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But while talk of a coming AI domination continues, some techies have begun leveraging the technologies at the base of the now-famous chatbot to fashion new smart systems. One of them, Andrew Miracle, has even created a virtual interactive agent that responds to its users with Bible verses based on their feelings at the time of the conversation. He’s called it ChatKJV, after the King James Version of the Bible. Andrew’s Bible AI, ChatKJV, has taken off. It’s been embraced by a large and growing number of people, who are pleased with its ability to help them with messages from scripture that inspire, comfort, or reassure them.
“The Bible has existed for a long time, yet nobody ever thought of bridging it into tech as I did,”Andrew says.
“I’m not surprised that the reception has been this massive; I’m however surprised by how much people love it.”In an interview with Connect Nigeria, Andrew Miracle talked about his journey in the world of technology and how he’s gone from modelling browser apps at an early age to developing an intelligent Bible platform.
From Tech Enthusiast to Product All-RounderAndrew is currently CEO of Tecmie (“Tech”- “me”), a venture lab that develops Blockchain, AI and SaaS products. He describes himself as a “product generalist” who is involved with engineering and product and has a technical background. His path was paved quite early on in his life. He recalls his first exposure to technology: playing with the ringtones of his father’s Samsung phone and tweaking its settings to his satisfaction. Years later, he would join online forums from which he learnt how to set up websites and model mobile applications. Over time, Andrew grew into a proper tech person—a feat he achieved through a combination of self-learning and formal training with professional courses. He recalls that he spent two and a half years outside of school taking courses in tech. That included a year of study at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST Africa).
“I did a scholarship program at MEST where as part of the program track, they got us a data science expert from Google who led us through a data science and AI curriculum.”Andrew took his learning a step further by participating in a COVID hackathon in 2020, in which he built an AI model that could attempt to detect if a user was infected using chest X-ray samples.
“After that, as a technologist, I’ve gotten involved in other trends before coming back to this current AI wave.”
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Building ChatKJVThere’s a good chance that Andrew’s latest AI project would have been something totally different from what he’s built with ChatKJV. He initially planned to develop a chatbot that was a younger version of himself, one with which he could hold conversations about how his life had turned out, or pose questions to. “ChatKJV initially started as an Avatar AI,” he says.
“So I already started working on the project sometime last November using my own data and not anybody else’s. I however hit a bottleneck; I didn’t know so much about life, and even if I created an avatar of you, your past knowledge won’t be enough to guide you when you need encouragement, reassurance of some hard truth.”So instead of a personal diary, he thought of an even better diary. About that time, he put up a post on Facebook which read:
“An app, AI that can respond to you with a scripture based on how you feel.”When he returned to the post, he found respondents asking how this could be done. The traction it generated inspired him to change course with his project.
“I thought of making it an AI that was based on the Bible and interacted like a human person—then a lot of people got interested! So I leveraged that same model to train something like a Bible AI.”The ChatKJV platform is currently web-based and can be accessed via one’s email or Google.
“It’s essentially built on top of a large language model (LLM) called GPT-3 which exists in various forms, but the current version that I have built works on top of GPT-3,”Andrew explains.
“There are a lot of Large Language Models (LLM) like GPT-J, GTP-NeoX, LLaMa and others like FLAN-T5, etc., all of which are large language models. But I essentially built ChatKJV leveraging GP-3, fine-tuning, and training the AI with responses and scripture texts as well.”The chatbot is capable of holding conversations with users about the life issues they face. It seems to assess the users’ mood based on their message and responds with a Bible verse that helps them in that regard. Andrew says that the AI works quite well because he’s trained it to be a “comforter” of sorts, by accurately engaging a range of emotions including negative ones.
Future Plans for the Bible AISpeaking on the public’s reception of ChatKJV, Andrew says it’s been greater than he expected. “Overall, people love it,” he submits. He already has some interesting stories—even touching ones around the chatbot. He cites the example of a supporter of the platform who lost a relative and has found comfort in the Bible verses shared by ChatKJV.
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Andrew plans to turn the platform into an app, however, in the meantime, work is being done to translate the algorithm to support Pidgin and Arabic. He says there’s also been demand from some churches and independent ministries to create a version of ChatKJV that’s based on their messages and sermon note
“We’ve started working with a couple of people on that, and we’ll then roll out with their app and then figure out operating ChatKJV at scale as well,”he says.
“But so far, so good. I’m letting things play out as they intend and letting God have his way.”
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