Notre Dame to sign Rome Call for AI Ethics, host Global University Summit

Author: Shannon Roddel and Carrie Gates

Rome call for AI ethics
Rome call for AI ethics

The University of Notre Dame will formally sign the Rome Call for AI Ethics on Thursday (Oct. 27), together with the University of Navarra in Spain, Catholic University of Croatia, SWPS University in Poland, Schiller International University in Spain, Chuo University in Japan, University of Johannesburg and University of Florida.

The signing will coincide with a Global University Summit on the Rome Call, held on Oct. 26-27 and co-organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, IBM and Notre Dame. Hosted by the Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab and held in-person and virtually, the summit will explore ways in which universities can use the complementary roles of research, education and policy in the development of human-centered approaches to artificial intelligence (AI).

“It’s an honor for the University of Notre Dame to host this global summit and support efforts to promote an ethical approach to artificial intelligence,” said John T. McGreevy, the University’s Charles and Jill Fischer Provost. “Notre Dame has long recognized the importance of incorporating responsibility and accountability into our teaching and research. As the world’s technological capabilities increase in areas such as AI, we will continue to identify new ways in which we can advance knowledge in service to humankind.”

Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said, “Education is the key process that enables people, especially the fragile (young and old), not to be subjected to the innovative process but to be able to be participatory actors in it. This initiative is the moment to translate these theoretical value instances into academic practices that can produce adequate guidance and social transformation.”

Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of research at IBM, said, “At IBM, we believe that creating and deploying cutting-edge technologies like AI will transform how we live and work and that this future must be developed responsibly and ethically. As one of the first signers of the Rome Call for AI Ethics, IBM is proud to continue its collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Life and other like-minded institutions across industry, academia, government and society to ensure we are collectively building a future that is supportive and inclusive of every single person.”

Along with a formal signing ceremony of the new partners, the two-day gathering will include keynote speakers, roundtables and networking events to define collaborative strategies universities can take around the Rome Call for AI Ethics.

The event will be emceed by Francesca Rossi, IBM fellow and AI ethics global leader, together with Rev. Robert A. Dowd, C.S.C., vice president and associate provost for interdisciplinary initiatives at Notre Dame, and Erin Klawitter, associate director of the Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab. Archbishop Paglia and IBM’s Gil will provide remarks at the signing ceremony.

The Rome Call for AI Ethics – established in 2020 and originally signed by the Pontifical Academy for Life, IBM, Microsoft, FAO and the Italian Ministry of Innovation – is a commitment to promote an ethical approach to the design, development and deployment of AI. It seeks to advance a sense of shared responsibility among international organizations, governments, institutions and the private sector to create a future in which digital innovation and technological progress are focused on humanity. 

A complete summit agenda is available here. A full list of participating organizations is available here.

Following the summit, the network of participating universities will collaborate regularly to share updates, discuss innovative ideas and democratize AI ethics solutions.

Contact: Shannon Roddel, Chapla.1@nd.edu