If you’ve ever wondered about Jonah’s experience in the belly of a whale for three days, Solomon’s numerous wives, or Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, there’s now an app called Text With Jesus that allows you to inquire directly.
Launched in July by Catloaf Software, an app development company based in Los Angeles, Text With Jesus replicates an instant messaging platform, with biblical figures impersonated by an artificial intelligence program called ChatGPT.
The app offers interactions with various characters from the Bible, including the Holy Family, apostles, prophets, Ruth, Job, and Abraham’s nephew, Lot.
Stéphane Peter, the CEO and developer of the app, explained that they instruct the AI to embody the persona of figures like Jesus or Moses, which, combined with their database, enables them to respond to questions in character.
Catloaf Software, established in 2011, previously developed static applications featuring historical figures such as Text From the Founding Fathers and Text From Oscar Wilde. With the introduction of ChatGPT, Peter pondered ways to enhance the Text From Jesus app. He delved into OpenAI’s resources and transformed the app into a more interactive experience.
The app permits users to engage the characters on various topics, from personal advice to theological inquiries. Responses are elaborate and incorporate at least one relevant Bible verse.
The premium version of the app grants access to characters like Mary Magdalene. Some pastors were involved in the beta testing phase and provided feedback. Peter updated the app based on their suggestions to make it more conversational and Biblically accurate.
Sensitive user information is temporarily stored for the duration of the conversation and not linked to identifiable data.
The app’s launch on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) elicited mixed reactions, ranging from amusement to concerns about blasphemy and heresy. Peter expected such responses but sees the app as an alternative way to explore scripture.
Critics have noted that the app’s responses tend to be mild and inclusive, avoiding offensive stances. The app provides open-ended responses on issues like same-sex marriage and feminism, encouraging users to prioritize love and respect while addressing these topics. In other news, OpenAI launches web crawling GPTBot, sparking blocking effort by website owners and creators