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Pope urges G7 leaders to regulate AI responsibly and ban AI weapons

Bari (Italy), June 14: Pope Francis has called on the Group of Seven (G7) leaders to adopt a cautious approach to artificial intelligence (AI) and ban the use of lethal autonomous weapons at the G7 Summit in Italy on Friday. Speaking at the Summit, the Pope highlighted both the exciting possibilities and the potential dangers of AI. “It is up to everyone to make good use of it. But the onus is on politics to create the conditions for such good use to be possible and fruitful,” the Pope said.

The Pope also described AI as an “extremely powerful tool” whose advantages and disadvantages depended on how it was used. “The use of our tools, however, is not always directed solely to the good,” said the Pope. “When our ancestors sharpened flint stones to make knives, they used them both to cut hides for clothing and to kill each other.” He also emphasised the complexity of AI, noting that it could enable machines to make autonomous decisions. However, he stressed that the ultimate decision-making must remain with humans. “We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives,” he warned.

“Human dignity itself depends on it,” the Pope added, urging politicians to ban the use of lethal autonomous weapons. “No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being.” Pope Francis is the first Pontiff to take part in a G7 Summit in its close to 50-year history. The seven advanced industrialised democracies include Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. A series of bilateral meetings are also on the programme for Pope Francis at the conference venue, a luxury resort on the Adriatic coast in southern Italy’s Apulia region.

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