Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address a G7 venue. He's raising the alarm about AI

Pope Francis

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Pope Francis has a significant role in discussing artificial intelligence due to his opinions that go beyond a viral photo of him wearing a white puffer jacket that was created through deepfake technology. This issue is currently being prominently addressed at the Group of Seven summit.

Pope Francis - Figure 1
Photo The Independent

On Friday, Francis will deliver a speech to the leaders of the Group of Seven in southern Italy. This will be the first time a pope has addressed the G7, and Francis plans to use this opportunity to add his voice to the growing demand for tighter regulations on AI. This push for stronger guardrails comes in response to the increasing popularity of generative artificial intelligence, which was launched into the mainstream thanks to OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot.

The pope from Argentina made use of his yearly peace statement to urge for a global agreement that would guarantee that artificial intelligence is created and employed with ethical principles in mind. He posits that if technology is void of human virtues such as mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and morality, it would be too dangerous to permit unrestricted development.

The leader of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, asked Francis to join and confirmed that he would be a part of it because she recognized how influential his fame and ethical standing could be in connecting a widely held anxiety regarding AI with his goals for creating harmony and fairness in society.

According to John Kirton, a political scientist in charge of the G7 Research Group think tank at the University of Toronto, the pope is a unique type of famous person.

Kirton remembered that the previous meeting which had a similar impressive group of famous people was in 2005 in Gleneagles, Scotland. During that meeting, the participants agreed to get rid of the outstanding $40 billion debts that 18 of the world's most impoverished nations owed to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Before the summit took place, there was a Live8 performance in London. It included popular artists such as Sting, The Who, and a newly reunited Pink Floyd. Over one million individuals were in attendance to demonstrate support for ending hunger and poverty in Africa.

Kirton stated that Gleneagles was highly successful and accomplished a great deal. In fact, many people believe it was one of the most fruitful summits.

The leaders of the G7 countries in Puglia, Italy are not facing significant pressure from the public to address the issue, but Pope Francis is anticipated to use his own influential power to reinforce the need for protective measures for artificial intelligence. He will also emphasize the risks it poses to both society and peace.

The advanced Generative AI technology has impressed humanity with its ability to create responses that resemble those of living beings, but it has also caused concerns regarding the safety of AI. This has resulted in various worldwide initiatives aimed at regulating its use.

Certain individuals express concern about future threats to humanity, such as the possibility of developing dangerous biological weapons and spreading false information. Whereas, certain individuals are anxious about its impact on routine life, particularly algorithmic discrimination and automated intelligence systems that lead to unemployment.

In his message for peace, Francis reiterated those worries and brought up additional ones. He emphasized the importance of AI prioritizing the protection of basic human rights, advocating for world peace, and preventing false information, prejudice, and confusion.

Regarding regulation, Francis will mostly be speaking to those who already agree with him since the G7 countries have been leading the discussion on overseeing artificial intelligence.

Last year, Japan was in charge of the G7 and they introduced the Hiroshima AI process to create a set of rules that AI developers from all nations should follow. Their efforts continued as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida presented a plan for regulating generative AI - technology that quickly produces new content in response to instructions.

The European Union was among the initial adopters with its comprehensive AI Act which is scheduled to come into force within the next two years and could serve as a worldwide prototype. The legislation is aimed at all AI-related products or services presented in the EU's 27 member nations, with limitations dependent on the severity of the danger they present.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has given an executive order regarding the protection of AI, and has requested that laws be implemented to reinforce it. Meanwhile, certain states such as California and Colorado have been working towards passing their own bills pertaining to AI, but the outcomes have been somewhat inconsistent.

Antitrust regulators in Europe and the US have been closely examining major AI firms like Amazon, Microsoft, and OpenAI to determine if their dominant market positions are impeding healthy competition.

Last fall, Britain initiated a worldwide conversation about controlling the most extreme risks associated with AI. During a subsequent gathering in Seoul, a number of corporations agreed to responsibly develop this innovative technology. France will be hosting another event in this ongoing series in early 2021. To further address this issue, the United Nations has introduced its inaugural resolution on AI.

While taking a break from his discussion on artificial intelligence, Francis has a packed schedule of one-on-one meetings. He's scheduled to meet with Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In addition, he'll be meeting with leaders from Algeria, Brazil, India, Kenya, and Turkey who have been invited to attend. Furthermore, Francis has plans to meet with other G7 government officials like Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, and Emmanuel Macron.

Chan provided coverage from the city of London.

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