How Religion Informs Human-Centered AI in Business


In thick. 68 of Enterprise AI Minute, Aaron Back discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into and across religions, as well as how religion informs AI, largely in part at “the call of Rome,” which is the Vatican’s ethical blueprint for keeping a human presence within AI.

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Strong points

01:10 – Aaron says AI has permeated nearly every aspect of our society, but notes the one area that hasn’t been touched until recent years: religion.

01:38 – Humans should be at the heart of anything AI-related, Aaron says. He says that “the balance between human intelligence and artificial intelligence is the future of business in the acceleration economy”. This leads Aaron to wonder how AI could impact religion, and vice versa.

02:10 – Aaron explains “The Call of Rome,” an initiative led by engineer and ethicist Paolo Benanti, which was called by Pope Francis in 2020. At its core, “The Call of Rome” is an ethical commitment to “maintain human dignity as a priority as AI advances around the world,” says Aaron. Companies such as Microsoft and IBM have also signed the pledge.

02:43 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO – has also published its own recommendations for AI ethics in 2021. It guarantees that regulations will be put in place to create a Human-centric AI, says Aaron.

03:18 – The principles listed in the “Rome Call” relate to transparency, inclusiveness, accountability, bias, reliability, security and confidentiality. Aaron notes that “these are a lot of pillars to put in place, but necessary to keep AI human-centric.” All these principles are linked to a new word introduced by Benanti called “algorethics”, a combination of algorithms and ethics.

04:00 – Aaron says there has been “common ground found here between different religions”. He says Benanti worked with his “Muslim and Jewish counterparts” to secure the signing of an “Appeal from Rome” that would extend to different religions.

04:30 – “At the heart of it all is the preservation of humanity,” says Aaron. He says the future of AI depends on what we do now.

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