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Pope Francis highlights the ethical use of artificial intelligence

Pope Francis addresses members of the Minerva Dialogues 2023 (Credit: Vatican Media)

Pope Francis urged the scientists and experts from the world of technology to work for the ethical use of artificial intelligence, on Monday in the Vatican.

Convinced of the potential benefits of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Pope Francis said, "I am certain that this potential will be realized only if there is a constant and consistent commitment on the part of those developing these technologies to act ethically and responsibly."

Pope Francis met with scientists and experts from the world of technology and representatives of the Church at a gathering organized by the Vatican's Dicastery for Education and Culture.

The assembly aimed to study and foster greater awareness of the social and cultural impact of digital technologies, particularly artificial intelligence.

"It is reassuring to know that many people in these fields are working to ensure that technology remains human-centered, ethically grounded, and directed toward the good," the Pope highlighted.

Pope Francis remarked that technology is "immensely beneficial" to the human family, especially in the fields of medicine, engineering, and communications.

"I am convinced that dialogue between believers and nonbelievers on fundamental questions of ethics, science, and art, and on the search for the meaning of life, is a path to peace and to integral human development," the Pope insisted.

He appreciated and welcomed the efforts of international organizations to "promote genuine progress, contributing to a better world and integrally higher quality of life."

"I would therefore encourage you, in your deliberations, to make the intrinsic dignity of every man and woman the key criterion in evaluating emerging technologies; these will prove ethically sound to the extent that they help respect that dignity and increase its expression at every level of human life," Pope Francis said.

The Pope underlined that the true growth of scientific and technological innovation must be accompanied by greater equality and social inclusion. 

"The concept of intrinsic human dignity requires us to recognize and respect the fact that a person's fundamental value cannot be measured by data alone," he stated.

Pope Francis reminded them to be cautious about delegating judgments to algorithms that process data often collected surreptitiously, on an individual's makeup and prior behavior in social and economic decision-making.

"We cannot allow algorithms to limit or condition respect for human dignity, or to exclude compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and above all, the hope that people are able to change," the Pope insisted. - With inputs from Vatican News


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