Artificial Intelligence

Amidst the rapid advancement and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across industries, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has issued a sobering call for caution and ethical consideration in using this powerful technology.

The Bishops expressed their apprehension during the maiden Communication Week Public lecture of the Catholic Church held in Abuja recently with title, “Artificial Intelligence and Wisdom of the Heart for a fully human communication.”

President of CBCN Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, emphasized the need for ethical considerations in AI development and deployment.

Archbishop Ugorji reinforced the benefits of AI, in his statement:  “AI has permeated various facets of life… Today, computers can perform tasks traditionally requiring human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, learning from data, and making decisions.

“Despite the enormous benefits, the development and deployment of AI digital technology must be approached with ethical rigour.”

He reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s unwavering commitment to tackling the ethical issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence.

He stated: “We wish to create awareness of the revolutionary positive impact on humanity and society by AI, while raising the ethical concerns that arise from its abuse.”

Archbishop Ugorji stressed that the Catholic Church’s position on social media communication is firmly rooted in the guidance of Vatican II Decree on the Means of Social Communication, Inter Mirifica no. 2.

Similarly, the CBCN President, who emphasized on the need for balance, said further:  “We must strive for a balance that prioritizes human welfare alongside technological progress, mindful of the ethical and moral dilemmas, as well as risks such as job displacement, threat to peace in the world, spread of falsehood through propaganda, manipulation of the human person, and privacy concerns through advanced hacking and deep fakes.”

With Pope Francis set to join world leaders at the G7 summit; his advocacy for ethical AI development seems to take center stage, coinciding with the Catholic Bishop’s warning about the risk of Artificial Intelligence.


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