Pope Francis is concerned about artificial intelligence and whether it will be used for good or to fuel injustice.
The pope said the new AI technologies are “endowed with disruptive possibilities and ambivalent effects,” according to a statement released Tuesday by the Vatican for its World Day of Peace in 2024.
Debate is raging in the arts and other industries about how AI could be used to replace jobs. The pope said the conversation about AI requires that “ethical reflection” be extended to the fields of education and law.
He said there is a need to be “vigilant and to work so that a logic of violence and discrimination does not take root in the production and use of such devices, at the expense of the most fragile and excluded.”
AI can solve problems, produce creative writing and perhaps even be employed by financial advisers to pick stocks, but it can also produce inaccurate answers that may reflect biases and prejudices that exist in society.
“‘Injustice and inequalities fuel conflicts and antagonisms.’”
When used in hiring, the technology could open companies up to allegations of discrimination, critics say, and it could replace not only low-income jobs, but also jobs that previously required greater levels of human creativity and oversight.
“Injustice and inequalities fuel conflicts and antagonisms,” the pope said in his statement. He said there was an urgent need to use AI “in a responsible way” so that it can serve humanity and protect the common good.
The Writers Guild of American and the Screen Actors Guild are currently on a monthslong strike, looking for more pay, better working conditions and stricter rules around things like the use of actors’ images in the age of AI.
There has been an explosion in the use of AI since the launch last December of ChatGPT, a chatbot created by OpenAI, which is partially backed by Microsoft Corp.
The chatbot has been the subject of several class-action lawsuits related to copyright infringement. OpenAI’s algorithm sweeps the web, gleaning information from millions of sources to come up with answers it can dish out in seconds to its users.