press release
Published: 04 March 2024

Humanity in the age of AI: Professor Jim Al-Khalili speaks at Vatican workshop

Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) change what it means to be human? The Pontifical Academy for Life invited Professor Jim Al-Khalili to the Vatican to give a speech on this very subject at a special workshop, Human. Meanings and Challenges.  

He told the audience how, like mobile phones or online banking, AI could make our lives easier. Unfortunately, AI could also make it easier for advanced superpowers to take lives on the battlefield, especially for those wielding advanced AI technology. 

Professor Al-Khalili called for international treaties akin to those for chemical or biological weapons to govern AI's military applications. He also highlighted the need for the world to work faster to develop the appropriate legal frameworks to keep pace with the rapid advancements in AI. 

Despite the hype surrounding AI, he argued that artificial general intelligence (AGI) with 'human-level' intelligence is still some way away.

Professor Al-Khalili argued that for humans to develop AGI, we must better understand consciousness. 

So, is AI the next step in human evolution? Perhaps not, Professor Al-Khalili concluded.

The full text of the speech is available here.

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