Skip to content

Search the site

Pope Francis calls for conference to discuss artificial intelligence

The Pope has called for an "open dialogue" around AI and its potential to damage humanity in an open letter for World Peace Day

The Pope has called for a conference to discuss artificial intelligence.

In a communique posted on Tuesday, Pope Francis sounded the alarm on AI and called for a dialogue on the matter, expressing concern that the technology could be used for ill intent.

"Pope Francis calls for an open dialogue on the meaning of these new technologies, endowed with disruptive possibilities and ambivalent effects," the Vatican said.

"He 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: injustice and inequalities fuel conflicts and antagonisms."

The statement comes as the Vatican announced that the theme for its next World Peace Day event will be "Artificial Intelligence and Peace."

The Pope then goes on to reflect on the need for keeping a watchful eye on AI agents and looking at the ethical implications of advancements in technology and how they might impact mankind.

"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," the Pope says.

AI might be something of a sensitive subject for Pope Francis, as the Pontiff was subject to some rather strange artificially generated images that centered around his taste in fashion.

The debates around the development of large language models (LLMs) have been going on for some time and any debate on the subject tends to drift towards philosophical matters. We will leave that debate up to the people that bothered to get degrees in those fields.

More practically, the recent advances in AI such as ChatGPT have for the first time raised the question of whether an AI can pass for a real bag of meat human. This is what seems to have caught the Pope's attention.

"The protection of the dignity of the person, and concern for a fraternity effectively open to the entire human family, are indispensable conditions for technological development to help contribute to the promotion of justice and peace in the world," the Pope said.