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Catholic Church and A.I.?

Last Friday, leaders from The United Nations, The Vatican, IBM, and Microsoft all met and signed an agreement to humanize the development of artificial intelligence. The officials signed a document named “The Rome Call for AI Ethics.” The document consists of six principles formed by the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is a part of the Vatican and is charged with overseeing The Catholic Church’s teachings and beliefs in response to global changes in science and law. The document emphasizes to have artificial intelligence be something that can work in conjunction with humans. The Rome Call’s main six principles are transparency, inclusion, responsibility, impartiality, reliability, and security and privacy.

While Pope Francis himself could not attend the meeting due to sickness, he was able to write a statement saying that while inequalities could expand “enormously” the dangers “must not detract from the immense potential that new technologies offer.” In Pope Francis’ stead, the president of the Pontifical Academy Bishop Vincenzo Paglia met with Microsoft President Brad Smith and IBM’s executive vice president John Kelly III. Bishop Paglia stated that the principles of the document should not only be known and studied by the experts on artificial intelligence, but by everyone. Brad Smith of IBM acknowledged the fact that much of the world is polarized, that it may be impossible to find a universally agreed-upon standard for the regulation of A.I since humans have never been able to universally agree on one thing. However, he agreed that having diverse perspectives issues form people from all around the globe was imperative for finding something in common ground with multiple philosophies.

Additional signers of the Rome Call document. Were David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, and Dongyu Qu, director-general of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.

This puts the Catholic church at the forefront of religious groups/ organizations when it comes to taking a stand on Artificial Intelligence.



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