News  |    |  February 10, 2020

Microsoft and IBM partner with Pontifical Academy for Life in committing to ethical principles

Press Release from Vatican City.

The Rome Call for AI Ethics, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life, will be released in Rome on 28 February. The document calls for an ethical resolution on Artificial Intelligence and has Microsoft and IBM as the two first signatories.

The Rome Call for AI Ethics will be presented during the public conference attended by the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith; the Executive Vice-president of IBM, John Kelly III; the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli; the FAO Director General, Dongyu Qu. At the end of the morning the document will be brought to Pope Francis, who will receive the Pontifical Academy for Life and its guests in audience.

Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, speaking of the work done in recent months to define the text of the Rome Call for AI Ethics, noted that “terms such as Transparency, Inclusion, Accountability, Responsibility, Impartiality, Reliability, Security, Privacy, must become the patrimony of everyone and not only of the experts of the ethics of Artificial Intelligence. A widespread awareness of the use, meaning and impact of technologies is necessary, because technological development affects the whole human family. This is why the Pontifical Academy for Life works to improve the ethical commitment on the themes of Artificial Intelligence and it is important to have Microsoft and IBM as the two first signatories of the document that will be presented to Pope Francis.”

About the implications of the use of Artificial Intelligence technologies the FAO DirectorGeneral, Dongyu Qu, observed that “AI has the transformative power to make food systems more efficient, sustainable and inclusive. The task in front of all of us is to minimize the risks while exploiting the potential benefits of this innovation.”

“AI is in its early stages,” said John Kelly III, Executive Vice President of IBM, “and now is the time to affirm our shared responsibility and common purpose as human beings, companies, and governments to ensure these emerging technologies are developed and used ethically and for the good of humanity and the environment. The Call is an important step forward setting shared ethical guideposts, and IBM is proud to be a signatory.”

About the significance of the Rome Call for AI Ethics the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, pointed out that “Microsoft is proud to support the Rome Call for AI Ethics, which is a step forward in promoting a thoughtful, respectful and inclusive conversation about the intersection of artificial intelligence technology and long-standing ethical questions. We believe technology has the power to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, but if is to serve society well it must be guided by strong ethical principles that build on global human rights traditions. I am inspired by his Holiness’ commitment and contributions to this important dialogue, and thank him, the Pontifical Academy for Life and the other representatives of the Holy See for their perspectives.”

The signature of the Rome Call for AI Ethics and the speeches by Msgr. Paglia, Brad Smith, John Kelly III, David Sassoli, Dongyu Qu, are scheduled for 28 February, 2020, in the Auditorium in Via della Conciliazione 4, in Rome, with the start of work at 9 am.

Theme of the day: RenAIssance. A Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence.

In the two previous days, from February 26 in the afternoon and throughout the 27, the Workshop on the theme The ‘good’ algorithm? Artificial Intelligence: Ethics, Law, Health, organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, will take place in the New Hall of the Synod in the Vatican. There will be 160 Academicians who are part of the Pontifical Academy, but also 300 external members, including researchers, experts, scholars, university professors from Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia.

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