This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The dangers of AI, or artificial intelligence, have been at the forefront of recent news headlines, with a large majority of Americans, as well as tech giants including Elon Musk, warning it could put humanity's very existence on the verge of extinction.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll this week indicates "more than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the negative effects of AI and 61% believe it could threaten civilization."
"There's some chance that it goes wrong and destroys humanity," Tesla CEO Musk told CNBC.
"Hopefully, that chance is small, but it's not zero. And so I think we want to take whatever actions we can think of to minimize the probability that AI goes wrong."
Even in 1999's fictional film "The Matrix," the entire world became a heap of ruins specifically due to AI, as Laurence Fishburne's character Morpheus tells Neo, played by Keanu Reeves: "What we know for certain is that at some point in the early 21st century, all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI."
But might there be a biblical connection to AI?
The answer is yes, according to a popular author known for illuminating Scriptures.
"Ai is actually mentioned in the Bible," says Joe Kovacs, author of the best-selling "Reaching God Speed: Unlocking the Secret Broadcast Revealing the Mystery of Everything."
"No, it's not an abbreviation for artificial intelligence. It's a single word spelled A-i, and can be pronounced like each of its letters, as in 'a' and 'i.'
"It's the name of an ancient Canaanite city, and it packs an incredible significance for today when we examine Ai on the spirit or metaphor level.
"This was a real, historical place, but it carries an additional parable meaning as well, since Jesus only spoke to people in parables, and 'did not say anything to them without using a parable' (Matthew 13:34). He, of course, is still speaking to everyone through every word in the Bible."
Kovacs explains the first key to unlocking the mystery is to understand the meaning of the word 'Ai,' which can be translated as 'Ruin' or 'a heap of ruins.'
"That's big hint No. 1, the fact that Ai actually means ruin or a heap of ruins, coming from a Hebrew verb meaning to bend, twist, pervert, and distort, all leading to ruin," Kovacs explains.
"God says He's 'declaring the end from the beginning' (Isaiah 46:10), so right from the start of something, He's broadcasting the end result, its future conclusion."
Interestingly, the author notes, the ancient town of Ai happened to be located "beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel." (Joshua 7:2)
"When we learn the meanings of these places, it provides even more clues," says Kovacs. "Bethel means 'house of God' and Bethaven means 'house of vanity (nothingness)' or 'house of plenty of trouble.'
"So Ai, the place of ruin, was closely associated with the house of vanity, nothingness, and plenty of trouble. That sounds a whole lot like our world today.
"And being east of the house of God is reminiscent of the first man being driven out of the paradise of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and even the murderer Cain leaving God's presence and moving 'east of Eden.' (Genesis 4:16)
"Like Cain, we're all wandering away from God's presence in the land of Nod, which just happens to mean 'wandering.'"
According to Scripture, Ai was the next city after Jericho attacked by Joshua, whose name means 'God saves,' the same meaning as Yeshua or Jesus. The initial attack did not fare well when it was discovered there was a secret sinner in the midst of the Israelites, a man who violated God's specific ban on taking any loot from the captured city of Jericho. In other words, a deceptive thief.
"That secret sinner was named Achan, whose name means 'troubler' or possibly even 'serpent,'" says Kovacs.
"Hopefully this is ringing some bells on the spirit/parable level. Who is the ultimate troubler of people? Which infamous character does the Bible identify as a serpent? It's Satan the devil, of course." (Revelation 12:9)
After the Israelites attacked Ai a second time, this time successfully, the Bible notes Joshua "hung the body of the king of Ai on a tree until evening." (Joshua 8:29 CSB)
"At the metaphor level of God speed, this is a preview of the execution of Jesus who, taking on the sins caused by the ultimate king of ruin (the devil), was famously nailed to wood, redeeming everyone from the ancient curse of death, 'by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'" (Galatians 3:13 CSB)
The apostle Peter also wrote: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24 CSB)
"So Jesus symbolically took on the role of the king of Ai, the king of ruin," says Kovacs.
"Well, who is the ultimate king of ruin? Again, it's another picture of Satan the devil. It's a real-life and symbolic portrayal of how Jesus paid the price for everyone's sins by having what appeared to be the evil one put to death on a tree. And now with our death penalty paid, we're now offered eternal life 'because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.'" (Romans 8:2 CSB)
"Now we know the intriguing meaning of the original Ai, the one that came before artificial intelligence, the one that projects a permanent heap of ruins in every utterance of its name.
"God may be using this ancient event as a divine hint, a physical example of what today's AI may bring if artificial intelligence twists, distorts, and perverts the truth.
"Our own vanity, the nothingness of our God-opposing arrogance, could make today's world a permanent ruin and destroy humanity, just as Elon Musk is warning and most Americans believe. The end has been declared from the beginning."