CLIPSAS 2024: The Contribution of the Grand Liberal Lodge of Italy to the International Colloquium

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CLIPSAS 2024 – Durrés (Albania)

Freemasonry and Artificial Intelligence. The world to come.

The so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very popular topic in recent times. Although it is a technology whose development began a few decades ago and has been talked about for some time in the technical field, the current attention from the general public is due to the fact that AI has emerged from the inner of laboratories and has become usable by common users thanks to the availability of easy-to-access applications, such as Open AI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Copilot or Google’s Bard.

Today many, even if not experts, are able to use AI to draft documents, generate articles or even imaginative images in a simple and automatic way, while for some time industries and professionals have been applying AI in their production processes or in carrying out their work, obtaining benefits in economic and time terms. Furthermore, AI has already entered our homes with voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google Home, and biometric and voice recognition applications have become commonplace in our cell phones.

However, Artificial Intelligence, due to its continuous evolution, raises concerns and generates a lot of anxiety: where will this technology arrive? Will we have machines more intelligent than humans taking over? Will humanity be subjugated by machines?

These are certainly excessive and unjustified fears, which recall the ancient fears that have always accompanied technological innovations.

Certainly, the use of Artificial Intelligence is destined to increase exponentially in the near future, modifying the very concept of many jobs that will be entrusted to thinking machines, to robots capable of replacing man and interacting under his control.

We will then need to ask ourselves whether Artificial Intelligence will be a source of well-being and further development of our prosperity or whether it could, if not used in a balanced way, generate further employment conflicts. And again, could an incorrect use of AI cause damage not only to individuals, but to the entire society, to the point of limiting, if not even eliminating personal freedom?

The world is experiencing an extremely delicate phase full of strong questions and unknowns relating to the future that awaits us and which will involve all moments of our daily lives. Added to the anguish created by international war events, climate change and the energy crisis, there is a concern that the development of Artificial Intelligence could represent a danger for the future of humanity.

I don’t believe that Artificial Intelligence can represent a danger: no machine, no matter how sophisticated, will ever be able to replace the human brain, the person’s thoughts and consciousness. No robot will ever shed a tear, no robot will be able to love.

However, there are other questions that we should ask ourselves: what will Man do to improve current living conditions? How will he act to safeguard the planet he lives on, which is grappling with increasingly frequent cataclysms? Where is humanity going when it has to deal with the risk of a potential atomic conflict?

These are the questions and at the same time also the most important challenges that await us and on which we Freemasons must reflect, since the centrality of Man is at stake, Man who is capable of creating formidable inventions but also capable of carrying out criminal and horrendous atrocities.

Artificial Intelligence, which everyone is talking about today, is certainly not the main problem for the future of humanity. I believe instead that we Freemasons, as free, thinking and responsible men and women, have a demanding task before us: that of monitoring and participating in the choices that will influence our future and even more the future of our children, our grandchildren and the generations to come. Let us remember the maxim in the Ritual of Fellowcraft: “Nothing that has a relationship with humanity must remain extraneous to Freemasonry”.

In a society that exalts appearance to the detriment of interiority, it is necessary to return to the spirituality that elevates Man from material things and makes him free and ready for his mission in this Earth.

It is the values, virtues, quality and actions of Man that will always make the difference. This is why our task has been, is and will always be that of working in our temples to make men and women better, capable of achieving, through the Masonic path, awareness, and wisdom, and capable of putting their own talent available to all, for the common good.  Men and women, Brothers and Sisters, wise teachers of life and shining examples of Tolerance, Solidarity, Love.

Beings capable of courageously facing the present and the future, with the strength and full awareness that nothing, absolutely nothing important is created and concluded without Man present with his genius, his gaze, his heart, his personal uniqueness that makes the Great Work of Life extraordinary.


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