The Vatican teamed up with tech giants Microsoft and IBM to develop rules for the ethical development of artificial intelligence (AI) and called for the regulation of technologies such as face recognition. The document was presented as part of the AI conference organized by the Pontifical Academy for the Protection of Life.
The document states that artificial intelligence must respect the privacy of a person and work reliably and impartially. The principle of making decisions should be transparent.
Pope Francis expressed concern about the uncontrolled spread of artificial intelligence technologies in a letter. In a speech read out on his behalf at the conference, special attention was paid to the possibility of abuse of face recognition technology, as well as data extraction systems for commercial or political purposes, often without the knowledge of individuals.
The pontiff noted that the prevailing asymmetry, in which the elected units know everything about us, dulls critical thinking and understanding of freedom. Pope Francis believes that a situation where awareness and wealth are concentrated in narrow circles can turn into serious risks for a democratic society.
The head of the Vatican said that new forms of regulation should be encouraged in order to promote transparency and ethical principles, especially with regard to advanced technologies that have a higher risk of affecting human rights.
It is not yet clear whether other technology companies can sign the document or how the companies that sign it will apply these principles. Attending the conference, IBM and Microsoft said they were abandoning projects if they felt concern about the possible unethical use of their artificial intelligence technology, according to Vesti.