Pope Francis sounds the alarm about AI at the G7 summit.

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BARI, Italy (AP) โ€” Pope Francis on Friday challenged leaders of the world's rich democracies to put human dignity at the forefront of developing and using artificial intelligence, warning that such powerful technology could destroy human relationships. There is a danger of turning into a mere algorithm.

Francis brought his moral authority to bear on the Group of Seven, invited by host Italy to address a special session at its annual summit on the risks and promises of AI. In doing so, he became the first pope to attend the G7, offering a moral perspective on an issue that is increasingly on the agenda of international summits, government policy and corporate boards.

Francis said politicians should take the lead in ensuring that AI remains human-centred, so that decisions about the use of weapons or even less lethal devices are always made by humans and not machines.

“If we take away people's ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives by relying on machines to choose, we will condemn humanity to a future without hope,” he said. “We need to ensure and protect a place for adequate human control over the choices made by artificial intelligence programs: human dignity itself depends on it.”

Francis is joining a group of countries and global institutions pushing for stronger safeguards on AI, following the boom in creative artificial intelligence through OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot.

Argentina's pope used his annual peace message this year. Call for an international agreement to ensure AI. Ethically produced and used. He argues that technology lacking the human values โ€‹โ€‹of compassion, mercy, morality and forgiveness is too dangerous to be tested.

He did not explicitly repeat that call in his speech on Friday, but he made it clear that politicians have a responsibility to lead on the issue. And he called on them to eventually ban the use of deadly autonomous weapons, colloquially known as “killer robots.”

“No machine should ever choose to take a human life,” he said.

Addressing himself to the leaders around the table, he concluded: “It is up to everyone to make good use of (AI) but the onus is on politics to make such good use possible.” And create the conditions to be productive.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni invited Francis and announced his participation knowing the potential impact of his star power and moral authority on the G7. The people at the table looked quite frightened, and the noise in the room died down completely when Francis arrived.

“The pope is a very special kind of celebrity,” said John Curtin, a political scientist at the University of Toronto who directs the G7 Research Group think tank.

Curtin recalled the last summit that had that kind of star power, which translated into action, was the 2005 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland. There, world leaders decided to cancel $40 billion in World Bank and International Monetary Fund debt owed to 18 of the world's poorest countries.

The summit was preceded by a Live 8 concert in London that featured Sting, The Woo and a reformed Pink Floyd and drew more than a million people to show solidarity against hunger and poverty in Africa.

“Gleneagles really hit a home run and for some it's one of the most successful summits,” Curtin said.

No such public pressure is being exerted on G7 leaders. The Italian region of Pugliabut Francis knew he could use his moral authority to renew his calls for AI protections and to highlight the dangers to peace and society posed by the abandonment of human morality. Is.

“Talking about technology is about what it means to be human and thus about our individual status as possessing both freedom and responsibility,” he said. “It means talking about ethics.”

Generative AI technology has dazzled the world with its ability to produce human-like responses, but it has raised concerns about the safety of AI and spurred global efforts to rein it in. .

Some worry about catastrophic but far-reaching threats to humanity because of its potential to create new biological weapons and supercharge disinformation. Others worry about its impact on everyday life through algorithmic bias resulting in discrimination or AI systems that eliminate jobs.

In his peace message, Francis echoed these concerns and raised others. He said AI should have primary concerns about guaranteeing basic human rights, promoting peace and protecting against misinformation, discrimination and distortion.

On the regulation front, Francis will preach to the converted in some ways as G7 members have been at the forefront of the debate over AI oversight.

Japan, which took over the rotating presidency of the G7 last year, launched its Hiroshima AI process to develop international guidelines and a code of conduct for AI developers. Adding to these efforts, last month Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Unveiled a framework for global regulation. of generative AI, which are systems that can instantly generate new text, images, video, audio in response to prompts and commands.

The European Union was one of the first movers with its wide range. AI Act which is going to be implemented in the next two years. and can serve as a global model. The act targets any AI product or service offered in the bloc's 27 countries, with restrictions based on their level of risk.

In the United States, President Joe Biden issued one. Executive Order on AI Protections and called for legislation to strengthen it, while some states prefer California And Colorado Trying to pass their AI bills with mixed results.

Antitrust enforcers Both sides of the Atlantic Ocean have been Investigating major AI companies Including Microsoft, Amazon and Open AI on whether their dominant position prevents competition;

UK kicks off global dialogue on harnessing AI at its best Extreme risks with the summit in the last fall. In a Follow-up meeting In Seoul, the companies pledged to develop the technology safely. France is scheduled to host another meeting in the series early next year. The United Nations has also weighed in. First resolution On AI

On the eve of his AI speech, Francis spent a full day of bilateral meetings. He met with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky as well as the invited leaders of Algeria, Brazil, India, Kenya, Turkey. He will also meet G7 members including Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.


Chan reported from London.

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