Alright, some vocab lessons first. Fatwa is a legal ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a qualified jurist in response to a question posed by a private individual, judge, or government. However, it seems that the religious scholars in the holy city of Iran's Qom want some help from AI to ease the painstakingly complex and long-drawn-out process so issuing those holy rules.

“Robots can’t replace senior clerics, but they can be a trusted assistant that can help them issue a fatwa in five hours instead of 50 days,” a senior scholar told Financial Times.

By the way, this won't be the first time that religion and AI have come together. There are already tools like GitaGPT and Bhagvad Gita AI out there that have gobbled up the entire Hindu scripture and now answer your moral questions as if you're talking with none other than Lord Krishna himself.

A cleric and a humanoid robot.
Credit: Unstable Diffusion

But the issue of fatwas is pretty sensitive, as they are not issued with high frequency, and it takes a bunch of seasoned scholars poring over research and hours of mutual brainstorming to issue one. Plus, we're talking about Iran here, the land where people take their religious beliefs a little too damn seriously.

Pushing a tech such as generative AI, which has a proven track record of being racist, psychopathically sadist, and downright murderous, is an unexpected development. Let's hope that an AI-assisted fatwa doesn't end up with two countries exchanging missiles.


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