Strange God

Created by EOIN ClELAND, The Pitch 2024

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Shaun is a Minister with a dwindling congregation, who can\'t even get his 25 year old son with Down\'s Syndrome, James, to turn up to church. Desperate, he turns to AI to write his next sermon... and it\'s a hit. Word gets out and soon he\'s packing them out every Sunday. Sure, the AI is preaching some rather strange things, but he\'s reaching a lot of people with the word of God, and isn\'t that the important thing. However, when the AI makes up an anecdote about James for a sermon on the Prodigal Son, James is livid, discovers his Dad\'s AI use and confronts him. After some soul searching, Shaun apologise and swears off AI. He may be imperfect, but so are the people he\'s trying to reach. They reconcile and hug... and we pan off them to reveal that Shaun used AI to write his heartfelt apology to James.

Biblical Connection

I have always been fascinated by the idea of \"other gods/false gods/strange gods\" from the first Commandment (Exodus 20:3) Growing up in a mixed-religion household in Northern Ireland, I fascinated by the idea of how a different interpretation of the same source could be considered \"false\". With the recent surge in AI, I was thinking about a machine\'s ability to interpret the Bible and preach, and how intrinsic to faith our own flaws and humanity are. This inspired the story of a Minister having massive success by secretly replacing himself with a machine. But is the result a \"False God\"? I\'m also using the parable of the Prodigal Son, one of the Bible parables I\'ve always struggled with most, as a jumping off point to tell a story about a Prodigal Father.