AI Ethics for Peace – Hiroshima, July 9th, 2024

Jul 9, 2024 | Latest news, Press release

“All religions are called to work together for the good of humanity inhabiting this planet, and for the preservation of the planet itself, the common home of every living being. This concerns every aspect of our lives, and therefore also every new tool that technological progress makes available to us. Artificial intelligence is one of them: a great tool with unlimited possibilities of application, it can and must be guided so that its potential serves the good since the moment of its design. This is our common responsibility, and in this shared effort we can rediscover real brotherhood. At Hiroshima, a place of the highest symbolic value, we strongly invoke peace, and we ask that technology be a driver of peace and reconciliation among peoples. We stand here, together, to say loudly that standing together and acting together is the only possible solution.”

These are the words with which Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, greeted the first day of AI Ethics for Peace, the historic multi-religious event that will see 16 religious leaders representing most of the World Religions sign the Rome Call for AI Ethics tomorrow, July 10th.

In opening speeches, significant words were also spoken by leaders of the other organizing partners:

“Our mission as Religions for Peace Japan is to provide support and guidance for efforts to enhance equality and mutual respect for individuals and institutions throughout society based on our common spiritual goals. Recent advances in artificial intelligence have brought forth powerful new tools that can potentially aid such efforts or, when used for other purposes, greatly undermine them. Recognizing these challenges, we are committed to upholding our commitments to promote inclusivity and mutual respect for everyone, ” stated Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu, Chairperson of Religions for Peace Japan.

“Cooperation, solidarity, and joint work are necessary to deal with the developments of artificial intelligence, in which interests, harms, and benefits are mixed, to ensure that its systems and products are not only technically advanced but also morally sound. This will require collective effort and continuous work. In doing so, we can pave the way for a future in which AI is a force for good – a future in which the fruits of technology are harnessed to build a more tolerant, peaceful and virtuous world,” declared H.E. Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, President of the Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace, and Chair of the UAE Council for Fatwa, UAE.

” As individuals of faith, we carry a unique responsibility to infuse our pursuit of AI with moral clarity and ethical integrity. Let us utilize AI not merely as a tool for progress, but as a conduit for deepening our connection to the divine and fortifying our spiritual journey. Through AI, we can advance medical research, enhance educational access, and address societal challenges with a renewed sense of purpose and conviction. AI strengthens our faith in God, providing avenues for exploring the intricacies of creation and the mysteries of existence,” said Rabbi Eliezer Simha Weisz, Member of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Commission for Interfaith Relations.

The choice to hold this event in Hiroshima has a deeply symbolic meaning, because no other city like it bears witness to the consequences of destructive technology and the need for a lasting quest for peace.

AI Ethics for Peace, over two days, brings together the world’s major religions to underscore their crucial importance in shaping a society in which, in the face of the relentless acceleration of technology, the call for technological development that protects the dignity of each individual human being and the entire planet becomes a reality.

This will be possible only if algorethics, that is, the development and application of an ethics of artificial intelligence, becomes an indispensable element by design, i.e. from the moment of its design.

Remarkable was the talk by Father Paolo Benanti, Professor of Ethics of Technology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, who presented the Hiroshima Addendum on Generative AI. This document focuses on the need for ethical governance of generative AI – an ongoing and iterative process that requires a sustained commitment from all stakeholders so that its potential is used for the good of humanity.

The application of Rome Call principles to the reality of the tech world and the responsibility that AI producers share were witnessed by the attending big tech leaders.

“With its profound place in human history, Hiroshima serves as a compelling backdrop to help ensure a technology created by humanity serves all of humanity and our common home,” said Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft as well as one of the Call’s first signatories.

“AI is a technology with implications across every country, industry and value system – and its benefits should impact the whole of humanity. It is with great pride that IBM renews its commitment to the Rome Call for AI Ethics, accompanied by new, like-minded eastern religious leaders. Delivering on our commitments is of paramount importance, and through efforts such as the AI Alliance, we’re uniting developers, researchers, industry leaders and advocates to transparently advance safe, responsible AI rooted in open innovation”, said Dario Gil, IBM Senior Vice President and Director of Research.

“Cisco is proud to be part of the Rome Call and we believe ensuring as broad a participation as possible is a fundamental step towards a global approach to Responsible AI. For 40 years, Cisco has built the networks that connect people and organizations around the world, and today we are building the networking and security infrastructure to power AI. And we remain committed to our ambition, which is to use AI to help power an inclusive future for all”, said Dave West, President of Asia Pacific, Japan, and Greater China of Cisco.

Among the many distinguished speakers, who enriched the event by providing multiple perspectives on the risks and benefits of artificial intelligence, remarkable was the keynote address by Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, who stated: “The Rome Call for AI Ethics embodies the spirit needed for global AI governance. It comes at a critical moment ahead of the Summit of the Future and brings diverse religious perspectives together into a shared vision of ethical and human-centered AI. The Call is aligned with the United Nations Secretary General’s efforts to ensure AI governance is global, inclusive, and dedicated to promoting peace and human dignity for all.”

Also of great value was the speech by Eriko Hibi, Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Japan, who declared: “Artificial Intelligence provides a crucial opportunity to accelerate agrifood systems transformation and achieve sustainable development through optimizing agricultural practices, enhancing supply chain efficiency and empowering smallholder farmers with data-driven innovations and approaches.”

AI Ethics for Peace continues tomorrow, July 10th, with the celebration of the signing of the Rome Call by leaders of world religions.

Following the testimony of a survivor of the atomic bomb, participants will walk to the Memorial Park, visit the cenotaph, and lay wreaths in memory of the victims; they will then proceed to the Ceremony Site, via the Peace Light and the Statue of the Children of the Atomic Bomb.

A musical interlude, provided by the flute quartet of the “Elisabeth University of Music” (Hiroshima City), will finally introduce the Rome Call signing ceremony, in which a member of each of the World Religions involved will make a brief statement.

Tomorrow, the first part of the day will be livestreamed at this link; the second part at this link.



X hashtags will be #algorethics #RomeCall #interfaith #AIethics #Peace #AIforPeace #Hiroshima #HiroshimaforPeace

To learn more about the Rome Call:

Download the Hiroshima addendum on generative AI: Hiroshima Addendum

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