Pope Francis recently tackled the potential benefits of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology during a science and technology summit at the Vatican. The pope emphasized the need for the responsible development of these technologies and for engineers to prioritize human dignity.
According to the pope, if researchers and engineers approach artificial intelligence and machine learning technology responsibly, it can positively impact humanity’s future. This is especially relevant as these technologies, such as the popular chatbot “ChatGPT,” continue to become more prevalent in our everyday lives.
Responsible Development and Responsible Use of AI is a Must, says the Pope
According to the report in Fox News, during the “Minerva Dialogues,” an annual event focused on studying the impact of digital technologies on society, held at the Vatican, Pope Francis shared his optimistic view on the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. He noted that throughout history, science and technology had immense benefits for humanity, and he believes that AI is one of the breakthroughs the human brain has developed.
The pope expressed his commendation for the intelligence and creativity of human beings and their ability to participate responsibly in God’s creative action through technological advancements. He also stressed the importance of using AI in ways that respect human dignity and promote the common good.
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Pope Francis’ Commendation of the Major Help of AI
The pope stressed on the importance of ongoing conversation about the responsible use of technology, which he believes should include religious values. According to Vatican News, he expressed his conviction that dialogue between believers and nonbelievers on fundamental ethical, scientific, and artistic questions and the search for the meaning of life can lead to peace and integral human development.
Pope Francis acknowledged the immense practical benefits technology has brought to humanity, particularly in fields such as medicine, engineering, and communications. He also sees these advancements as a testament to human creativity and the responsibility to participate in God’s creative action in a responsible manner.
AI Might Increase Inequality, Calling for Responsible Use
The pope also expressed concern about the potential for digital technologies to increase inequality worldwide. In the article in Interaksyon, he emphasized that human dignity cannot be measured by data alone and cautioned against delegating important social and economic decisions to algorithms that process data collected surreptitiously on an individual’s behavior and makeup.
According to the Pope, this data can be contaminated by societal prejudices and preconceptions. A person’s past behavior should not be used to deny them the opportunity to change, grow, and contribute to society. He warned that algorithms should not limit or condition respect for human dignity, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and the hope that people are capable of change.
The potential of AI to increase productivity and ease every human being’s everyday life is good, but the fear of AI domination is one of the things some experts and critics are worried about. Pope Francis’ words are just a guide, a call, for people to use AI in good ways, and developers must not go beyond developing computer intelligence to the point that they themselves get degraded by their creations.
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