Pope Francis Urges Control Over AI Programs, Stresses ‘Human Dignity Depends On It’

Pope Francis Urges Control Over AI Programs, Stresses ‘Human Dignity Depends On It’

Pope Francis challenged the leaders of the world’s wealthy democracies on Friday to prioritise human dignity in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI), warning that such powerful technology risks reducing human relations to mere algorithms. Invited by host Italy to address a special session on AI at the annual G7 Summit, Francis became the first pope to attend the G7 on Friday. He urged politicians to ensure AI remains human-centricm so that critical decisions are made by humans, not machines.

“The holy scripture says that the God gave to human beings, his spirit in order for them to have wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge in all kind of tasks. Science and technology are, therefore, extraordinary products of the potential that are active in us human beings,” he said, adding, “This is an extremely powerful tool which is used in many areas of action from medicine to labour, from culture to communications, from education to politics”.

“We can take it for granted that its use will influence in a growing way, our social interactions, our way of life, and in future also the way we understand our identity as human beings,” he stated further.

“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines,” Francis said. “We need to ensure and safeguard a space for proper human control over the choices made by artificial intelligence programs: Human dignity itself depends on it.”

Francis aimed to join global calls for stronger regulations on AI following the surge in generative AI technologies. He has previously advocated for an international treaty to ensure AI technologies adhere to ethical standards, highlighting the need for compassion, mercy, morality, and forgiveness in technological advancements. 

Pope Francis Engages In Bilateral Meeting At G7 Summit

On the sidelines of his AI speech, Pope Francis held a series of bilateral meetings, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and US President Joe Biden. He also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

It is to be noted that the Vatican gas previously taken a proactive stance on AI ethics, endorsing the “Rome Call for AI Ethics” in 2020, which was supported by major tech companies like Microsoft and IBM.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed pride in hosting the first-ever papal participation at a G7 Summit. “It is a historic day. We will welcome the Holy Father. It is the first time for a pontiff at a G7. I am proud it will happen under the Italian presidency,” she said. 

According to the Vatican, Pope Francis delivered his speech at 2.15 PM local time, followed by meetings with key leaders, including IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and a group photo session later in the day. 

ALSO READ AT ABP LIVE | G7 Summit: PM Modi Greets Pope Francis, Gets A Welcome From Italian PM Giorgia Meloni — WATCH

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