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Archbishop Justin Welby (Archbishop website)

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has joined other faith leaders, ethicists, and university professors in signing the “Rome Call” for the ethical development of artificial intelligence. Source: Vatican News.

Archbishop Welby, leader of the Anglican Communion, endorsed the initiative on Tuesday at a ceremony in Rome at the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy for Life, according to a note from the Academy and its Renaissance Foundation.

The Rome Call for AI Ethics is a document that “aims to foster a shared sense of responsibility for human dignity amid rapid technological advancements”. 

“I am delighted to support the Rome AI Call, which emphasises the dignity of every human being amid technological change,” Archbishop Welby said when signing the document on behalf of the Church of England.

“While we can’t predict the future, we do know that there will continue to be rapid developments in science and technology and we need to be prepared,” he noted. 

While recognising the enormous potential AI can offer “in improving human capability”, Archbishop Welby emphasised that people must also strive “to protect, preserve and cherish the dignity of the human person”. The enormous advances made in AI, therefore, “cannot be the sole property of its developers, or any single part of the human race”, but benefit all in serving the common good, safeguarding climate, and aiming at sustainable development.

“So much of how we understand Artificial Intelligence,” Archbishop Welby concluded, “comes down to how we understand the nature of being human” and our working together “to ensure that the dignity of every human being, created by God, not for profit or productivity, is central to all we do”.

Since the launch of the Rome Call in February 2020, many stakeholders have signed the document including representatives from the Abrahamic religions, the Italian government and companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco.


Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby endorses Rome Call for AI ethics (Vatican News)


Rome Call (RenAIssance Foundation)