Catholic Bishops Warn Against Risks of Artificial Intelligence, Advocate Ethical Use


Amidst growing advancements in technology, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has issued a cautionary note on the perils of Artificial Intelligence (AI), stressing the importance of responsible and ethical utilization of this technology.

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The warning coincides with anticipation surrounding Pope Francis’ participation in the upcoming G7 summit, where it is speculated that he will advocate for the establishment of an ethical framework for the development of AI.

During the inaugural Communication Week Public Lecture organized by the Catholic Church in Abuja, CBCN President Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji emphasized the necessity of integrating ethical considerations into the development and deployment of AI. While acknowledging the myriad benefits of AI in various aspects of life, Archbishop Ugorji underscored the importance of approaching AI technology with ethical rigor.

He highlighted the Church’s commitment to raising awareness about both the positive impacts of AI on society and the ethical concerns arising from its potential misuse.

Referring to the Vatican II Decree on the Means of Social Communication, Inter Mirifica no. 2, Archbishop Ugorji reiterated the Church’s responsibility to educate the faithful about the ethical implications of emerging technologies.

Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, commended Pope Francis for consistently addressing the dangers posed by AI. He emphasized the need for scientific progress to be subject to ethical control, echoing the Pope’s warnings regarding the responsible use of technology.

In a thought-provoking lecture, Prof. Anthony Akinwale of Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Lagos State, argued that AI lacks consciousness and free will, and therefore cannot be considered truly intelligent. He emphasized the importance of ethical considerations in AI development, warning against the potential misuse of AI systems for spreading misinformation and propaganda.

Throughout the event, bishops, panelists, and stakeholders reiterated the importance of approaching AI development with wisdom and prudence, emphasizing the Church’s role in guiding the ethical deployment of technology in society.

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