Pope meets participants in 'Rome Call' encounter, organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life and Renaissance Foundation Pope meets participants in 'Rome Call' encounter, organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life and Renaissance Foundation  (Vatican Media)

Pope: AI Ethics must safeguard the good of human family

Pope Francis receives signatories of the Rome Call for AI Ethics, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life and Renaissance Foundation, and applauds their efforts to safeguard the good of the human family, promote shared ethics and fraternity among all, and be vigilant against misuses of technology and artificial intelligence.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

While warning against misuse of technology and artificial intelligence, Pope Francis has encouraged using these tools in ways that safeguard the human family and promote the common good.

Receiving the signatories of the 'Rome Call' for A.I. Ethics in the Vatican on Tuesday morning, the Pope thanked the Pontifical Academy for Life and to the Renaissance Foundation for their commitment in promoting, through the Rome Call initiative, "a shared ethics regarding the great challenges that lie ahead on the horizon of artificial intelligence."

The Call for AI Ethics

The Call for AI Ethics is a document that was signed by the Pontifical Academy for Life, Microsoft, IBM, FAO and the Ministry of Innovation, a part of the Italian government, in Rome on 28 Feb. 2020 to promote an ethical approach to artificial intelligence.

The idea behind it was to promote a sense of shared responsibility among international organizations, governments, institutions and the private sector in an effort to create a future in which digital innovation and technological progress grant mankind its centrality.

Pointing to a new algor-ethics, the signatories committed to request "the development of an artificial intelligence that serves every person and humanity as a whole; that respects the dignity of the human person, so that every individual can benefit from the advances of technology; and that does not have as its sole goal greater profit or the gradual replacement of people in the workplace."

Shared ethics and fraternity

In this morning's audience, the Pope thanked the participants, and expressed delight in seeing new involvement of Jewish and Islamic delegations.

“Your concordance in promoting a culture that places this technology at the service of the common good of all and the care of the common home is exemplary for many others.”

"Fraternity among all," he underscored, "is the condition for technological development also to be at the service of justice and peace everywhere."

Increasing presence of artificial intelligence

The Pope recognized that artificial intelligence is increasingly present in every aspect of daily life, affecting the way we understand the world and ourselves, and encouraged them to continue in this endeavour.

He encouraged algor-ethics, that is, ethical reflection on the use of algorithms, to be increasingly present not only in the public debate, but also in the development of technical solutions."

“Every person, in fact, must be able to enjoy human and supportive development, without anyone being excluded.”

Must be vigilant

“We must therefore be vigilant and work to ensure that the discriminatory use of these instruments does not take root at the expense of the most fragile and excluded.”

"Let us always remember," the Pope said, "that the way we treat the last and least among our brothers and sisters tells us the value we recognise in human beings."

The Rome Call, Pope Francis noted, "can be a useful tool for a common dialogue among all, in order to foster a humane development of new technologies."

The good of the human family

“I express my support for the generosity and dynamism with which you have committed yourselves, and I invite you to continue with boldness and discernment, in search of the ways that will lead to an ever broader involvement of all those who have the good of the human family at heart.”

Pope Francis invoked upon them God's blessing and asked them for their prayers.

"May the Virgin Mary assist you and may my blessing accompany you."


10 January 2023, 11:06