2024 World Communications  Day: Pope cautions against AI, says  AI can never replace wisdom of human heart

Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis says Artificial Intelligence (AI) with its positive gains, can never replace wisdom of human heart, urging humanity to cultivate wisdom of human heart

This was contained in his message for the 58th World Day of Social Communications celebrated on Sunday,May 12. In Enugu, at a High Mass, celebrated by the  Bishop of Enugu Catholic Diocese ,Most Reverend Dr Callistus Onaga at  the Holy Ghost Cathedral,Enugu.

Delivering Pope Francis’ message with the Theme, Artificial  Intelligence and the wisdom of the Heart: Towards a fully human Communication, 


Pix- Bishop Onaga

Bishop Onaga said,o the message is closely linked to the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace, which was devoted to the development of systems of artificial intelligence (AI).

Pope Francis observed that “Artificial Intelligence (AI)  is radically affecting the world of information and communication, and through it, certain foundations of life in society.” He added  that “these changes affect everyone.”

Pix- Bishop Onaga praying for media workers

Pope Francis  noted that there is need to guide the cultural transformation to serve a good purpose. He asked, “how can we remain fully human and guide this cultural transformation to serve a good purpose?”

Giving an answer to the question, the Holy Father  said, “at this time in history, which risks becoming rich in technology and poor in humanity, our reflections must begin with the human heart.”

He said,” the heart is inward place of our encounter with God.”

“In the Bible, the heart is seen as the place of freedom and decision-making, symbolising integrity and unity, while also engaging our emotions, desires, and dreams.”

“Wisdom of the heart, then, is the virtue that enables us to integrate the whole and its parts, our decisions and their consequences, our nobility and our vulnerability, our past and our future, our individuality and our membership within a larger community,” he said.

Pope Francis explained  that such wisdom cannot be sought from machines.

He was of the view that though “artificial intelligence” has replaced the term “machine learning,, “the very use of the word ‘intelligence’ can prove misleading.”

The Pope explained that it is not enough to be able to store data, like machines do, but that this data must be made sense of, and “human beings alone” are capable of this.

Pix- Director of Social Communications,Rev Fr Anthony Aneke

“Depending on the inclination of the heart, everything within our reach becomes either an opportunity or a threat,” he warns. 

The Holy Father noted that the technology of simulation behind AI algorithms can be useful in certain specific fields, adding that the use of AI becomes “perverse when it distorts our relationship with others and with reality.”

*In fact, it is extremely important to know that in the wrong hands, such tools could lead to “disturbing scenarios.

“Artificial Intelligence must be regulated, , and regulation is, of itself, not sufficient”, Pope Francis advised 

On growth in humanity, Pope Francis called on everyone to grow together, “in humanity and as humanity,” recalling that we are all challenged to make a qualitative leap in order to become “a complex, multiethnic, pluralistic, multireligious, and multicultural society.”

Pix: Bishop Onaga and media workers

Speaking of information, the Holy Father warns that “information cannot be separated from living relationships.”

He explains that relationships involve the body and an immersion into the real world, but that they also involve human experiences, “compassion, and sharing.”

With this in mind, Pope Francis refers to the many reporters who have been injured or killed in the line of duty as they attempted to show the world what they themselves had seen.

“For only by such direct contact with the suffering of children, women, and men can we come to appreciate the absurdity of war,” says the Pope.

Looking at the present and the future, Pope Francis said, “it is up to us to decide whether we will become fodder for algorithms or will nourish our hearts with that freedom without which we cannot grow in wisdom.

“Only together,  can we increase our capacity for discernment and vigilance and for seeing things in the light of their fulfilment.

Pope Francis said  wisdom, can help us “to put systems of artificial intelligence at the service of a fully human communication.”

He prayed that humanity may never lose its bearings, and that the wisdom that was present before all modern technology may return to us

Speaking after reading the Pope’s message, Bishop Onaga urged Newsmen to be objective in their reportage and shun fake news. He said AI has negative effects ,which does not do the society good. He also cautioned media houses against promoting neo-peganism. The Bishop noted that neo-peganism being promoted by some organisations violate Christians’ s faith. He also spoke on various developmental projects going on in Enugu state and appealed the  the people to support Government ‘s efforts 

on the ongoing demolitions around Holy Ghost, Bishop Onaga  said the state Government informed him the owners had been compensated and that the  terminal will be completed within  two years. He added that the tenants who are  qualified will be accepted  and be accommodated there 

The clergy condemned the rate at which some  people took  to the social media to spread fake news with the use of Artificial Intelligence about the action of the government. He called for support of the Government 

In his address to the media, the Director, Social Communications, Catholic Diocese , Enugu, Rev Fr Anthony Aneke said the Pope emphasized that while artificial intelligence can be a formidable tool to facilitate communication and exchange information, it cannot provide the uniquely human wisdom needed to promote the good of people and their communities. 

 He said the declaration endorsed by the Vatican includes  accountability,inclusion , security,  transparency, reliability ,privacy and  impartiality.

A  lecture was delivered  on the “Impact of Artificial Intelligence on human communication” by the Guest Lecturer,  Francis Uka, the General Manager of Udoka FM, 

Highlight of the event was March past by various media organisations and  presentation of a campus  Newspaper by the students of Mass Communication Department , Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT

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