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Pope Francis declares AI learning ‘positive’ to ‘future of humanity’ if used ‘ethically & responsibly’

During a recent tech summit at the Vatican, Pope Francis claimed that artificial intelligence tech will be "positive" for humanity if used "responsibly."

During a recent science and technology summit at the Vatican, Pope Francis claimed that artificial intelligence and machine learning technology will be a boon for human development, provided that researchers and engineers act "responsibly" and in awareness of human dignity.

"From this perspective, I am convinced that the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning has the potential to contribute in a positive way to the future of humanity," Pope Francis claimed. 

The pope’s words come as the tech, including popular new artificial intelligence chatbot "ChatGPT," becomes increasingly relevant online and in our everyday lives.

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The Holy Father discussed AI while speaking at the "Minerva Dialogues" on Monday, an annual gathering of world-renowned scientists, researchers, business leaders, lawyers and philosophers at the Vatican, brought together "with the aim of studying and fostering greater awareness of the social and cultural impact of digital technologies, particularly artificial intelligence," Vatican News stated. 

Addressing this gathering, the pontiff expressed his belief that burgeoning AI tech will be a positive force to humanity based on the fact that science and technology have been "immensely beneficial" to humanity throughout history.

He also added that technological developments are "evidence of the creativity of human beings and the nobility of their vocation to participate responsibly in God's creative action."

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As such, the Holy Father claimed that AI and machine learning can be another one of these beneficial tools for humanity. He told those gathered at the summit, "From this perspective, I am convinced that the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning has the potential to contribute in a positive way to the future of humanity." 

Of course, the head of the Roman Catholic Church acknowledged that this new technology will only be beneficial to mankind if it is developed and used "ethically and responsibly." He said, "At the same time. I am certain that this potential will be realized only if there is a constant and consistent commitment on the part of those developing these technologies to act ethically and responsibly."

He stressed the need for developers to keep the truth of intrinsic human dignity in their mind as they develop such new tech, saying, "I would therefore encourage you, in your deliberations, to make the intrinsic dignity of every man and woman the key criterion in evaluating emerging technologies; these will prove ethically sound to the extent that they help respect that dignity and increase its expression at every level of human life."

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Francis stressed that development processes should "respect such values as inclusion, transparency, security, equity, privacy and reliability" and noted that organizations regulating AI tech should do so in a way that they "promote genuine progress, contributing, that is, to a better world and an integrally higher quality of life."

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