Summary: Pope Francis reminds us that progress isn’t actually progress if it increases inequality.
Original author and publication date: Kathleen N. Hattrup – November 5, 2020
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: As Pope Francis well said, progress with inequality is not progress at all. Perhaps technology is dehumanizing us so much that we truly need a divine intervention.
From the article:
The Pope Video illustrating Pope Francis’ prayer intention for November notes how technological “progress” that increases inequality is not progress at all.
Thus, he (the Pope) is inviting the faithful to pray that “the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind … we could say, may it ‘be human.’”
Francis entrusts to the entire Catholic Church his prayer intentions, through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (which includes the Eucharistic Youth Movement – EYM). This edition of The Pope Video was made with the support of Enel, a multinational energy company and one of the principle players in world markets for energy, gas, and renewable energy.
This month, the Holy Father calls our attention to the epochal change that humanity is experiencing thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. It is not news that, in recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced exponentially, as evidenced by its many applications in different fields of knowledge. Today, 37% of organizations in the world have implemented AI in some way (which represents a 270% increase in the past four years).
Pope Francis clarifies that this progress, as well as that in robotics, “can make a better world possible if it is joined to the common good.” In this sense, he wants us to pray for technological progress that does not increase the inequalities in society; if it does, it will not be “true progress,” one that takes into account the dignity of the human person and care for Creation.
Artificial intelligence is capable of addressing many problems facing humanity: among others, it can evaluate the learning capacity of students, in order to detect opportunities for improvement; it can help people with visual or hearing impairments by developing better communication tools (such as converting text to speech or speech to text); and it can speed up the collection, processing and diffusion of health data to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients, especially those living in remote areas.
The same applies in the field of ecology: for example, thanks to artificial intelligence, it’s possible to analyze data on climate change and create models that can help predict natural disasters.