AI: Friend or Foe? A Christian Artist's Perspective

In this post, I discuss my thoughts on Artificial Intelligence (AI), how it has affected me, and how I am currently handling the use of AI as a business owner, a mother, a Christian, and an artist.  

Growing up, AI (Artificial Intelligence) had seemed something of the future, from a Sci-fi movie, or artist Heath Robinson’s imagination (image above). Talking to a robot as a friend, having a robot as a butler to help you get dressed or make your coffee, reporting information to you, or a supercomputer that has all the information of all the bad guys in the world. 
Well, fast forward, the future seems to be NOW. 2023 was a year when AI seemed to become an untamed animal released from its cage. It perhaps was already a ‘thing’ much earlier, but only caught my attention last year. There had been times I just wanted to avoid touching it completely and not 'go there', like how I have avoided Candy Crush, Twitter (now X), and even Netflix.
However, it came to a point where we were looking at each other eye to eye, and it was something I couldn’t ignore. Instead of contacting a friend, we don’t just Google, but the option is to consult Chat GPT, Bard (which has now evolved to Gemini as I am penning this article), and other similar platforms out there. Some may feel that AI makes humans lazy, or is an insult to human intelligence, while others are awed by how incredibly powerful it is.
AI is permeating all areas, from information to analysis, content creation, automating tasks into seconds, and also image generation. Many service providers now have Chatbots to answer your frequently asked questions, most videos can now autogenerate captions (and translations) in real-time.
In 2007, when the Simpson movie came out, I recall there was a website where I could 'Simpsonize' myself -- I loaded a photo of myself, and it generated a Simpson-like character of me. It made me look uglier than I’d want -- what can you expect from Simpson anyway? Yet to be fair, it created an image with some sort of resemblance, it was cool at the same time. Now this has been brought to a whole new level. AI can generate hyper-realistic images in seconds, which would take a highly skilled human hours to make. 
My brother voiced his concern for my future. He had tried some AI image-generating platforms and in seconds, he could command AI to produce watercolour-like images of tropical plants.
I gave it a go, used Freepik, an AI Image-generating website, and input this description:
Please create a Pixar-inspired image of an Asian artist of Chinese descent in her mid-30s, she paints plants and writes calligraphy and gets her inspiration from tropical plants and her Bible reading. She uses watercolour paints, colour pencils, paper, her computer and iPad. Her studio desk is in her living room with her 2 little boys are playing with legos and construction vehicles.
This was the result.
Messy desk ✅
Looks like me ✅ (somewhat..)
Children ❌ ...Perhaps because I didn't explicitly mention 'Mother' ?
I posted this picture I generated on AI onto my social media, and guess what? It generated more reactions than my previous 4 posts combined! These were some of the comments:
"what site did you use?"
"What command did you give"
"it looks alot like you!
Do I feel threatened as an artist? Of course!! It got me thinking that as an artist, Christian, and business owner, where do I stand when it comes to AI? As I penned my thoughts, it ballooned into this article!  
Some Positive Aspects of AI:
  1. AI helps us save time: By automating repetitive tasks and providing efficient information retrieval, AI can free up our time for more creative and strategic endeavors.
  2. AI can assist with communication: Some AI tools can offer suggestions for grammar, style, and even translation, helping us communicate more clearly and effectively.
  3. AI can break writer's block: When facing a "blank page," AI can offer prompts, brainstorm ideas, or generate initial content to help overcome creative roadblocks.
Some Negative Aspects of AI:
  1. AI struggles with originality and personal style: While AI can offer suggestions, it cannot truly replicate the unique voice and personality of a human writer (and artist). AI-generated content often lacks the depth and authenticity of human-created work.
  2. AI can hinder creativity and critical thinking: Overreliance on AI for tasks like writing can stifle our own creativity and critical thinking skills. It's important to maintain a balance between utilizing AI tools and developing our independent abilities.
  3. AI is susceptible to errors and biases: AI is only as good as the data it's trained on. If the data is flawed or biased, the AI's output will reflect those flaws, leading to potential inaccuracies and discriminatory outcomes.
My Reflections:
As a business owner running most of the business on my own, I am learning to embrace how AI can be like a personal assistant. While I still need to get help for physical stuff like packing, delivery, and production, certain areas, especially in technology, can be automated and it is a huge timesaver, so I can focus on what I am good at — making art, and leave automation to technology. I do see the importance of authentic connection, so I do try to put more thought into where I can show the most heart (e.g. a personal note), yet not wear myself too thin. 
I had been recommended to see AI's help to generate emails and social media content for me, however, no matter how much I 'train' it with my speaking style, I find the content created does not sound like me. When I instruct it to help me sound more engaging, it ends up being peppered with too many emoticons, exclamation marks, and words I would not use! 

I have to admit writing is not my forte, but I write blog posts because I feel I need some avenue to communicate my thoughts, and I feel more comfortable writing than taking a video or audio of myself. As I write this, I have Grammarly to help me with the spelling and grammatical errors and superfluous words to help me communicate with you. I have AI to thank for that! 

While I don't get AI to write articles for me, I use it to help me generate engaging titles for my emails and posts. My email service provider helpfully included a little button that would give me suggestions on how I could reword more Titles to make it less boring. I could even choose the tone I want, such as to make it sound more Friendly, or more Serious. 
As Christians, we need to remember that God is eternal, all-powerful, and all-knowing. We need to rely on God for wisdom, herald the truth, uphold integrity, working for the Lord and not for men.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

What AI builds is extremely powerful, but also temporary. While it is extremely knowledgeable, it is not always right. Let us remember that God's guidance is superior to our (and AI's) limited understanding. Let us humbly submit to God's will instead of relying solely on human capabilities. Let us remember to trust God who directs our paths 
As a Mother, my initial concern is that AI would make my children uncreative and lazy. I realised I couldn't avoid my kids' exposure to AI when their school included the use of AI in their curriculum. For example, the children are prompted to ask AI for more facts from a familiar fairytale and then retell the story. They also use AI programs to analyze where the child needs more practice in their Chinese and Math, and feed them more questions for those words.. it also monitors their progress over time, which is handy for us parents and the school teachers as well. 
As an Artist, I am still convinced that there is so much more value in human-created art vs one that is AI-generated. We are in awe of the Sistine Chapel, and the Mona Lisa, which took years to create, while AI art can vanish as quickly as it is created. I recently painted an artwork for my brother, it included a bible passage that means a lot to him, along with a plant we have fond memories of from our childhood. I wrote it with my script writing and brought it over a thousand miles to him, catching moments in between Christmas and New Year while on our family's first winter vacation to complete it. Describing the art-making process to the final completed artwork means a lot to us, and I know it is of value that can’t be replaced by AI.

What are your thoughts or fears on AI?
Has it triggered any thoughts regarding creativity, faith, and your life?
Drop me an email, or let me know in the comments below! 


  • I think AI is good to simplify and make things more efficient but we just need to ask God to guard our hearts that we do not allow AI to ‘replace’ our thoughts, time and journaling with God – or even creating something meant to minister to our target audience – cos if we do so, we may fail to allow God to speak to us. In every advancement that we cannot stop to make lives better, we need to pray that we stand anchored on the foundation of our faith in God and Him alone, not A1 or other substitutes. Thank you Emily for sharing your thoughts and even going further to bless us with this monthly articles. I pray that you will continue to enjoy God’s presence and anointing as He uses your talent to bless many!

  • I’m also hesitant about AI and these are good distinctions! Using it to assist you and not depending on it is a wise recommendation. (PS – I also like the spell checking!)


Leave a comment