New Study Indicates More Fear than Hope in Regard to Artificial Intelligence

American Bible Society's 2024 State of The Bible Report shows uncertainty at the intersection of faith and AI.

American Bible Society today released the second chapter of their 14th annual State of the Bible report, which focuses on how the public views the use of AI, how interaction with the Bible affects optimism or pessimism about AI, and online church attendance post-COVID. The second chapter of State of the Bible 2024 is now available to download at

“Americans are more fearful than hopeful about Artificial Intelligence, but our survey also shows a great deal of uncertainty,” said John Farquhar Plake, PhD, American Bible Society’s Chief Program Officer and editor-in-chief of the State of the Bible series. “People just don’t know how AI will change the culture, but they’re mildly uneasy about it. And how do people of faith feel? The same way—uncertain, uneasy—but more so. Practicing Christians and those who engage with Scripture are even more concerned about AI than the general public, more likely to say the bad results of AI will outweigh the good. The greatest uncertainty is at the intersection of faith and AI.”

The State of the Bible findings come from a nationally representative survey performed for American Bible Society by NORC at the University of Chicago, using their AmeriSpeak panel. The data came from 2,506 online interviews with American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Key findings analyzed in Chapter 2: Faith and Technology

Levels of uncertainty about AI are high across the board, with 68% of the general public disagreeing with the idea that AI could “promote spiritual health” and 58% of people disagreeing that AI could “aid in moral reasoning.” Regardless of scriptural engagement or biblical allegiance, everyone is uncertain how a future with AI could look (pages 23-24).

Contrary to popular assumption, given Gen Z’s comfort with technology as “digital natives,” the data shows they are not more positive regarding AI than other generations. Gen Z are most concerned about how AI will affect their livelihood, fearing they lack AI skills to maintain their jobs (pages 28-30). In the same vein, more than half (51%) of the general public agreed that AI would bring about an increase in unemployment (page 24).

Those who are Scripture Engaged show less optimism about AI and more pessimism than those in the Movable Middle and Bible Disengaged groups. The Movable Middle, however, are more likely to believe AI might enhance their spiritual practices and health, possibly indicating a desire to connect with God and Scripture with the right tool (page 26).

Though controversy continues around providing online church gatherings, data show that online attendees are just as or more Bible Engaged than primarily in-person attendees. More than four in five individuals (81%) who attend church online and in person “about equally” are Bible Users, compared to about two-thirds of “primarily in-person” attenders. Moreover, continuing to provide online church services may be a tactful way to engage the Movable Middle or Non-Practicing Christians (pages 36-39).

Between June and December 2024, American Bible Society will release seven new chapters in the State of the Bible story, including research on neighboring, coping with loneliness and philanthropy.

To download the second chapter of State of the Bible 2024, visit

*For descriptions on how Scripture engagement was measured and reported, please see page 35 of the eBook available for download at

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