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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Deliver Us From A.I.? This Priest-Led Network Aims to Shepherd Silicon Valley Tech Ethics

Rebecca Heilweil
Originally posted 24 Nov 19

Here is an excerpt:

When asked about engaging leaders in atheist- and liberal-leaning Silicon Valley, Salobir says that, even if they’re not religious, many do seek meaning in their work. “They dedicate all their time, all their money, all their energy to build a startup—it has to be meaningful," he says. "If it’s not, what is the point of waking up every morning and working so much?"

It's the kind of work that has Salobir finding inspiration in John the Baptist. “He’s the one who connects," he says. "He’s the one who puts people in touch.” 

There are other Vatican-affiliated groups interested in the impact of emerging technologies, Green says. He points to pontifical academies that have—or will—host conferences on topics including robotics and artificial intelligence. This past September, the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development came together to host a conference on the common good in the digital age that featured Silicon Valley leaders like Reid Hoffman and representatives from Facebook and Mozilla.

But Green says Optic is somewhat unique in its focus on establishing a reciprocal relationship with the technology industry. “It’s not just that the Church is going to get good information here, but [that] the technologists are going to feel like they’re also being benefitted," he says.

They’re getting the opportunity to think about technology in a way that they haven’t been thinking about it before, Green adds. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.”

The info is here.