By Sydney Hyndman, UNESCO Chair Intern

On May 23-24, Humanity 2.0 invited a diverse group of academic, corporate and religious partners from around the world to gather at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican to participate in the 2024 Human Flourishing Forum.

Humanity 2.0 is a non-profit organization that is passionate about creating a world in which every individual has the opportunity to flourish. As a panelist for the “Tech Frontiers – Beyond the Doom and Boom Binary” panel, Assistant Professor in Bioethics and UNESCO Chair Research Scholar, Prof. Fr. Michael Baggot, LC, gave a captivating speech in which he explored the future of our society as it intertwines with AI. In Prof. Fr. Baggot’s presentation, he delved into the relationship between the concepts of “doom and boom”, highlighting the importance of recognizing both perspectives as we experience in AI one of the most rapid technological revolutions in history. Prof. Fr. Baggot emphasized that it is essential for our society to understand the ethical implications of AI, and the harmful aspects that it may introduce into our world. For example, he cautioned about the dangers of political manipulation through disinformation and deep fakes, and also highlighted the risks of exploiting human vulnerability for economic gain through artificial intimacy platforms. However, Prof. Fr. Baggot maintains a deep hope for humanity to engage in the ethical use of AI in a manner that helps us achieve the goals of global human flourishing. He provided examples of the benefits of AI in the areas of assisting in complex medical diagnosis and for educational purposes such as online tutoring and translation platforms.

In summary, the 2024 Human Flourishing Forum provided a realistic check on the state of the world, as we work collectively to promote human flourishing to establish a brighter future. Furthermore, the Forum developed a theoretical framework for professionals and specialists to collaborate and engage with each other in their respective areas of expertise. In order to develop a future in which all humans across the world can flourish, cross sectional collaboration is necessary. Flourishing is for everyone, and by everyone.