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How Pope Francis Could Shape the Future of Robotics

By BBC News

March 25, 2019

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The Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life recently held a workshop on robotics and its ethical ramifications.

At the session's opening, Pope Francis presented a letter warning against developing technologies without first considering the societal costs, and stressing the need to study communication technologies, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, and robotics in particular.

Arguments from roboticists like Japanese researcher Hiroshi Ishiguro that human bodies must transition from organic to inorganic forms to ultimately survive provoked outrage from Academy officials.

Also engendering debate was Ishiguro's emphasis on using robots to staunch a population decline.

The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies issued a study last year on the "urgent and complex moral questions" raised by advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, citing a need for the collective and collaborative establishment of values around which to structure society, and the role these technologies play.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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