Pope Francis and His Frustration With AI

Recently, Pope Francis himself warned tech producers about a serious risk to the future of humanity. To him, the advent of artificial intelligence for monetary or profit gain may potentially destroy social equality, due to selfish motivations being harmful to a vast and ever-growing population. The only way to eliminate this potential disaster is by pursuing the development of artificial intelligence with ethical gains that stem from the goodness of humanity rather than chasing currency or living lavishly. Why, exactly, does he believe this, and where do these beliefs stem from?

Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Roku artificial intelligence programmers and representatives were all brought together in a Vatican conference under the speaking of Pope Francis. Not only were these technology producers brought with businesses and companies set out to pursue artificial intelligence, but also psychologists, motivational speakers, and philosophers with passion toward humanitarian actions were bonded together in this conference known as the The Common Good in the Digital Age.

A variety of debates were present including those relating to technological developments in warfare, the military, as well as society’s future reliance on artificial intelligence as a consequential aspect of life that can not be replaced. The reasoning behind this conference was based on recent events pertaining to not solely artificial intelligence, but social media and the usage of technology in general. Unfortunate disasters such as the New Zealand mosque shooting occurred due to social media offering the perpetrator violent and sinister viewpoints on humanity that otherwise would not have existed.

Thus, in the Pope’s speech, he made sure to address every aspect of technology that deserved to be mentioned. He first praised its progress and improvement in the modern era, noting its benefits to a world of industrialization and sparing workers from hazardous conditions. But then, in a more serious message, he warned that the dignity of labor and humanity is at stake due to selfish motivations for artificial intelligence, as well as the spread of hazardous ideals that reign over the minds of weak-minded folk.

“If technological advancement became the cause of increasingly evident inequalities, it would not be true and real progress,” he warned. “If mankind’s so-called technological progress were to become an enemy of the common good, this would lead to an unfortunate regression to a form of barbarism dictated by the law of the strongest.”

For to Pope Francis, the most important thing in technology and every tool is connections to the support of humanity. In his goal in basing the conference on the social media influence of the New Zealand shooting, the Pope wanted to launch a conference on artificial intelligence from the hazards behind social media. He wanted to connect this hazard to his viewpoints on AI from being produced selfishly. Fortunately, however, with his respectful influence to leaders in technological giants, his goal may be accomplished in the near future. AI may become more of a humanitarian development tool rather than an economical thief for each nation in the world.

Yousef Khan