Pope Francis Warns Humanity Is ‘Turning into an Enemy of Itself and the Planet’

Liberal Pope Francis has warned that the human race is becoming an “enemy of itself and of the planet.”

The papal issued the warning before world leaders during the first-ever papal address at a G-7 conference on Friday.

He made the comments while raising the alarm about the ethical pitfalls of artificial intelligence (AI).

The pope told the council of world leaders in Fasano, Italy, that AI offers immense benefits to the human race.

However, he also asserted that the technology threatens to dehumanize society.

In his remarks, Francis said:

“The question of artificial intelligence, however, is often perceived as ambiguous: on the one hand, it generates excitement for the possibilities it offers, while on the other, it gives rise to fear for the consequences it foreshadows”

He continued:

“In this regard, we could say that all of us, albeit to varying degrees, experience two emotions: we are enthusiastic when we imagine the advances that can result from artificial intelligence but, at the same time, we are fearful when we acknowledge the dangers inherent in its use.”

The pontiff continued by comparing AI to primitive flint knives and nuclear energy.

He acknowledged that every development in human technology has presented opportunities for both self-improvement and violence.

The pope warned that an irresponsible pursuit of AI technology without ethical barriers could exacerbate modern “throwaway culture.”

He argues it could dehumanize vulnerable societies unable to resist technocratic systems due to poverty or technological illiteracy.

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“Due to its radical freedom, humanity has not infrequently corrupted the purposes of its being, turning into an enemy of itself and of the planet,” the pope warned.

“The same fate may befall technological tools.”

Specifically, the pope warned that AI compromises the integrity and human dignity necessary for children’s education, the criminal justice system, and warfare.

The pope told the world leaders:

“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines.

“We need to ensure and safeguard a space for proper human control over the choices made by artificial intelligence programs: human dignity itself depends on it.”

“Much needs to change, through fundamental reform and major renewal.

“Only a healthy politics, involving the most diverse sectors and skills, is capable of overseeing this process.”

Pope Francis has been an outspoken skeptic of AI since the technology received widespread attention last year.

In December 2023, he speculated that global “technocratic systems” could exploit the efficiencies of AI.

He warned that such exploits would disregard the larger impacts on the poor, sacrificing humanity for efficiency.

READ MORE – Pope Francis Warns ‘Climate Change Is a Road to Death’: ‘Global Warming Is Alarming!’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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