Pope Francis, Microsoft President Discuss AI Ethics

Pope Francis met with Microsoft President Brad Smith on Wednesday to discuss artificial intelligence “at the service of the common good,” Reuters reports, per Business Insider.

The 81-year-old Roman Catholic leader debated the potential threats AI poses to humanity, and ahead of the meeting Smith told WION News, “in the wrong hands, every instrument can become a weapon if the organizational power of humanity cannot keep up with the technology itself.”

The pair also discussed ways to bridge the digital gap between rich and poor nations at the meeting, which took place at the Vatican.

Smith’s visit came ahead of a summit on “Robo-ethics: Humans, Machines, and Health,” which takes place at the Vatican on Feb. 25 and 26.

Microsoft is spending heavily on artificial intelligence technology, but recently warned investors the tech might go awry, harming the company’s reputation in the process.

“Issues in the use of AI in our offerings may result in reputational harm or liability,” Microsoft wrote in its latest quarterly filing.

“AI algorithms may be flawed. Datasets may be insufficient or contain biased information. Inappropriate or controversial data practices by Microsoft or others could impair the acceptance of AI solutions. . . . Some AI scenarios present ethical issues,” it added.

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