What's Going On? March/April 2024

Digital Trends:
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

We have just returned from the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention where digital trends were the main topic. In the midst of all the knowledge shared we learned the truth about radio and its future. Radio is the number one reach medium, reaching more adults each week than any other media including television, print, and online.  That is why we continue to broadcast every day to thousands of listeners.

Now, let’s see what digital media has to offer for the ministry of sharing Jesus:

The Good
  • Opens up immediate communication with our radio audience.
  • It has created a new audience through digital media platforms.
  • Bible messages and studies are now at the fingertips of millions of people.
  • Diversification of content formats and channels.
The Bad
  •  The introduction of Artificial Intelligents (AI) for content creation and ministry.
  • Some pros: Research, creating outlines, initial draft, grammar checking.
  • Some cons: Lacks empathy and nuance. Lacks emotional intelligence (Connectedness, empathy). Bias is decidedly secular. Most importantly, lacks the Holy Spirit.
The Ugly
  • Some ministries are relying on AI for sermon preparation and content creation.
  •  It may help overcome writer’s block, spur creativity, and increase output but, using ChatGPT and other AI tools must come with a WARNING.
  • Knowledge base is not only secular but decidedly anti-Christian because of the humans that trained the model.
  • Anything that goes into these engines is no longer yours. OpenAI collects data from ChatGPT users to train and fine-tune the service further.
  • OpenAI acknowledges that ChatGPT "sometimes writes plausible sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers".
  • Cannot cite it’s sources accurately. Always check against credible sources.
  •  In an article for The New Yorker, science fiction writer Ted Chiang compared ChatGPT and other LLMs (Large Language Models) to a lossy JPEG picture:
  • “Think of ChatGPT as a blurry JPEG of all the text on the Web. It retains much of the information on the Web, in the same way, that a JPEG retains much of the information of a higher-resolution image, but, if you're looking for an exact sequence of bits, you won't find it; all you will ever get is an approximation. But, because the approximation is presented in the form of grammatical text, which ChatGPT excels at creating, it's usually acceptable.

Source: NRB lecture by Ron Weber, Chief Operating Officer, Trinet Internet Solutions, Inc.

HOLD THE DATE: April 25th, Rex Morgan will be the guest speaker at World Christian Broadcasting's Annual Luncheon and Dinner in Nashville, TN.

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