Unafraid to tackle the very latest possible threat to the future of humankind – so-called ‘artificial intelligence’ powered by computers allied with vast stores of data – Pope Francis – in ‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace‘ – has waded into the issue with a warning that international action is needed to ensure that only the benefits of this technology will be realised.
Acknowledging the power of all technology, including AI, to improve the lives of millions, the pope also sees the risks:
“Freedom and peaceful coexistence are threatened whenever human beings yield to the temptation to selfishness, self-interest, the desire for profit and the thirst for power. We thus have a duty to broaden our gaze and to direct techno-scientific research towards the pursuit of peace and the common good, in the service of the integral development of individuals and communities.”
He also sees the risk of AI being deployed covertly, to manipulate society, below everyone’s radar – and even to threaten world peace. Hence the need for an agreed international ethics of AI, as an urgent priority.
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