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Asian bishops challenged to ‘influence algorithm’ 

SIGNIS secretary general has encouraged Asian bishops to “dialogue” with Artificial Intelligence (AI) developers to share Catholic social teachings and “influence the algorithm.”

“Church communicators must commune with one another and the people they communicate about. Communion combats individualism bred by AI and similar technologies,” said Peter Monthienvhichienchai.

Monthienvhichienchai, who is the executive director of LiCAS.news, made the statement during the 28th annual Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC)-Office of Social Communication (OSC) Bishops’ Meet in Thailand last week.

He said the rapidly developing AI technology has unearthed “a crisis in people’s values” and unveiled how the human family values “authenticity and human interaction”.

“In the age of AI, people matter, particularly the often victimized poor and vulnerable,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Sebastian Francis of Penang called for the protection of the “universality of diversity,” adding, “Our universality must reflect the universality of the Trinitarian God.” 

The prelate stressed that “there should be no room for dominance by any one culture, nation, religion, creed, language, or technology.”

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Cardinal Francis reminded church leaders that Asia “is the continent of the young” and that the Church “must evangelize with a young, creative, bridge-building, and energetic spirit.” 

During the meeting, Natasa Govekar of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication said Catholic communicators need “an understanding of what it means to be human.”

“A pastoral approach to communication formation should then aid in learning creativity as bearers of God’s image and likeness,” said Govekar.

The Vatican official stressed that social communication must focus on the “human heart” because “communication is at the very heart of our faith”. 

“Communication is intimately linked to the Holy Trinity… Communion is a gift. We must rediscover communion and choose it repeatedly even if it means ‘dying’ to our own ways,” said Govekar.

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