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The SACRU Scientific Colloquium will bring philosophical expertise to the discussion about the use of artificial intelligence (Bigstock)

Academics and Church leaders will discuss the impact of artificial intelligence at a gathering of Catholic research universities in Milan this week. Source: ACU.

Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor and Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU) President Professor Zlatko Skrbis will chair the 2023 SACRU Scientific Colloquium, to be held from July 13-14 at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan.

Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, will deliver the keynote address.

As emerging and generative technologies have entered the mainstream, AI has impacted the global research landscape and changed what is required of graduates.

The conference will help build a bridge between the hard and social sciences – bringing insights from the world of philosophy, law, computer science, informatics and theology.

ACU Professor of Philosophy Sam Baron will deliver a presentation on the opportunities and challenges posed by explainable AI.

“AI systems are being rolled out as a basis for decision-making across many domains of everyday life,” Professor Baron said.

“In many cases we don’t understand how these algorithms work – we don’t understand why they give the outputs they do, based on the inputs that they receive.

“The focus on work in explainable AI (XAI) is to identify methods by which we can explain how AI systems work.”

Professor Baron said the need for XAI is becoming increasingly relevant at the level of regulation, where there is a push toward enshrining the demand for explanation in law.

“There is a real need for philosophical expertise to help shape the development of XAI, and an opportunity to draw on a wealth of philosophical knowledge to better the outcomes for individuals in the face of AI,” he said.

The colloquium will produce a position paper that reflects SACRU views on the future of higher education and university research in response to new societal challenges and technological innovation.

SACRU is a network of universities dedicated to research and teaching excellence, engagement and global collaboration informed by Catholic social teaching.


Global gathering maps future for universities in AI age (ACU)