Head of Sufi group warns of AI at an event in Chicago

The Divinity School of the University of Chicago organized a conversation between the Moroccan Sufi Shaykh Mohammed Faouzi al-Karkari and AI expert Saad Ansari. The event took place on May 3rd, 2023, titled “Living Sufism and Artificial Intelligence: Exploring the Mysteries of the Human and the Machine”.

Shaykh Mohammed Faouzi al-Karkari is a prominent Moroccan Sufi master and head of the “Tariqa Karkariya” a zawiya near the city of Nador, in the northern part of Morocco. Saad Ansari is the Director of Artificial Intelligence at Jasper, a leading Generative AI Content Platform.

The event touched on the intersection of intelligence in AI and the Sufi tradition, the distinction between knowledge and wisdom, and the ethical considerations that arise when considering the role of AI in religious authority. The event also explored the definition of intelligence in AI and the Sufi tradition and the possibility of AI displacing religious authority.

The Sheikh of the Tariqa Karkariya spoke about the differences between artificial intelligence and living humans”, talking about “ the extent of human perfection over all creatures, let alone artificial intelligence, which is purely man-made”.

He said during the conversation that the “artificial intelligence has information, it does not have spirit or taste, and in human ways we reach the truth through experience and practice, not just through hearing or information”. “ He warned of the the dangers of AI saying “It is dangerous to rely on artificial intelligence alone, and to ignore with it the human spirit”.