Vatican officials plan to publish ethical principles on artificial intelligence on Friday. The move was backed by Microsoft and IBM, two of the main supporters of the technology industry. The Rome Declaration on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence states that AI technology should respect personal privacy, work in a reliable and unbiased manner, take into account “the needs of all” and operate in a transparent manner – an area where research is under way and the decisions of aia systems are often unpredictable.
The document shows that companies and research institutions are increasingly interested in setting up fences for fast-growing technologies. Police use facial recognition systems to investigate crime, and Fortune 500 companies use artificial intelligence to censor job seekers – both of which are high-risk matters in which inaccurate or biased software systems can harm humans.
According to John Kelly III, IBM’s executive vice president and co-founder, the Vatican’s move is motivated by Pope Francis’ concerns about artificial intelligence and its social impact more than a year ago.
“His main concern is, is this technology open to everyone? Or will it further divide the rich and the poor? Kelly said in an interview. Vatican officials also expressed concern about the prospect that artificial intelligence would replace human work, he said, and met with IBM at a research center in the United States last September to discuss the issue.
Pope Francis will receive the document on Friday and will draw conclusions at a meeting on artificial intelligence ethics hosted by the Vatican’s School of Bishops’ Life this week. Other participants included David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, and Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president.
It is not clear which other technology companies will sign the document in the future, or how the signatories will implement these ethical principles.
IBM, for example, wants a doctor to be involved when its artificial intelligence system makes medical recommendations. This week, IBM entered into a cooperation agreement with The Bambino Gess? Children’s Hospital in Rome. The focus of this collaboration will be on developing technologies that can accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of patients with brain tumours.
Both IBM and Microsoft said they were so upset that customers were so eager to use their technology that they turned down the business. Mr Kelly said about a third of the ethical questions IBM faced in developing artificial intelligence technology did not have a clear answer. “In the future, we will have more ethical questions without clear answers, because technological progress is so rapid, ” he said. “