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World Day of Social Communications will be celebrated on May 12 (Bigstock)

Pope Francis has released his message for the 2024 World Day of Social Communications, focusing on the theme “Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom of the Heart: Towards a Fully Human Communication”. Source: Vatican News.

The message was released yesterday on the Feast of St Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists. World Day of Social Communications will be celebrated on May 12. 

This year’s theme is closely linked to the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace, which was devoted to the development of systems of artificial intelligence (AI).

AI is “radically affecting the world of information and communication, and through it, certain foundations of life in society,” says the Pope in his Communications Day message, adding that “these changes affect everyone.”

So, the Pope asks, “how can we remain fully human and guide this cultural transformation to serve a good purpose?”

In answering this question, the Pope notes that “at this time in history, which risks becoming rich in technology and poor in humanity, our reflections must begin with the human heart”.

He recalls that, in the Bible, the heart is seen as the place of freedom and decision-making, “symbolising integrity and unity, while also engaging our emotions, desires, and dreams.”

But, he continues, the heart is, above all, “the inward place of our encounter with God.”

“Wisdom of the heart, then, is the virtue that enables us to integrate the whole and its parts, our decisions and their consequences, our nobility and our vulnerability, our past and our future, our individuality and our membership within a larger community.”

The Holy Father goes on to stress that such wisdom cannot be sought from machines.

Although the term “artificial intelligence” has replaced the term “machine learning,” he said, “the very use of the word ‘intelligence’ can prove misleading”.

The Pope explained that it is not enough to be able to store data, like machines do, but that this data must be made sense of, and “human beings alone” are capable of this.

Artificial Intelligence must be regulated, asserts Pope Francis, acknowledging that, as in every human context, “regulation is, of itself, not sufficient”.


Pope’s Communications Day message: AI can never replace wisdom of human heart (By Francesca Merlo, Vatican News