The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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The John Stott London Lecture 2024: Authentic Relationships in an Artificial World


Thursday 14 November | 7:00pm


All Souls, Langham Place, London, W1B 3DA

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Professor John Wyatt on growing and protecting authentic relationships in an AI-saturated world. 

In 2024, AI-simulated relationships are increasingly being promoted for therapy, care, education, amusement, and even romance. A growing tide of loneliness and isolation and a pervasive sense of relational deficiency provide a context in which simulated companionship can appear a compelling solution. Frictionless, unfailingly positive, and consistent, the AI companion seems increasingly preferable to the messy and unpredictable reality of human interactions and bonds. 

Some 90 years ago, TS Eliot asked in his play The Rock: ‘Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’ Eliot’s prophetic words have new and striking resonance for us today. Yet technology brings fresh opportunities for the followers of Christ as well as threats.  

What kind of world are we creating for the future, and what will it mean for those of us who wish to be faithful to our Christian calling? How do we respond to our call to make disciples in an AI-saturated world, and what opportunities and challenges does AI open up when it comes to helping people follow the way of Jesus in the 21st Century?  

In the 2024 John Stott London Lecture, John Wyatt, Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics, and Perinatology at University College London, and author of The Robot Will See You Now and Transforming Friendship, will consider how AI may be redeemed from destructive and addictive tendencies and harnessed to support the nurturing and formation of Christian disciples for the future. 

In the tradition of these lectures, you can expect a powerful and prophetic blend of listening to both God’s word and the cries of our world, seeking light and hope to traverse through our complex times. 

The 2024 John Stott London Lecture is hosted by All Souls Langham Place, and organised in partnership with A Rocha, LICC, and Langham Partnership.