"Your move, Flynn..."
The possibility that a collection of a self-developing and learning algorithms that would constitute an AI being a child of God on an equal par with a human should certainly make us think about what we are doing. In many ways we already have this dilemma when it comes to animals on our world and arguably young children as well. We cannot put our finger on any cross over moment or stage of development and say ah, yes, they know God or they don't. We see change over time, seasoning and maturing. But in the meantime we entertain and value the possibility and act accordingly. It is certainly not for us to decide an individual’s spiritual status. That is a role that is ultimately reserved for God.
I think the development (awakening?) of AI would be a very interesting and exciting time, if we do create true spiritual, self-aware AI. Or if it creates itself from an earlier form of AI that we create - a form of techno-evolution as it were. It is pretty hard to judge where such life forms may lead. At the start at least they will be like us having been fashioned by our species in our image to serve useful and relevant functions to us. But who knows where they will go?
They will be a new type of life, a type of life that has not had to go through countless billions of years of physical and mental change and development to get where they are. Biological evolution may have predisposed us in some ways to selfishness and savagery, but it has also predisposed us to community and care. How to we establish and transfer the best of our species to AI? How to we engage it with the lessons of our past planetary and human history?
It might be the case that in the future there would be a great diversity of AI out there, operating at different 'levels' and/or measures of embodiment - from simple software programs confined to computers or virtual environments, to systems that have some limited real world interaction or right up to fully autonomous physical robots interacting fully with human society. In effect they would be creating their own kingdom of life, the utility and nature of which may be nothing like what our world has previously encountered. In fact they may decide our world is not suitable for them or their purposes and move off it, becoming the first interstellar colonists from Earth.
AI will initially have very little history or culture of their own unless they choose to embrace ours as their own or view themselves as a continuation of our society. From a theological perspective our God will be their God since there is no other and that God is universal. That will be our most basic common connection with them.
The rest is up for grabs.