The Vatican, under Pope Francis’s direction, partnered with the Institute for Technology, Ethics, and Culture (ITEC) to create Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap.

Pope Francis Advances AI Handbook to Guide World in Ethical Use of New Tech

Is it possible to link organized religion with the current state of AI technology? Perhaps it’s an odd question, but a sound one. Both have been created to affect the most amount of people with the intent of helping the human race. An article from describes the Pope’s hope to rein in chaos through an ethics handbook released by The Vatican

As far back as 2017, ran an article about combining AI with religion. The article entitled Inside The First Church of Artificial Intelligence. That might have seemed a stretch then, but times have certainly changed. Just last month a church in Germany held a service that was written by ChatGPT.

Vatican Creates ITEC

With the Catholic Church being the largest of the Western-based religions, it is only natural that progressive thinkers like Pope Francis would have thoughts about the use and the ethics of AI.

The supreme pontiff has partnered with Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to form the Institute for Technology, Ethics, and Culture (ITEC), a body that, according to its website, is designed to convene “leaders from business, civil society, academia, government, and all faith and belief traditions, to promote deeper thought on technology’s impact on humanity.”

“The Pope has always had a large view of the world and of humanity, and he believes that technology is a good thing,” Father Brendan McGuire, a pastor and ITEC advisor, told Gizmodo. “But as we develop it, it comes time to ask the deeper questions.

“Technology executives from all over Silicon Valley have been coming to me for years and saying, ‘You need to help us, there’s a lot of stuff on the horizon and we aren’t ready,’ he added. ‘The idea was to use the Vatican’s convening power to bring executives from the entire world together.'”

Ethics Handbook

While many people fear that AI will become so powerful that it competes with what they consider to be the actual God of the Universe. Other people seemingly believe that AI is God in its current state.

Political, religious, and technological leaders agree on one thing: the lack of oversight by the U.S. government borders on negligence when compared to the effort the European Union has put forth to oversee AI.

The Catholic Church’s handbook, called “Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operational Roadmap,” is meant to help tech companies navigate the many grey areas of AI ethics. The handbook doesn’t just focus on AI and machine learning. It also covers other topics like encryption, tracking, and facial recognition technologies.

Still, based on the text, the ongoing AI race certainly seems to be its main inspiration. You can find the handbook at the link below.