Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

AI, A Handy Tool or Destructive Instrument?

Written by: on September 8, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has permeated nearly every facet of our lives, transforming the way we work, communicate, and learn. Like any tool, it can be used for good or can lead to our demise. Money is not AI but there is a correlation between the two because it too can be used to produce great things, help people, and most importantly, move God’s kingdom. It can also do a lot of harm and people can depend on it instead of themselves or God. I believe AI is a tool and in most cases, once a new innovative tool becomes available, it’s hard to avoid it. I vote for using it with integrity and as a way to save time and maximize an experience.

AI is a Tool

Why is AI being frowned upon in many sectors? I believe a few of the obvious reasons is because of the ease of abuse. The laziness of students or employees, and/or the lack of character some have when it comes to plagiarizing is leading to a negative outlook on many AI platforms. However, after watching the videos and doing research on this topic, I believe a lot of it has to do with regulating software and AI that specifically deals with education. I am not sure how this problem will be solved but I think we do need to create ways to utilize it instead of ban it. Banning something in a way makes people tempted to want it more. It creates a negative curiosity, just ask Adam and Eve. I am not saying God should have allowed them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, there are commands that require a “hard stop” on them. But I do think in ancient and modern times, if we tell people they can’t do something, they often want to do that exact thing even more. For example, drinking has age limits here in the U.S. that are more lax in other countries. Some argue that reducing the minimum drinking age in the States would reduce the harm of drinking. A central argument of the Amethyst Initiative is that the U.S. minimum legal drinking age policy results in more dangerous drinking than would occur if the legal drinking age were lower.”[1] This is highly controversial and I personally do not agree with it but there are some interesting points in this article from the National Library of Medicine.

Similarly, in Colorado, many of the most dangerous and scary roads do not have guard rails on them. I was nervous driving up a mountain for the first time years ago and asked a local why the roads did not have rails on them? He said “There are two main reasons. One, because when it snows the plows cannot push the snow off the road on those tight roads if there is a rail. The other reason is because it makes people drive slow and safe because it only takes one little slip to drive right off the mountain.” That made a lot of sense and was accurate with my driving experience.

CHATGPT, AI, and the World

ChatGPT seems to have all the buzz lately but I believe it is just because it’s new. AI is all around us though. I do not think most people realize how much AI has already been infiltrating our lives for decades. Is spellcheck not AI? What about Google, library searches, calculators, and GPS?[2] These are normal daily simulations that we have adapted to.[3] The videos and articles this week touch on these things and overall, I think we have a long way to go before we can normalize all these exponential innovations. Whether it is a tool, a guard rail, money, or ChatGPT, we can either use it correctly or drive off the mountain. I believe like most issues, it involves faith. We must stay in the light, live with the character of Christ, and utilize AI with integrity.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3182479/

[2] Michael Webb; ChatGPT-3 and its impact on Education, Video Content, University of Kent.

[3] David Boud; Assessment AI, 27032023.mp4.


About the Author

Michael O'Neill

Director of Operations / Executive Pastor at Kinergy, Inc. Federal 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. An experienced entrepreneur, leader, father, wellness professional, and owner of a multi-location medical practice with my wife, Nicole O'Neill, MD.

8 responses to “AI, A Handy Tool or Destructive Instrument?”

  1. mm David Beavis says:

    Hey Michael,

    What examples can you foresee of AI being a helpful tool that is rightly used? Are there any ways this can overlap with your project?

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thanks for the question. I’m not sure. I’m also new to some AI, like ChatGPT, however, I’ve already used it a few times like a thesaurus and it’s been helpful. As far as my project, I’m building a program that can be used in an application so in a way it is AI. It automatically sends users updates and notifications and provides detailed instructions and education. It has a search database for foods so users can track their meals and a number of other features like that. It doesn’t really create anything out of thin air but it does help provide a simple and fun experience. Thanks!

  2. mm Becca Hald says:

    Great post Michael. I agree with you that using, rather than banning AI in the academic world is the better way to go. It is out there and students are going to use it either way. Teaching them how to use it as a tool will help develop their skills to discern when and how to use it. I like your point that we already use AI in many situations. I am extremely grateful for the invention of GPS. Are there aspects of AI which you think should have a “hard stop?”

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thanks, Becca. The “hard stop” for me is plagiarizing. Using AI as a thesaurus or a way to gather a theme or idea is different to me. Taking words that are not your own and claiming originality is where the hammer becomes a weapon instead of a tool.

  3. Tonette Kellett says:


    You made a good point that we are already using AI in the world all around us, without even realizing it. I too use it every day in the ways you mentioned. I’ve grown quite accustomed to those tools. I’m sure I will warm up to the newer AI tools on the horizon. I love how you ended your post – “We must stay in the light, live with the character of Christ, and utilize AI with integrity.” These are words of wisdom.

  4. Michael O'Neill says:

    Thanks, Tonette. I agree with the character statement in more ways than AI. It goes for all we do…

    AI is everywhere. I was having a conversation about AI this week to my wife because she is so unfamiliar with it and I told her it’s seriously everywhere. Computers, programs, software, customer service, social media, Google, our phones. We have to learn how to live with it and use it the right way because it is certainly not going anywhere.

  5. Alana Hayes says:

    I had no idea about why there were not guard rails! That makes so much sense!

    As always, great post!

Leave a Reply