Pope on AI: We risk becoming rich in technology and poor in humanity

‘Hands off Africa,’ Pope Francis tells rich world
Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Most. Rev. Adewale Martins has reflected on the good and threatening sides of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

He , on Sunday, urged state actors to exert regulations on its use as he said the world stood the risk of being rich in technology but poor in humanity with its application.

The Pope, who is the ruler the Vatican City State and the Holy See; and Martins, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, made the call as the world commemorates the 58th edition of the World Communications Day.

Martins celebrated a Mass held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.

The 2024 annual event was to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of modern means of social communication to propagate the Gospel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had  the theme “Artificial Intelligence and the Wisdom of the Heart: Toward a Fully Human Communication”.

In his message to the world to mark the day, the Pope, whose message was read to newsmen and faithful by the Archbishop, said that ethical and moral standards should guide the use of AI in the human society.

Pope said that the development of systems of AI that he devoted his recent message on, on the World Day of Peace, (Jan. 1), was negatively affecting the world of information and communication.

He said that the evolution in technology was good but efforts should be made to adopt its pro-human aspects and discard its anti-humans.

According to him, AI is a reality.

“It has been useful to us.  Take the advantages and do away with its disadvantages in order for humanity to be sustained.

“The use of AI in war to destroy millions of people in minutes should be discouraged with universal regulations and treaties that will be binding on all.

“The purslism of tasks, jobs that should have been done by humans, with an AI device in the factories and establishments, thereby displacing the human persons, will increase unemployment; therefore, such use should be discouraged.

“Today, through the use of AI, we have voice simulation where person’s voice can be used without the person’s consent to misrepresent one’s stance on issues, in this regard, which in other words, fake news; it should be regulated.

“These changes vary and  affect everyone, not merely professionals in those fields.

“The rapid spread of astonishing innovations, whose workings and potential are beyond the ability of most of us to understand and appreciate, has proven both exciting and disorienting.

“This leads inevitably to deeper questions about the nature of human beings, our distinctiveness and the future of the species homo sapiens in the age of AI.

“How can we remain fully human and guide this cultural transformation to serve a good purpose,” he said.

He pointed that the state and global leaders owe it as an obligation to mankind to infuse polices that could check the excesses of the use of A.I to safeguard the people.

“Starting with the heart
before all else, we need to set aside catastrophic predictions and their numbing effects.

“We are constantly in the process of becoming.

‘We must enter into this process, each in his or her own way, with openness but also with sensitivity to everything that is destructive and inhumane therein.

“At this time in history, which risks becoming rich in technology and poor in humanity, our reflections must begin with the human heart. Only by adopting a spiritual way of viewing reality,” the pope said in his message.

Speaking, Adewale-Martins said that, the use of AI in a manner that it reduces human diginity was repognant.

He said that technology transformation that tended to polarise humanity and discomfort person to person relationship was alien to God’s plan for mann therefore, should be halted.

NAN reports that the World Communication Day was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967.

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