Skip to content

The Pope Addressed the G7 Lame Ducks, Calling for Statecraft and the Common Good

The Vatican published Pope Francis’ speech on Artificial Intelligence, which the Pope gave before the G7 heads of state, and invited leaders June 14.The speech is an in-depth analysis of potentialities and problems with AI. His remarks include a summons for acting for the common good, and elevating statecraft. He concluded his speech with the following paragraphs:

“We cannot, therefore, conceal the concrete risk, inherent in its fundamental design, that artificial intelligence might limit our worldview to realities expressible in numbers and enclosed in predetermined categories, thereby excluding the contribution of other forms of truth and imposing uniform anthropological, socio-economic and cultural models. The technological paradigm embodied in artificial intelligence runs the risk, then, of becoming a far more dangerous paradigm, which I have already identified as the ‘technocratic paradigm.’ We cannot allow a tool as powerful and indispensable as artificial intelligence to reinforce such a paradigm, but rather, we must make artificial intelligence a bulwark against its expansion.

“This is precisely where political action is urgently needed. The Encyclical Fratelli Tutti reminds us that, ‘for many people today, politics is a distasteful word, often due to the mistakes, corruption and inefficiency of some politicians. There are also attempts to discredit politics, to replace it with economics or to twist it to one ideology or another. Yet can our world function without politics? Can there be an effective process of growth towards universal fraternity and social peace without a sound political life?’

“Our answer to these questions is: No! Politics is necessary! I want to reiterate in this moment that, ‘in the face of many petty forms of politics focused on immediate interests ... ‘true statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty in the work of nation-building’ (Laudato Sí, 178), much less in forging a common project for the human family, now and in the future.’”