Press Release

New technologies, “Rome call for Artificial Intelligence ethics”

“The scope and acceleration of the transformations of the digital era have in fact raised unforeseen problems and situations that challenge our individual and collective ethos”, stated Pope Francis in his message addressed to the participants of the international workshop “The ‘good’ algorithm? Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, Law, Health”, organised on 26-28 February 2020 at the Vatican on the occasion of the 26th General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life with the participation of COMECE. Pope Francis highlighted the “need for renewed reflection on rights and duties in this area”.

During the conference, members of the Pontifical Academy for Life had the opportunity to exchange on implications of new technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), analysing the matter through ethical, medical and legal lenses.

They highlighted the necessity to regulate AI on the basis of a human-centric approach, respecting fundamental rights and making sure that technology serves the human person and not the opposite.

COMECE participated in the event and presented its latest contributions to the discussion on Artificial Intelligence: “Robotisation of Life: Ethics in view of new challenges” and “Technology at the service of peace”. In its presentation, COMECE reiterated the importance of shaping EU policies in a way to guarantee the centrality of the human person.

“The ethical problems that emerge from the ways that [new technologies based on AI] can regulate the birth and destiny of individuals call for a renewed commitment to preserve the human quality of our shared history”, affirmed Pope Francis, who also expressed support for a serious reflection fostering dialogue between the different scientific disciplines indispensable for addressing these complex phenomena.

At the end of the conference, representatives of international hi-tech companies and H.E. Mgr. Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, signed the document “Rome call for AI Ethics”. The document lists a series of principles promoting “algor-ethics” and formulates the will to work together in the field of Artificial Intelligence at the national and international level, in order to make technologies serve the protection of the planet and all its people.