Global Economy

Taiwan president tells Pope Francis she supports his AI concerns


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a campaign rally of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Taipei, Taiwan January 11, 2024. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo


TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has written to Pope Francis offering support for his concerns over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and pledging deeper cooperation with the island’s sole European ally.

Taipei has watched with concern as Pope Francis has moved to improve relations with China. The democratically governed island has formal ties with only 12 countries, largely due to Chinese pressure.

The letter was sent in response to the pope’s World Day Of Peace message on Jan. 1, where he said algorithms must not be allowed to replace human values and warned of a “technological dictatorship” threatening human existence.

False information has become one of the most difficult challenges democracies like Taiwan face, Tsai wrote, according to a copy of the letter released by her office on Wednesday.

“We have a deep recognition of the Holy See’s calls for human rights not to be determined by algorithms,” Tsai wrote.

Taiwan will lead the development of AI with a “human heart and a technological brain” and join with like-minded partners to reduce the possible impact of AI, and deepen cooperation with the Vatican in all fields, she added.

Chip powerhouse Taiwan is home to the world’s largest contract chip maker TSMC, a major supplier of semiconductors used by companies like Nvidia for AI applications.


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