Pope warns against potential dangers of artificial intelligence

Pope issues a warning about the risks of artificial intelligence

On Tuesday, Pope Francis urged a global discussion of the risks that could arise from artificial intelligence (AI), emphasizing its “disruptive possibilities and ambivalent effects.”

The 86-year-old Francis, who has previously admitted he is computer-illiterate, gave the warning in a message for the upcoming Catholic Church World Day of Peace, which falls on New Year’s Day.

As is traditional, the Vatican made the message public well in advance.

The pope “recalls the need to be vigilant and to work so that a logic of violence and discrimination does not take root in the production and use of such devices, at the expense of the most fragile and excluded,” according to the statement.

“The urgent need to orient the concept and use of artificial intelligence in a responsible way, so that it may be at the service of humanity and the protection of our common home, requires that ethical reflection be extended to the sphere of education and law,” it continues.

Francis admitted in 2015 that he was “a disaster” with technology, but he has also termed text messaging, social media, and the internet “a gift of God,” given that they are used responsibly.

Together with tech behemoths Microsoft (MSFT.O) and IBM (IBM.N), the Vatican called for regulation of intrusive technology like facial recognition in 2020 and promoted the ethical development of AI.


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