Pope urges G7 to prioritize human dignity in AI development

Pope Francis urged leaders of the world’s wealthy democracies to prioritize human dignity in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI), warning of the risks of reducing human interactions to mere algorithms. Addressing the Group of Seven (G7) summit, Francis emphasized that politicians must ensure AI remains human-centric, especially in decisions involving weapons.

“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives,” Francis stated, highlighting the need for human control over AI. He called for the protection of human dignity and a ban on lethal autonomous weapons, known as “killer robots.” The G7 leaders echoed his concerns, committing to coordinate governance and regulatory frameworks to keep AI “human-centered.” They recognized AI’s potential impacts on labor markets and justice systems, emphasizing the importance of responsible AI development.

By attending the summit, n the southern Italian region of Puglia, Pope Francis joined global calls for stronger AI regulations, following the rise of generative AI technologies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. His presence added moral weight to discussions, urging ethical AI development aligned with democratic values and human rights. Francis had previously called for an international treaty to ensure ethical AI use, stressing the need for compassion, morality, and forgiveness in technology.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni invited Francis, acknowledging his influence on the G7. The leaders seemed deeply affected by his message, recalling the impactful 2005 Gleneagles summit where global leaders took significant actions following public pressure. Francis highlighted the ethical dimensions of technology, emphasizing freedom and responsibility, and urging safeguards against disinformation, discrimination, and threats to peace.

The G7, along with other international bodies and nations like Japan, the EU, and the US, are already working on AI oversight frameworks. These efforts aim to ensure AI’s safe and ethical development, reflecting the pope’s call for technology that upholds human dignity and ethical standards.