The Pope has joined forces with two of the leading technology giants in the AI space, Microsoft and IBM, in helping to create a doctrine for ethical AI and facial recognition.
Basically, The Vatican wants to play its part in shaping the artificial intelligence technology.
For the better.
And to that end, it has called for stronger regulation of the use of AI in new plan that was announced on Friday. Pope Francis wants to see facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and other powerful new technologies to follow a doctrine of ethical and moral principles.
Francis warned about the dangers of AI being used to extract data for commercial or political ends, often without the knowledge of the individuals:
“This asymmetry, by which a select few know everything about us while we know nothing about them, dulls critical thought and the conscious exercise of freedom. Inequalities expand enormously; knowledge and wealth accumulate in a few hands with grave risks for democratic societies.”
The joined document made public by the three parties, called “Rome Calls for AI Ethics” lays out a vision that outlines the principles for the emerging technologies, and calls for new regulations.
As you may imagine, The Vatican wants AI tools to be built with a focus not only technology, but rather for the good of humanity and the environment. It wants companies to consider the needs of those who are most vulnerable.
For their part, both Microsoft and IBM have revealed that they turned down business when they felt uncomfortable with how a customer wanted to use their technology.
For Pope Francis, though, this is not the first time he has weighed in on ethical issues surrounding technology.
All for a good cause!