Vatican Calls for AI Ethics

January 10, 2023

Tomorrow at an event organized and hosted by the Pontifical Academy for Life, IBM will reaffirm its commitment to the Rome Call for AI Ethics, a pledge signed in 2020 by the Pontifical Academy for Life, FAO, IBM, Microsoft and the Italian Ministry of Innovation to champion ethical approaches to the design, development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI).

The event is focused on welcoming to the Call new members representing the Muslim and Jewish faiths, thereby bringing together the three Abrahamic religions to shine a brighter global spotlight on and advance ethical approaches to AI technologies.

“That the Abrahamic monotheistic religions have all come together to reflect and act on the implications of the rapidly advancing frontiers of science and technology, as exemplified by artificial intelligence, is of historical importance,” said Darío Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, IBM. “IBM is an institution that has been responsibly advancing such frontiers for over a century, and we believe it will be the quest of all of society, and of all our institutions, including religious ones, to reason through the moral and ethical implications of great scientific and technological advances. We are proud to reaffirm our commitment to the Rome Call for AI Ethics, and we look forward to realizing its vision in partnership with all its signatories and allies.”

Created, organized and hosted by the Vatican’s RenAIssance Foundation, the United Arab Emirates’ Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Commission for Interfaith Relations, the event will also feature representatives from FAO, Microsoft, the Foreign Affairs of Spain, the Politecnico of Turin (Italy)-CENTAI Institute, Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, and LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome (Italy). Following the activities, the delegation will meet with the Pontiff Pope Francis who plans to renew his interest in the ethical development of AI.

Tomorrow’s gathering will follow the recent launch of a new university network, facilitated in part by IBM, designed to assist higher education institutions in operationalizing principles of the Call in their curricula. The initiative was formally mobilized in October 2022 via the Global University Summit on the Rome Call for AI Ethics, an event that successfully brought together 42 institutions spanning 5 continents and was hosted by the IBM-Notre Dame Tech Ethics Lab and co-organized by Notre Dame, the Pontifical Academy for Life and IBM.

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