It a workshop themed, Roboethics: Humans, Machines and Health hosted by The Pontifical Academy for Life.
The academy which was created 25 years ago by Pope John Paul II after he noticed the rapid changes in biomedicine is dedicated to studying issues including advances inhuman genome editing techniques. These were the same techniques that were controversially claimed to have been used by Chinese scientist He Jiankui, to alter the genes of twin girls so they could not get HIV.🙊 The meeting was officially opened by Pope Francis presenting a letter to the Human Community, where he outlines the paradox of “progress” and cautions against developing technologies without first thinking of the possible costs to society.
In the letter, the Pope emphasises the need to study new technologies: communication technologies, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies androbotics( i guess even the pope has a little nerdy spirit in him😸). The letter reads “There is a pressing need, then, to understand these epochal changes andnew frontiers in order to determine howto place them at the service of the human person, while respecting and promoting the intrinsic dignity of all.”
Japanese Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro who is famously known for creating Human-like robots at his lab in osaka university spoke about the need to evolve our bodies away from their current materials to something more enduring. He said “Our ultimate aim of human evolution is immortality by replacing the flesh and bones with inorganic materials, The question is what happens if something happens in the planet, or something happens on the Sun, so we cannot live in the planet, we need to live in space. In this case, which is better? Organic materials or inorganic materials?”
For Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy forLife, there is a clear answer. “This dream is a terrible dream,” adding that it was “impossible” to divide the body and soul.😧 he added, saying that “The flesh is the body with the soul and the soul is a spirit with flesh, “The body is very important for human beings, through the body we love, through the body we embrace and communicate with one another, We are aware on one side this is unbelievable progress, but on the other side, we felt that are risks that this development can give the world. The risk is we forget we are creatures,not creators.”👍👌
The focus of the group’s work is on how human rights relate to robots, rather than the idea of giving rights to new forms of autonomous technology. The vatican is said to have even entered a partnership deal with microsoft to offer ane international prizeon ethics and artificial intelligence. The prof also emphasised the need forgovernments to address these emerging ethical issues saying ” Europe has to move faster to catch up”.