**Artificial Intelligence and Peace: Pope Francis Focuses on the Impact of AI**
Pope Francis recently announced that the theme for World Peace Day in 2024 will be ‘Artificial Intelligence and Peace.’ The leader of the Roman Catholic Church acknowledged the significant impact that artificial intelligence (AI) has on various aspects of human activity, including personal and social life, politics, and the economy.
The Vatican’s Concerns about Biases in AI
The Pope, in line with the World Health Organization (WHO), expressed concerns about the inherent biases in AI technology. These biases could inform critical decisions regarding health, employment, supply chains, and more. The Vatican emphasized the need to be vigilant in order to prevent violence, discrimination, conflict, and antagonism fueled by perceived or real injustices arising from the use of AI.
The Ethical Use of AI for the Service of Humanity
Pope Francis emphasized the importance of deploying AI technology responsibly. He highlighted the need for ethical use of AI to ensure that it serves humanity and protects the well-being of individuals and society. The Pope emphasized the indispensability of upholding human dignity and a concern for humanity to promote justice and peace in the world, calling for the reflection of these principles in education and law.
The Call for a Pause in Giant AI Experiments
The Vatican’s concerns echo those of leading figures in the technology industry. More than 33,000 tech professionals, scholars, and entrepreneurs have signed an open letter from the Future of Life Institute, calling for a pause in so-called “giant AI experiments.” The fervor surrounding this issue intensified after the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, prompting other major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon to also launch their own AI disruptors.
The Spread of Misinformation and Deepfake Images
The ease with which AI can spread misinformation was exemplified when an AI-created deepfake image of the Pope went viral earlier this year. The image depicted the Pope wearing a white puffer jacket from Spanish designer brand Balenciaga. Although the image was created as a joke, it quickly gained traction on the internet.
This incident is not an isolated case. Deepfake images of former President Donald Trump being arrested were also widely shared on social media without acknowledging their falsity. The creation and dissemination of deepfake images have prompted warnings from organizations like the FBI and the government of Ukraine. Bill Gates, who is cautiously optimistic about AI, has highlighted the risks of deepfakes and AI-generated misinformation in undermining elections and democracy.
The Need to Address the Risks of AI
The Vatican’s focus on AI and peace reflects the growing recognition of the risks associated with AI technology. Pope Francis emphasizes the necessity of using AI ethically and responsibly to protect human dignity and promote justice and peace in the world. This aligns with the concerns raised by tech industry figures and experts about the potential biases and misinformation spread by AI.
The Vatican’s decision to address the impact of AI on peace highlights the critical need for ethical considerations in the development and use of AI technology. By acknowledging the risks and advocating for responsible AI practices, Pope Francis and other key figures are striving to ensure that AI serves humanity’s needs and contributes to a more just and peaceful world. It is crucial to prioritize the ethical use of AI and address the biases and misinformation it may generate in order to create a fairer and more equitable society.