“I encourage you, in your deliberations, to make the intrinsic dignity of every man and every woman the key criterion in evaluating emerging technologies,” Francis told participants. “These will prove ethically sound to the extent that they help respect that dignity and increase its expression at every level of human life.”
Pope Francis was recently the subject of a fake photo created through artificial intelligence. An image of the pope wearing a white puffer coat went viral on the social media sites Reddit and Twitter over the weekend, with many people appearing to mistake the false photo for an authentic snapshot.
Both Francis and the Vatican have intervened on the subject of AI and modern technologies through speeches and conferences over the past several years. In his monthly prayer intention for November 2020, Pope Francis invited Catholics to pray that robotics and artificial intelligence would remain always at the service of human beings.
Technology has been immensely beneficial to humans, especially in the fields of medicine, engineering, and communications, Pope Francis observed on Monday.
Science and technology, he said, have practical benefits and are evidence of man’s ability “to participate responsibly in God’s creative action.”
“From this perspective,” the pope said, “I am convinced that the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning has the potential to contribute in a positive way to the future of humanity; we cannot dismiss it.”