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Pope asks world’s religions to push for ethical AI development

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ethical AI - The Catholic Weekly
Participants of a conference on AI ethics, including several representatives of world religions, pose for a photo in Hiroshima, Japan,10 July 10 2024. Standing front and centre is Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. (CNS photo/Courtesy Holy See Press Office)

Pope Francis called on representatives from the world’s religions to unite behind the defence of human dignity in an age that will be defined by artificial intelligence.

“I ask you to show the world that we are united in asking for a proactive commitment to protect human dignity in this new era of machines,” the pope wrote in a message to participants of a conference on AI ethics which hosted representatives from 11 world religions.

Religious leaders representing Eastern faiths such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Bahá’í, among others, as well as leaders of the three Abrahamic religions gathered in Hiroshima, Japan, for the conference, titled “AI Ethics for Peace.”

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They also signed the Rome Call for AI Ethics—a document developed by the Pontifical Academy for Life which asks signatories to promote an ethical approach to AI development.

In his message to the conference published by the Vatican 10 July, Pope Francis noted the “great symbolic importance” of the religious leaders’ meeting in Hiroshima and noted the increasingly central role which artificially intelligent technology plays in society.

“As we look at the complexity of the issues before us, recognising the contribution of the cultural riches of peoples and religions in the regulation of artificial intelligence is key to the success of your commitment to the wise management of technological innovation,” he wrote.

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