COMECE publishes reflection on “Robotisation of Life”

  • The quick development of new technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is leading COMECE to publish the reflection “Robotisation of Life – Ethics in view of new challenges”. The document reaffirms the primacy of the human person and promotes a right-based and person-centred approach in reviewing the main principles that define the relationship between human persons and robots.

    Produced by an ad-hoc working group on robotisation established by COMECE, the reflection comes in a moment of intense discussion about the importance of Artificial intelligence at the EU level.

    This ongoing debate – in the context of which a statement on “Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Autonomous Systems” was issued by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, and the first draft of “Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI” was published by the recently established High – Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence - reveals the increasing number of urgent and complex moral questions in this domain. It also highlights the need for defining an ethical and legal framework for the design, production, use and governance of Artificial Intelligence.

    Led by Prof. Antonio Autiero and enriched by diverse contributions of experts in theology, philosophy, law and engineering, the COMECE ad-hoc working group analysed the impacts of robotisation on the human person and on society as a whole and elaborated its reflection as an ethical step which can shape community life in our complex and globalised society in which actors are increasingly interconnected.

    Acknowledging the necessity of clear guidance for the future of the next generations, and convinced that no unconditional or emphatic acceptance of Artificial Intelligence is possible, this COMECE reflection encourages a review of the current principles, reaffirming the primacy of the human, on the basis of the recognition of the human dignity of each person.


    Working group on ethics

    The Working Group on Ethics in Research and Medicine monitors and prepares opinions, reports and contributions to the EU debate and on the EU-policy in the areas of research, innovation and healthcare. It also follows the work of the European Group on Ethics (EGE). Its President is the General Secretary of COMECE Fr Olivier Poquillon OP.

    Since 2017, the working group is operating under new modalities. It brings together legal and scientific experts in the framework of an ad hoc composition, depending on the subjects dealt with. Its moderator, Prof. Antonio Autiero, is assisted by the Liaison Officer Friederike Ladenburger, who is in charge of the working group’s animation in cooperation with the experts of the Bishops’ Conferences of the countries of the European Union.