Prove Your Humanity

When I logged into my computer program this morning, I was asked my name, password and a new item. “Prove your humanity. 9 + 9 = __.” To me, the answer to a simple math equation does not prove my humanity. However, what does prove my humanity? What proves yours?

There are many ways in which humans are unique on earth. Humans are made in the image of God and are capable of moral choices. Although humans are capable of great evil (e.g. mass shootings), we are also capable of great good. Humans can appreciate beauty, like the rainbow I saw through the rain showers on our lanai this morning. We can be creative. Witness the world of literature, art, music and theater. Scientists recently discovered how persistent inflammation can promote the development of tumors by studying Zebrafish larvae. That is pretty creative research! Humans are meaning-makers. People survived World War II concentration camps because they had something to live for, such as a planned project, book, piece of composed music or other purpose, wrote Victor Frankl in “Man’s Search for Meaning.” We are made of dust and yet, we are a little less than the angels.

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of England’s pre-eminent scientists, fears that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) may eventually create something that can match or surpass humans. “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” he warned. Robots with AI could not only hack into computer systems, but also overtake humans because they could act without any of humanity’s values or virtues. Most of all, they would not be capable of love, as we are. So, I think we should heed Hawking’s warning about AI and the future of the human race. Humanity is worth protecting.

For now, to prove that I am human, I will fill in a math equation. However, I think a better test would read: Prove your humanity. Fill in the blank. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is ____.”