By Benedict Mayaki
A workshop titled "The 'Good' Algorithm? Artificial Intelligence: Ethics, Law, Health", organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life is taking place in the Vatican on 26-28 February.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Fr. Paolo Benanti T.O.R, an expert in bioethics and technology, and Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, a professor of Industrial bioengineering, were the speakers at a press conference organized on 25 February by the Holy See Press office to present the workshop.
In their interventions, the three speakers touched on themes bordering on human and Artificial Intelligence (AI), healthcare, medicine and ethics.
Archbishop Paglia spoke about Pope Francis’ call to the Pontifical Academy for Life to broaden its horizons and revisit the very meaning of the term “human life” and how it is marked by emerging and converging new technologies.
He went on to emphasize the importance of creating an ethical movement that involves other actors like public institutions, NGOs and industries that are involved in reflecting on how technologies affect the care and protection of human life.
Fr. Benanti examined the different industrial revolutions and how the advent of the powerful computers of recent times have given rise to Artificial Intelligence which alter human cognition. He highlighted the consequent problem of human surrogacy by machines which have diagnostic capacities, and stressed on the need to infuse ethics into technology.
In her speech, Prof. Carrozza spoke on the importance of the application of AI to the field of medicine. She however placed emphasis on the necessity of education to ethics which will define the relationship between patients, medical professionals and technology.
The workshop is being held in the New Synod Hall in the Vatican.