Pope calls for treaty regulating AI, warning of potential for ‘technological dictatorship’

Dec 18, 2023Global Alliance for Digital Governance

Pope Francis has called for an international treaty to regulate the use of Artificial Intelligence, warning that the new technology risks causing a “technological dictatorship” which would threaten peace and democracy.

The 86-year-old pontiff says he wants world leaders to agree to a “binding international treaty” on AI developed within an ethical framework. Francis made the appeal in his annual message for the World Day of Peace which is marked by the Catholic Church every January 1.

“The unique human capacity for moral judgment and ethical decision-making is more than a complex collection of algorithms, and that capacity cannot be reduced to programming a machine, which as ‘intelligent’ as it may be, remains a machine,” Francis wrote.

“Any number of urgent questions need to be asked. What will be the consequences, in the medium and long term, of these new digital technologies? And what impact will they have on individual lives and on societies, on international stability and peace?”

The pope issued a strong warning against AI-controlled weapons systems which he called a “cause for grave ethical concern” while also raising alarm about the misuse of technology including “interference in elections, the rise of a surveillance society” and growing inequalities.

“All these factors risk fuelling conflicts and hindering peace,” the pope said.

Despite his cautious message, Francis did praise the “impressive achievements of science and technology,” insisting that AI also offers “exciting opportunities.”

Read the article in full here: https://edition.cnn.com/2023/12/14/tech/pope-francis-ai-warning-technological-dictatorship/index.html

Looking ahead to 2024, Boston Global Forum will develop a special report and organize a conference that will bring together spiritual leaders and esteemed religious figures. This gathering aims to deepen the exploration and development of spiritual values for AIWS, marking a significant milestone in the journey toward an ethically grounded and enlightened AI World Society.