This is a much more thorny question. All AI agents can believe things. Without beliefs, no AI agents would be able to make any decisions. Even simple logic statements are about belief. A is true. If A then B. Thus, B must also be true. Faith, however, is belief in something that you can't logically prove. A is true. Why would an AI believe that B is also true if there is no statement along the lines of ďIf A then B?Ē
Fuzzy logic, something popular with many AI programmers today, has a possible solution for this. It discusses likelihood. B has a history of being true if A is true. A is true. B? Likely true. The reason this distinction is important is because it brings in the possibility of oneís experiences affecting oneís beliefs. If you drop a coin into water, it sinks to the bottom. Does that happen every time? You canít know that if youíve done it only once. But if youíve done it 99 times, you can say that itís very likely that the coin will sink. Yet thereís always the chance that on the 100th try, the coin will float (absent any knowledge of physics that would explain why itís sinking.)
Yet there is a difference between saying that something is very likely and that something is certain. For instance, I have faith in God. I have no doubt that He exists. Why? Because He came down from Heaven and BBQed an unbeliever before my eyes? Hardly. So what logical reason do I have to believe that God exists? I donít have one. My belief is rooted in my experiences, but nothing I experienced (and Iíve experienced a lot) is definitive proof that God exists. Yet I still believe. Could an AI agent believe given the same set of experiences? I canít say. Certainly not with todayís technology. With future technology? I donít know. I can only hope so, which leads me to the next topic...Next: Can it have hope?