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Artificial Intelligence: Do Not Give ” Free Way” To Machines

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Artificial Intelligence: Do Not Give ” Free Way” To Machines

Do not ” blindly” leave a ” free way” to machines, warned Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi in the framework of the congress ” Artificial Intelligence: An Ethical Challenge?,” held at the Embassy of Italy to the Holy See on July 6, 2017, under the aegis of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

In the course of the meeting, philosophers, scientists and university professors from around the world reflected on the impact of artificial intelligence on man, work and society.

In an intervention reported by Vatican Radio in Italian, Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Dicastery, warned against the risk of leaving technology to itself, “€œcompletely alone.”€ He invited not to let such intelligence “€œadvance in a blind and free way, because the true scientist “€œis never only technical,”€ he does not leave “€œa way free”€ to machines.

In fact it is necessary, he insisted, to take into account the overall picture, all together, every horizon in which we are plunged.” Moreover, artificial intelligence is ” the fruit of the first, primitive intelligence, which is human intelligence . . . there is always at the origin a human source . . . which can judge and stop the machine.” 

Cardinal Ravasi also holds that the expression ” humanoide” is “problematic.” And ” I find it somewhat ridiculous to speak . . . of an ” electronic personality” or an “IT personality.” ” ” Personality,” he reminded, is the prerogative of the human person.

The Dicastery” s President proposed an alliance between technological progress ” notably in the medical area ” and the ” humanist” world: philosophy, culture, theology. “Together, they will decide the future,” he said.

Father Paolo Benanti, Professor of Neuro-Ethics and Techno-Ethics at the Pontifical Gregorian University, commented on the proposals of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, foretelling a hyper-connected space: We must be aware that everything in reality is not expressed in data … The true question is not to render (machines) competitive with man, but . . . that man be able to bring about better societies thanks to their intervention.”

If machines ” are opportunities to attain objectives and success, which yesterday seemed unattainable,”  their social impact, however, can be heavy, he cautioned, between ” the end of certain forms of employment” and “the amplification of the chasm between the rich and the poor.”


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