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Pope to bring his call for ethical AI to G7 summit in southern Italy

The Vatican’s bioethics think tank has also led a campaign to engage big tech, academic institutions
Pope Francis arrives for an audience with Azione Cattolica (Catholic Action) pilgrims and faithful in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Thursday, April 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis is taking his call for artificial intelligence to be developed and used according to ethical lines to the Group of 7 industrialized nations.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced Friday that Francis had accepted her invitation to attend the G7 Summit in Puglia in June. The Vatican confirmed the news.

Meloni, who currently heads the G7, is hosting the June 13-15 summit of leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United States.

In a video statement Friday, Meloni said Francis would be the first pontiff to attend a G7 summit and would participate in the session devoted to artificial intelligence.

“I am convinced that the presence of His Holiness will make a decisive contribution to the definition of a regulatory, ethical and cultural framework for artificial intelligence,” Meloni said.

Francis has called for an international treaty to ensure AI is developed and used ethically and devoted his annual peace message this year to the topic.

Artificial intelligence has captured world attention thanks to advances by cutting-edge systems like OpenAI’s ChatGPT that have dazzled users with the ability to produce human-like text, photos and songs. But the technology has also raised fears about the risks the rapidly developing technology poses to jobs, privacy and copyright protection and even human life itself.

The Vatican’s bioethics think tank, the Pontifical Academy for Life, has also led a campaign to engage big tech corporations, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations to pledge to uphold a set of standards in the ethical development and use of AI, with Cisco Systems the latest signatory just this week.

At the recently concluded G7 foreign ministers’ meeting held last weekend in Capri, Italy, ministers flagged the risks to cybersecurity posed by AI and acknowledged the “importance of advancing our efforts to ensure safe, secure and trustworthy AI, which is humancentric and human rights-based.”

The Associated Press