Vatican News
A prosthetic leg equipped with artificial intelligence at the AI Xperience Center in Brussels A prosthetic leg equipped with artificial intelligence at the AI Xperience Center in Brussels  (REUTERS)

Education in Algor-ethics essential to use of AI in medicine

As the Vatican holds a workshop on ethics in artificial intelligence, Professor Maria Chiara Carrozza describes how AI can integrate with human intelligence in the field of medicine.

By Benedict Mayaki

Technological advancements in the field of medicine point to a projected increase in the integration of AI in the management and provision of healthcare.

One open question in the field is how to accompany this important phenomenon with ethical guidance.

Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, an Italian industrial bioengineer at the Santa’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, spoke to Vatican Radio about the issue, on the sidelines of a press conference launching the Vatican AI workshop on Tuesday.

Guarantee human dignity

Prof. Carrozza noted that ethics is important because of the expansion of AI in our lives and its potential misuse to commercialize the data of patients.

For this reason, she said, we must “guarantee human dignity, human access to healthcare mechanisms and ensure that the data of patients is used for good and not for bad – not for business.”

Bias in AI

Speaking on the issue of bias in artificial intelligence, she said the diagnostic and decision-making capacities of AI technologies are becoming more sophisticated but are subject to biases based on ethnic, cultural and religious categories.

It is therefore necessary to understand the algorithms in AI and how they work in order to develop programs that follow human ethical principles, according to Prof. Carrozza.


“You use human intelligence, sensitivities, sensibilities, and ethical principles to take final decisions,” she said. “We must know the process that was used in the making of decisions and even enter into the process. This is algor-ethics.”

Work retraining

Finally, Prof. Carrozza said AI and the ongoing digital transformation will surely change the number of jobs available to humans, as well as the type of work done. She said the answer is to retrain workers.

“Education and training is fundamental in order to prepare people for such a digital transformation and the future of work.”

Listen to the full interview
27 February 2020, 12:44