In the next two decades, it is very possible that we will see a Tower of Babel moment as biotechnology and AI/ML converge. Machine learning has demonstrated extraordinary promise in “learning” and imitating the patterns of human language and visual communication, even though it has no understanding of human meaning or intent. It is likely that this capability will be applied to the protein-building instruction codes of life itself—DNA and RNA. If AI can be successfully deployed to introduce arbitrary changes into this instruction set, it may become true of biotechnologists that “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
As with all techniques, this ability to redesign life, including human life, will inevitably follow some vision of the good and seek to avoid some version of evil. But currently, due in part to the scarcity of Christian presence in biotech, the ethical frameworks that are shaping biotech lack a “theological anthropology” that connects our view of humanity to what is ultimately true and good.
We’re looking for ventures shaped by a Christian vision to accelerate the pipeline of technical and managerial talent into these world-shaping and boundary-pushing fields, increasing the presence of Christian ethics in the rooms where much of the future will be designed. And because any Christian ethic places a priority on the flourishing of the most vulnerable, we are especially interested in ventures that go against the grain of profit-driven markets to protect and promote well-being for the materially poor and those historically neglected by health care technology.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.