( Reuters ) – The Vatican teamed up with technology giants Microsoft and IBM on Friday to promote the ethical development of artificial intelligence (AI) and to regulate intrusive technologies such as facial recognition.  The three said AI should respect privacy, work reliably and without prejudice, respect human rights, and act transparently.
Pope Francis, who raised concerns about the uncontrolled spread of AI technologies, gave his support in a speech he read on behalf of a conference attended by Microsoft President Brad Smith and IBM Vice President John Kelly. The Pope is sick and could not provide the address himself.
Francis called for the ethical development of algorithms known as "Algor ethics" and warned of the dangers that AI is often used to extract data for commercial or political purposes without the knowledge of individuals.
"This asymmetry, through which a few know everything about us while we know nothing about it, tarnishes critical thinking and the conscious exercise of freedom," he said in his message.
"Inequalities are increasing enormously; knowledge and wealth accumulate in a few hands with serious risks for democratic societies," he said.
The joint document explicitly referred to the possible misuse of facial recognition technology.
"New Forms of regulation need to be promoted Promoting transparency and compliance with ethical principles, particularly for advanced technologies that are at higher risk of affecting human rights, such as facial recognition, "the document said.
The police has used facial recognition systems to investigate crime, Fortune 500 companies used AI to screen applicants – both examples of high-duty tasks where the provision of inaccurate or biased software could result in damage.
It was not immediately clear whether other technology companies could sign the document or how the signatories would implement the principles.
For example, IBM wants a doctor to be up to date when its AI technology makes healthcare recommendations – something that may increase over time after a contract with the Bambino Gesù Vatican Children's Hospital in Rome.
This partnership will focus on developing technologies to accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumor patients.
Both IBM and Microsoft have announced that they have turned business was the latest example that the Vatican tried to always be one step ahead in technological and social issues to influence the pioneers of the future if he felt uncomfortable how a customer wanted to use his technology.
regardless of their religion.
Vatican officials said they could provide material for a possible papal document on AI, similar to how meetings with scholars helped shape the Pope's pioneering environmental encyclical Laudato Si of 2015. ]