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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Pope Francis among G7 summit attendees to discuss AI future

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced on Friday that Pope Francis would attend this year's Group of Seven (G7) leaders' summit to address the challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.

Pope Francis has been vocal about the "perverse" dangers of AI, renewing his call for worldwide regulations to harness it for the common good. The G7 meeting, scheduled for June 13-15 in the southern Italian region of Puglia, will bring together leaders from the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, and Japan, along with a few special guests.

In a video message, Prime Minister Meloni stated, "It is the first time in history that a pontiff will take part in the workings of a G7." She highlighted that Pope Francis would participate in a session dedicated to AI, describing it as "one of the greatest anthropological challenges of our time."

"I am convinced that the presence of His Holiness will give a decisive contribution to drawing up an ethical and cultural regulatory framework for Artificial Intelligence," Meloni added.

Italy, currently holding the rotating chair of the G7, recently approved a bill aimed at establishing ground rules for the use of AI. The bill includes provisions for investment in the sector and sets sanctions for AI-related crimes.

"It is a technology that can generate great opportunities, but also brings enormous risks, as well as inevitably affecting global balances," Meloni emphasized, stating that AI must be "both human-centered and human-controlled."

In January, Pope Francis expressed his fears and hopes for AI. While urging people to temporarily "set aside catastrophic predictions and their numbing effects" about new technologies, his three-page message predominantly highlighted the risks. He warned of "cognitive pollution" that distorts reality, promotes false narratives, and traps people in ideological echo chambers.

It’s clear that the Pope's biggest concern is the use of AI in deep fakes. He was the subject of one recently when he was pictured in a Balenciaga white puffer coat. Although not a reputation-damaging incident it shows how easy it is to push false narratives and the dangers of the tech especially if in the wrong hands.

A month earlier, he called for a legally binding international treaty to regulate AI, emphasizing that algorithms must not replace human values. He warned of a "technological dictatorship" threatening human existence.


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