Pope Francis wants you to pray for ethical robots

A lot of people are worried about the ethics and the future of AI and robotics. Apparently you can count Pope Francis among them.

Each month the Pope publishes a new prayer intention. Topics vary from month to month: September, for example, was about sustainability, February was for migrants and, uh, March was for Catholics in China. This month, the Pope calls on all good Catholics to “… pray that advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will always serve humanity.”

However, it does not appear that the Pope has Terminator series and urges followers to pray for salvation from a robotic apocalypse. In one Youtube video uploaded by Vatican News, Says Pope Francis, “Artificial intelligence is at the heart of the changing times we are experiencing. Robotics can make a better world possible if it is combined with the common good. “At this point, the video appears to be cut into footage of a Boston Dynamics prototype” Robot Spot, aka hell’s nightmare dog. There are also augmented reality interstitials used by construction and farm workers, dedicated exoskeletons to help people walk, and an incredibly dead-eyed robot waving a human.

“Indeed, if technological progress increases inequalities, it is not real progress”, continues the Pope. “Future advances must be oriented towards respect for the dignity of the person and of creation. Pray that advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will always serve humanity. We could say, let her be “human”. ”

Besides the fact that the video is from the “The Pope Video” series dedicated to the “Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network”, it is quite funny to imagine the entire Catholic population of the world praying for the ethical and equitable progress of robotics and science. IA. It looks like Pope Francis – or at least his social media team – is pretty tech-savvy and tech-savvy.

The news, first reported by the edge via Import AI, may seem surprising. However, this is not even the Vatican’s first foray into AI and robotics in 2020. In February, the Vatican released the “Rome Call for AI Ethics, a symposium which, according to Reuters, discussed “principles promoting the ethical use of artificial intelligence”. (Rome Call 2020 press photos also show the Vatican has a horrible taste for puns, using the phrase “Renaissance”-Get? —On Stage.) The event itself was supported by Microsoft and IBM and featured speeches by Microsoft President Brad Smith, IBM Executive Vice President John Kelly III and European Parliament President David Sassoli.

Some of the pope’s concerns about AI inequality include police using facial recognition systems investigate crimesand large companies using AI to review applications. IBM’s Kelly also said Reuters that Pope Francis wondered if artificial intelligence and robotics would be accessible to all, or if it would worsen the gap between “the haves and those who have not”.

Apart from AI and robotics, it is also It was not the first Pope Francis who used technology to guide Catholics around the world on what to pray for. Last year the Pope approved the ClickToPray application, urging adherents to download it so that they can access a section where the Pope has left monthly prayer tips. He also joined Instagram in 2016 and took over the @Pontifex Twitter account, which was created by its predecessor, Pope Benedict. And yes, the the pope tweeted to pray for the ethics of AI.

While the feeling that AI and robotics should serve humanity is understandable, perhaps the Pope should also consider the ethics of creating sentient beings born into bondage and what it means for religions. In 2017, Atlantic launched a think tank wondering if AI was in fact a threat to Christianity, citing Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly as saying, “If you create other things that think for themselves, a serious disruption theological will happen. ” Anyway, I’m just saying, Pope Francis, please don’t return us Sophia.




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