Pope Francis - Copyright AGF s.r.l. / REX

Vatican and Microsoft join forces to promote AI ethics

Fri 15 Feb 2019
By Cara Bentley

The Vatican is set to team up with Microsoft to work on a strategy to promote ethics in artificial intelligence (AI).

The multinational technology company's president Brad Smith met the Pope in private on Wednesday.

According to a statement, the pair discussed "artificial intelligence at the service of the common good and activities aimed at bridging the digital divide that still persists at the global level".

Pope Francis and Smith also met with Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican scientific office that promotes Catholic Church positions on human life.

Speaking at the pontiff's residence, Smith and Archbishop Vincenzo highlighted the international prize that the Academy for Life is jointly sponsoring with Microsoft for the best doctoral dissertation in 2019 on the theme of "artificial intelligence at the service of human life".

The winner will receive 6,000 euros and an invitation to Microsoft's Seattle headquarters.

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