (28)
Artificial intelligence is also being used to bring us false Christs. In the June 2023 issue of the Last Trumpet, I reported that a new AI called “Ask Jesus” was being used to supposedly allow users to interact with Jesus Christ. Now another antichrist has surfaced, this time in the form of a smartphone app that also utilizes artificial intelligence. The app purports to let you “text with Jesus.” To make matters worse, if you’re willing to shell out $2.99 to pay for a premium version of the app, you can also text other Biblical figures, including Satan. (29)
In closing, it can be clearly seen that technology is changing the world in astonishing ways. Consequently, humanity is facing many risks in this present age. Thankfully, our God is able to keep our minds and sustain his people regardless of what the future may hold. In Philippians 4:7 we find these encouraging words: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Thank you all for your kind support of this newsletter. As always, we invite you to send us your prayer requests. Each request is always given individual attention, and we firmly believe that God hears His people. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
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01. The Jerusalem Post, September 12, 2023, By Zachy Hennessey, jpost.com.
02. Fox Business, August 30, 2023, By Aislinn Murphy, foxbusiness.com.
03. ZDNet, August 18, 2023, By Sabrina Ortiz, zdnet.com.
04. Newsmax, August 3, 2023, By AFP, newsmax.com.
06. Gallup, September 11, 2023, By Lydia Saad, gallup.com.
07. CBS News, June 2, 2023, By Elizabeth Napolitano, cbsnews.com.
08. Business Insider, July 12, 2023, By Kai Xiang Teo, businessinsider.com.
10. Sky News, August 11, 2023, By Daniel Binns, news.sky.com.
11. The Guardian, July 31, 2023, By Amanda Meade, theguardian.com.
12. CNBC, September 19, 2023, By Tom Huddleston Jr., cnbc.com.
13. The Atlantic, May 17, 2023, By Annie Lowrey, theatlantic.com.
15. Coin Telegraph, September 21, 2023, By Alek Hidell, cointelegraph.com.
17. The Hill, January 23, 2023, By Zhanna L. Malekos Smith, thehill.com.
18. The Hollywood Reporter, August 2, 2023, By Abbey White, hollywoodreporter.com.
19. Time Magazine, August 8, 2023, By Olivia B. Waxman, time.com.
23. CNBC, August 15, 2023, By Tom Huddleston Jr, cnbc.com.
24. GoStudent, September 4, 2023, By Felix Ohswald and Tracey Follows, gostudent.org.
25. Reuters News Service, September 19, 2023, By Mariam Sunny, reuters.com.
26. Time Magazine, May 26, 2023, By Sarah McBride, time.com.
27. Reuters News Service, December 5, 2022, By Rachael Levy, reuters.com.
28. Yahoo News, September 12, 2023, By Nikki Dobrin, news.yahoo.com.
29. Fox News, August 23, 2023, By Kurt Knutsson, foxnews.com.
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