The Anglican Signature of the Rome Call

Apr 30, 2024 | Latest news

Apr 30, 2024

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has today signed the Rome Call for AI ethics at a ceremony in Rome.

The document aims to foster a shared sense of responsibility for human dignity amid rapid technological advancements. To ensure that every individual – regardless of their background – can benefit from these advances, then religions, international organisations, Governments, institutions and the private sector must work together.

It calls for the ethical development of Artificial Intelligence that serves humanity rather than profit and resists the gradual replacement of people in the workplace, as well as a respect for our common home.

“We are very pleased that, with the inclusion of our Anglican brothers and sisters, the Rome Call may experience a further step of growth. When reflection and dialogue on issues of technological development meet in a spirit of fraternity, it is possible to find shared paths and effective solutions to build peace and the common good.” said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and the RenAIssance Foundation.

Commenting on the signing, Archbishop Justin Welby, signing on behalf of the Church of England, said: “I am delighted to support the Rome AI Call, which emphasises the dignity of every human being amid technological change. While we can’t predict the future, we do know that there will continue to be rapid developments in science and technology and we need to be prepared. AI offers enormous potential in improving human capability. It must also seek to protect, preserve and cherish the dignity of the human person. The huge advances offered by AI cannot be the sole property of its developers, or any single part of the human race. They must be for all people everywhere. They must serve the common good, they must serve the climate, they must serve sustainable development. So much of how we understand Artificial Intelligence comes down to how we understand the nature of being human. Let us all work to ensure that the dignity of every human being, created by God, not for profit or productivity, is central to all we do.”

Father Paolo Benanti, Extraordinary Professor of Ethics of Technology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and scientific director of the RenAIssance Foundation, also enthusiastically welcomed this event, stating, “With this new growth of the Rome Call we can look with renewed confidence to algorethics, that is, to the positive contribution of the ethical approach to artificial intelligence. It is never merely a matter of innovation. Rather, it is about transforming the latter into human development. It is also very important that the heritage of human wisdom represented by religions speaks to the whole of humanity, enhancing what is shared in order to address contemporary challenges.”

The ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Since the launch of the Rome Call in February 2020, many stakeholders have signed it including representatives from the Abrahamic religions and the Italian government, and players such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco.

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