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Pope Francis urges caution on artificial intelligence in Europe

Pope Francis has issued a message for the next World Day of Peace of the Catholic Church, calling for a global reflection on the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on humanity and the environment. The pope warned that AI could have “disruptive possibilities and ambivalent effects” and that it should be used in a responsible way, so that it may be at the service of humanity and the protection of our common home.

The pope’s message comes as the European Union is preparing to unveil its new regulations on AI, which aim to limit the use of certain AI systems that could harm human rights, such as facial recognition for surveillance, algorithms that manipulate human behavior, or social scoring systems. The EU also plans to impose strict oversight and transparency requirements for high-risk AI applications, such as those used by the police, in recruitment, or in credit scoring.

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However, some experts have criticized the EU’s proposals as vague, loophole-ridden, and insufficient to address the challenges posed by AI. Others have warned that AI could pose an existential threat to humanity if not aligned with human values and ethics, and have called for global cooperation and governance of AI.

The pope’s message echoes these concerns and calls for a dialogue among all stakeholders, including scientists, engineers, policymakers, educators, and religious leaders, to ensure that AI is used for the common good and respects human dignity. He also invites everyone to pray for peace and justice in the world, especially in light of the challenges posed by new technologies.

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