Tech giants invited to support ethical guidelines for AI

Fr Paolo Benanti (CNS/Paul Haring)

The Pontifical Academy for Life has invited the leaders of Microsoft and IBM to sign a charter calling for an ethical framework and guidelines for the field of artificial intelligence. Source: Crux.

Carol Glatz, CNS via Crux

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, and John Kelly III, executive vice president of IBM, were invited to attend a Vatican-sponsored event, to be held on Friday, dedicated to “human-centric artificial intelligence” and to sign a joint “Call for AI Ethics”.

The appeal will ask that particular “ethical principles be present in AI products that they develop, sell and use,” Fr Paolo Benanti, a papal academy member and Third Order Regular of St Francis, told reporters at a Vatican news conference yesterday.

As “an open framework,” the appeal is meant to be “the start of a movement that brings together people of goodwill to cooperate so that ethical choices, legal standards and appropriate education efforts make civil society capable of facing this new season” of a world increasingly impacted by AI technology, said the theologian and expert in bioethics and ethics of technology.

It was hoped the document would inspire other stakeholders – such as government bodies, NGOs, industry leaders and associations – to become part of the movement to give guidance to the development and use of AI technology, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the pontifical academy, told reporters.

He said the appeal, which they will present to Pope Francis, was necessary given the great need for “a strong moral drive to humanise technology and not ‘technologise’ humanity”.

“It is not an official text by the academy, but is a document of a shared commitment, proposed by us,” offering a brief and concise set of guidelines “for an ethics of artificial intelligence,” the archbishop said. The text of the document was to be released in full online at on Friday.


Papal academy invites tech giants to support ethical guidelines for AI (Crux)

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