'Strange bedfellows': IBM, Microsoft join with Vatican on ethical use of AI

Leaders from IBM and Microsoft met with senior Vatican officials in Rome on Feb. 28 to discuss ethical concerns around the design and implementation of artificial intelligence technology, the BBC reports.

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, and John Kelly, executive vice president of IBM, co-signed the Rome Call for AI Ethics, which reportedly proposes that all AI be designed with a goal of best serving humans and our environment.

At the signing event, Mr. Smith said that while the tech giants and the Roman Catholic Church may seem like "strange bedfellows," in fact, "I think the world needs people from different places to come together," per the BBC.

He continued, "I think it's a challenging time because there is so much polarization in so many parts of the world. … We need people who can work to close the gaps that divide us — so in some ways, I look at the Catholic Church, I look at a company like Microsoft, and I say why not?"

The group hopes to entice other powerful global organizations to sign the Rome Call for AI Ethics to craft a unified ethical framework for the development of AI in what its leaders have termed the ongoing "renAIssance."

Read more here.

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