A Delegation from the Pontifical Academy visits USA

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 10

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Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, was in the United States from  September2nd . The visit was part of preparations for the next Pontifical Academy for Life Assembly on Artificial Intelligence, from 26 to 28 February, with the participation of Microsoft and IBM.

Three stages: the Loyola Marymount University, Redmond for the Microsoft both in California; New York for the IBM. 

Education and human life: a link to be considered

Meetings with IBM in New York

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Education is part of the promotion of human life. Our Academy team is in New York meeting with participants in IBM’s digital secondary ed program, Part of the company’s multimodal learning experience journey initiative in partnership with schools and colleges “P-Tech”.

What is P-TECH? Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) are innovative public schools spanning grades 9 to 14 that bring together the best elements of high school, college and career.

Today, there are 200 P-TECH schools with more than 100,000 students in 18 countries

Within six years, students graduate with a no-cost associate degree in applied science, engineering, computers or other competitive STEM disciplines, along with the skills and knowledge they need to continue their studies or step easily into high-growth, “new collar” jobs. These are positions in some of the nation’s fastest-growing industries where what matters most is having in-demand skills.

There are currently 30 P-TECH graduates working full-time at IBM in New York, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Some of these graduates are participating in IBM's industry-leading apprentice program, and more graduates are in the hiring pipeline.

Some of the P-TECH graduates will move on to “new collar” jobs, ranging from associate analyst to digital design developer.

On-time graduation from Brooklyn P-TECH is 4x the national average. Others plan to pursue their bachelor’s degrees, and some will do both — maintaining jobs that use the skills they gained in the program while furthering their education. (Courtesy from IBM. https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/ptech/index.html)

Visiting Microsoft

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On September 5 Abp. Paglia - and a delegation including Prof. Father Paolo Benanti, Prof. Father Carlo Casalone, Msgr. Lucio Ruiz, Secretary of the Dicastery for Communications of the Vatican, Father Andrea Ciucci – participated at meetings organized in Redmond with the Directors of Microsoft’s different departments for development and research, devoted to Artificial Intelligence and the common good.

We have an incredible development of Information Technology, but  we need a vision to manage it in favor of humankind, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, introducing his visit at Microsoft, yesterday.

During the visit Archbishop Paglia and the group from the Pontifical Academy for Life talked about different topics: how can we use Artificial Intelligence for common good?

A second was the  hot problem of Facial Recognition and the power of Artificial Intelligence and the urgency of ethics.

Archbishop Paglia has suggested the importance to have Artificial Intelligence at the service of a united world where the human family live in peace.

Finally Archbishop Paglia and the Delegation from the Pontifical Academy talked with Brad Smith, Microsoft President, and confirmed the invitation to the next Assembly in Vatican (February 26-28, 2020)

Visiting Microsoft (Redmond USA, September 5, 2019)

Archbishop Paglia with the students

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Abp. Paglia’s first appointment was with the students at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) on September 3 and it was focused on the theme of Global Bioethics. During this meeting Abp. Paglia outlined the topics covered by Pope Francis in the Humana Communitas Letter, published last January to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Pontifical Academy for Life. 

At the Loyola Marymount University Abp. Paglia was introduced by Prof. Roberto Dell'Oro, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Academics of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Here the speech.

In his speech Abp. Paglia said: "In his letter, the Holy Father attempted to give us such a solid and loving theological basis for the work of the Academy that we will be able to address and overcome the concerns and the hesitancies that have greeted the renewed structure of the Academy (and I might add of its sister entity, the John Paul II Institute as well). Thus, my message today is that to understand the mission that the Holy Father has given to the Academy, and the Institute, we have to understand that while science and technology do contribute to the overall good of man and the fulfillment the God’s plan for salvation, and that our members and programs will continue to offer solutions to specific societal concerns, we must now work more broadly—toward an understanding, an appreciation, of life itself—which is the great expression of the love that is God.      And we must work to teach the women, men and children of today what life itself means, what God had in mind when, as an outpouring of the passionate love that makes God a family, the Humana Communitas, the human family, came into being, and God Himself, in Jesus Christ, became its first-born member. As a very practical first step, we must reassure our friends, and our enemies, that we will never slacken our resolve to protect and promote human life from its beginning to the end of its earthly days, and that our dialogue with others who do not share our understanding of God’s fruitful love and of the nature of the human family and its challenges, does not mean that we are abandoning Catholic orthodoxy.  With that, however, we must also make it clear that the Pope wants the Academy, and the Institute, to (1) widen its scope of reflection, not limiting itself to addressing “specific situations of ethical, social or legal conflict,” (2) articulate an anthropology that sets the practical and theoretical premises for “conduct consistent with the dignity of the human person,”and (3) make sure it has the tools to critically examine “the theory and practice of science and technology as they interact with life, its meaning and its value".

Vatican City, September 9, 2019

Abp. Paglia visits Loyola Marymount University - September 3rd, 2019