Which Religious Contribution to the Artificial Intelligence of the Future? Communities in Dialogue

31 July 2023

Massimo Leone (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento) and Marco Ventura (University of Siena), Director and former Director of ISR, respectively, co-chair, along with Alessandra Vitullo (Sapienza – University of Rome), a panel on religion and artificial intelligence at the 20th Annual Congress of the European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR), Vilnius, Sept. 4-8, 2023.

Religious or belief organizations address artificial intelligence mostly with two approaches. On the one hand, they defend themselves against oppressive and repressive potential or real use of AI technologies: i.e., Chinese high-tech surveillance of the Uighurs community in Xinyang provides an extreme, and yet realistic and exportable example of how AI could be mobilized to the detriment of freedom of religion or belief. On the other hand, religious or belief organizations position themselves in the debate on the regulation of AI providing ethical principles that can be implemented for the sake of human-centered Artificial Intelligence – the participation of religious organizations in the consultation on the White Paper on AI of the European Union (2020) provides a clear example of this second approach. In this polarized frame, this panel aims to explore the different theoretical and practical approaches that position religious or belief communities at the extremes poles or at the middle gradients of this polarization. The panel believing that religions have a wide agency in shaping the AI technology debate (Bruno Kessler Foundation 2021) invites researchers to provide case studies where it is possible to observe the doctrinal and practical involvement of religious communities.

The panel will be held on September 6 from 8 to 10 a.m.

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