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Pope Francis speaks on the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence at the G7 summit in Italy (OSV News/Louisa Gouliamaki, Reuters)

Political action is needed “urgently” to develop a moral and ethical framework to regulate the use of artificial intelligence, Pope Francis warned on Friday. Source: The Tablet.

It is up to everyone to make good use of AI, he said, but the onus is on politics to create the conditions for such good use to be “possible and fruitful”.

Addressing leaders of the Intergovernmental Forum of the G7, concerning the effects of artificial intelligence on the future of humanity, in Borgo Egnazia, near Bari in southern Italy, he said AI arises from the use of God-given creative potential.

“It is now safe to assume that its use will increasingly influence the way we live, our social relationships and even the way we conceive of our identity as human beings,” he said.

Pope Francis, aged 87, is the first Pope to address the G7 and it indicates the depths of his concern about the issue, which has assumed equivalent importance to him as those of climate change, refugees and migrants.

“The question of artificial intelligence, however, is often perceived as ambiguous: on the one hand, it generates excitement for the possibilities it offers, while on the other it gives rise to fear for the consequences it foreshadows,” he said.

Reiterating some of his previous speeches on the subject of AI, he said it will contribute to the creation of a new social system characterised by “complex epochal transformations”.

While it could enable democratisation of access to knowledge, the exponential advancement of scientific research and the possibility of giving demanding and arduous work to machines, it could also bring with it a greater injustice between advanced and developing nations or between dominant and oppressed social classes.

He warned that AI is not human, but mechanical, based on computational algorithms.

In particular, he warned of the risk of legitimising fake news through the use of AI, and of the loss of a sense of human dignity.


Pope Francis calls for urgent political action over AI (By Ruth Gledhill, The Tablet)


Pope to G7: AI a ‘cognitive-industrial revolution’ that could threaten human dignity (NCR Online)