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Pope Francis Calls for International AI Regulation to Uphold Human Dignity

Image: The Telegraph

Pope Francis has emphasised the need for a binding international treaty to regulate artificial intelligence (AI), citing its profound impact on society.

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Image: America Magazine

In his sermon for the 2024 World Day of Peace, the Pope highlighted the necessity of ethical AI development to promote peace, justice, and human dignity. His message echoes concerns raised during a homily for the UN International Day of Peace last September.

Pope Francis Calls for a Global Treaty to Regulate AI

The Pope’s call comes amid AI’s growing influence across various sectors. He stressed the significant changes digital technologies, especially AI, are bringing to communication, public administration, education, and personal interactions.

“We need to be aware of the rapid transformations now taking place and to manage them in ways that safeguard fundamental human rights,”

he said. The Pope advocates for AI to complement human potential and aspirations.

Cardinal Michael Czerny of the Vatican’s development office warned,

“Artificial intelligence may well represent the highest-stakes gamble of our future.”

He pointed out that humanity will be responsible if AI’s development turns out badly.

The issue of AI-generated deepfakes, including those of world leaders, has been highlighted by the Pope. The widespread use of such technology led image-generator Midjourney to cancel its free tier after a viral deepfake of the Pope.

The Pope underscores the need for technology to respect human dignity and fraternity.

He calls for global cooperation to develop an international AI regulation treaty, focusing on preventing harmful practices and encouraging positive initiatives.

What Happened at the AI Safety Summit in the UK?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres also expressed concerns about AI deepfakes fuelling hate and misinformation in conflict zones.

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Image: The United Nations

In September, the Biden Administration signed leading AI developers to a pledge for responsible AI development, with other world leaders joining at the AI Safety Summit in the UK, agreeing to develop transparent, human-centric AI.

Pope Francis concluded by praying for AI to contribute to ending wars, conflicts, and suffering, rather than exacerbating global inequality and injustice.

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