June 15, 2024
News Nigeria

Catholic Media Practitioners Need to “allow ethical values” Guide AI Deployment: Nigeria Catholic Secretariat Official

Catholic media practitioners need to be educated on ways to engage Artificial Intelligence (AI) in an ethical manner to benefit the evangelization mission of the Church, the National Director of Social Communications at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of the annual celebration of the 58th World Communications Day (WCD) 2024, Fr. Michael Nsika Umoh said  AI could be misused if those engaging it are not appropriately and ethically prepared. 

“Artificial Intelligence is transforming the world of information and communication, affecting everyone, not just media professionals but everyone,” Fr. Umoh said during the May 12 interview.

He added, “We must acknowledge the excitement and confusion that comes with rapid innovation and take necessary precaution and allow ethical values to guide our deployment of the AI.”

“Catholic journalists and media experts must be educated to know the ethical consideration in the use of this innovative technology,” the member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos said.

He lamented gaps in education on the ethics around engaging digital media. With the gap, Fr. Umoh warned, “technology became dangerous instead of a blessing.”

“The modern media technology in the hands of people without education is like a loaded gun waiting to explode,” he emphasized, adding, “Education is truly the way to go because with education, journalists and other media professionals will come to understand what modern communication technology  really is, how it should be used and the philosophy and ideologies behind its deployment.”

The Nigerian Catholic Priest, who serves as Director of the department of Social Communications of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) further said, “Media literacy is very important and that is what Bishops in Nigeria have started already with  the introduction of Communication Week, which is aimed at promoting media literacy.”

“The more people, particularly you, fellow Catholic media practitioners and Catholics in the media industry, understand this new technology, the better for our world,” he said, and added, “We are already in our Seminaries; we are already preparing for our Convents, our schools, and our parishes.”

“The more people understand the media, the better for them and it will make them better citizens, better disciples and better Christians,” the Nigerian Catholic Priest said.

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