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Pope meets with Microsoft and IBM to push for ethics in Artificial Intelligence


A year ago in the Vatican, the pope met with Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.

Both believe Artificial Intelligence research should be based on firm ethical foundations.

As a result, they will meet again at the end of February to sign the “Call for Ethics.”

John Kelly III, executive vice-president of IBM, will also participate.

FABRIZIO MASTROFINI
Media Manager, Pontifical Academy for Life
“Issues like facial recognition are extremely important.”
“There is also the question of asking companies how they're using our personal information. Artificial Intelligence can be used to improve conditions or to create more inequality.”

Fabrizio Mastrofini is one of the organizers of the summit to take place in the Vatican at the end of February. The event will bring experts together to better understand ethics in Artificial Intelligence.

This technology is already yielding positive results in fields like health, defense and finance. However, it is unknown whether or not the data it compiles will discriminate against users.

FABRIZIO MASTROFINI
Media Manager, Pontifical Academy for Life
“Companies like Microsoft and IBM contacted Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. They feel the increased importance of ethics in technology. Companies that are sensitive to users' needs perceive the responsibility technological progress brings.”

For now, only Microsoft and IBM intend to sign the “Call for Ethics.” The Vatican says if other companies want to join, they are welcome.

David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, and Qu Dongyu, director general of the FAO, will also attend the signing.

The event will take place Feb. 28 and is open to the public. Anyone who wants to participate can sign up on the Pontifical Academy for Life website.

www.academyforlife.va 

IMAGES: European Parliament