Pope Francis called on artificial intelligence leaders to “protect human dignity in this new era of machines” during an AI Ethics for Peace conference in Hiroshima, Japan.

Addressing representatives from Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and the United Nations, Pope Francis said there are critical implications of AI for war and peace today.

“No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being,” the pope said. He renewed his call for a ban on lethal autonomous weapon systems, which operate without human control.

Pope Francis also highlighted the symbolic significance of discussing AI ethics at the site of the atomic bombing, reminding participants of the tragic consequences of advancing technology without ethical considerations.

“It is crucial that, united as brothers and sisters, we remind the world of the urgency to reconsider the development and use of devices like the so-called ‘lethal autonomous weapons’ and ultimately ban their use,” he said.

The event, co-organized by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life and other international religious and peace organizations, gathered more than 150 participants from 13 countries.

The Pope’s message also reiterated his call for proper human control over AI decision-making, which he made at the G7 summit in June.

Editorial credit: S.Galindo / Shutterstock.com
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