G7 Summit: Pope Francis calls for ban on use of ‘lethal autonomous weapons’

Apulia [Italy]: In his address on the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI), at the G7 leaders’ Summit in Italy, Pope Francis called for a prohibition on ‘lethal autonomous weapons‘, according to Al Jazeera.

He warned the leaders assembled in the southern Italian area that “artificial intelligence [is] both a fascinating and terrifying technology. We would commit humanity to a hopeless future if we removed people’s freedom to make judgements about themselves and their life, forcing them to rely on the choices of machines.”

Pope Francis, 87, was notably the first head of the Roman Catholic Church to ever attend a Group of Seven meeting.

Due to mobility challenges in recent years, the pontiff arrived in Puglia in a helicopter and was greeted by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni upon his arrival at the Summit venue.

“In light of the tragedy that is armed conflict, it is urgent to reconsider the development and use of devices like the so-called ‘lethal autonomous weapons’ and ultimately ban their use,” the pope went on to say.

“This starts from an effective and concrete commitment to introduce ever greater and proper human control. No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being,” he added

The Argentinian pontiff’s address to the G7 came after a series of bilateral talks with leaders such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, stated on Friday that AI “can play a crucial role in promoting progress and development in our societies”.

“We recognise the impact of AI on the military domain and the need for a framework for responsible development and use,” the leaders said in a draft statement, reported Al Jazeera.

The G7 summit was held in Italy’s Apulia region.

India was also invited by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni as an ‘Outreach Country’ to the summit.

Italian PM Meloni had invited PM Modi to attend the G7 Summit. It was India’s 11th and PM Modi’s fifth consecutive participation at the G7 Summit.

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ANI