We’d have thought religious leaders would be fully onboard with nebulous non-human entities that can think for themselves and move in mysterious ways, but it seems that’s only the case if there’s no proof of their existence. AI demonstrably exists and apparently the Pope is against it.
The Vatican surprisingly joined IBM and Microsoft to promote ethics in AI (ethics, really? The Catholic church? Talk about glass houses) and call for regulation of “intrusive tech” like facial recognition, reports VentureBeat.
The, er, eclectic trio want algorithms to be developed ethically, giving rise to the worst term since “mumpreneur” in the form of “algor-ethics.” Catchy.
Pope Francis wrote a speech but didn’t actually go to the conference in Rome where it was read, because he was ill (thoughts and prayers). Current Microsoft president Brad Smith and Vice President of IBM John Kelly were there, though, and jointly called for AI companies to think about human rights in their work, respect people’s privacy, and be unbiased, reliable and transparent. Both companies said they’ve declined work in the past where they thought clients were going to misuse their tech.
Pope Francis’s speech specifically called out companies using AI for their own ends without users knowing:
“This asymmetry, by which a select few know everything about us while we know nothing about them, dulls critical thought and the conscious exercise of freedom.
Inequalities expand enormously; knowledge and wealth accumulate in a few hands with grave risks for democratic societies.”
Not to labour the point, but isn’t “a select few know everything about us while we know nothing about them” pretty much the definition of deities? Maybe God doesn’t want the competition.
The three groups said they were particularly concerned about “advanced technologies that have a higher risk of impacting human rights, such as facial recognition” and want to see “new forms of regulation […] to promote transparency and compliance.” However, we would argue that since all humans are apparently made in God’s image and only God can judge us, there’s no need for facial recognition anyway. Sorted. [VentureBeat]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.