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Tech & Science Pope to endorse principles on AI ethics with Microsoft, IBM

14:40  28 february  2020
14:40  28 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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The "Rome Call for AI Ethics " asserts that the technology should respect privacy, work reliably and without bias, consider "the needs of all human Pope Francis was due to receive the document Friday to conclude a conference that the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life hosted this week on AI ethics .

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Vatican officials on Friday planned to release principles promoting the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI), with the backing of Microsoft Corp and International Business Machines Corp as the first two technology industry sponsors.

The "Rome Call for AI Ethics" asserts that the technology should respect privacy, work reliably and without bias, consider "the needs of all human beings" and operate transparently - an area of ongoing research because AI systems' decisions are often inscrutable.

The document reflects growing interest among companies and institutions to set guardrails for the fast-evolving technology. Police have used facial recognition systems to investigate crimes, and Fortune 500 companies have used AI to vet job applicants - both examples of high-stakes tasks where deploying inaccurate or biased software could lead to harm.

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Microsoft , which has taken the ethical implications of AI so seriously that president Brad Smith met with Pope Francis in February to discuss how to best Microsoft is a founding member of Partnership on AI , a nonprofit formed with Amazon, Facebook, Google’s Deep Mind and IBM to study, “ ethics

IBM and Microsoft have signed an “ ethical resolution” with the Vatican to develop artificial The pledge, called the “Rome Call for AI Ethics ”, will be presented on Friday morning to Pope Francis by Mr Smith said AI “must be guided by strong ethical principles that build on global human rights

  Pope to endorse principles on AI ethics with Microsoft, IBM © Getty

The Vatican's initiative grew out of concerns that Pope Francis raised about AI and its effect on society more than a year ago, according to John Kelly III, executive vice president of IBM and one of the signatories.

"His major concerns were, will it be available to everyone, or is it going to further bifurcate the haves and the have-not's?" Kelly told Reuters in an interview. Vatican officials also had concerns about AI displacing jobs and met with IBM in the United States at a research centre in September, he said.

Pope Francis was due to receive the document Friday to conclude a conference that the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life hosted this week on AI ethics. Others participating included the European Parliament's President David Sassoli and Microsoft's President Brad Smith.

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Pope Francis summons IBM and Microsoft to Vatican to sign 'Call For Ethics ' covenant in February as the Vatican wants control in technology field. I am sure Both IBM and Microsoft will be sending millions into the Vatican bank, to 'support the good work' the Catholic church is doing.

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It was not immediately clear which other technology companies might sign on to the document going forward, or how signatories would implement the principles.

IBM for instance wants a doctor to be in the loop when its AI makes healthcare recommendations - something that may increase over time following a deal it announced this week with the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital in Rome. That partnership will focus on developing technology to speed up diagnosis and treatment of brain tumour patients.

Both IBM and Microsoft have said they turned down business when they felt uncomfortable with how a customer wanted to use their technology. Still, according to Kelly, about a third of the ethics questions IBM typically faces have no obvious answer.

"Going forward we're going to see more falling in that category, only because the technology is advancing so fast," he said.

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