By Chuks Asoya

This years World Communications Day has been marked with a call on Christians especially media practitioners to be careful using Artificial intelligence (AI) in their reportage.

The call was made by His Holiness, Pope Francis in his 2024 message at the 58th
World Day of Social Communications.
The message with it’s title ” Artificial intelligence and wisdom of the heart: towards a fully human communication.

In his message, it noted that with the development of systems of AI, communication had radically been affected because of the changes due to the rapid spread of astonishing innovations whose workings and potentials were beyond the ability of most peoples understanding and that it had proven both exciting and disorienting.

His holiness message was read by Comrade Sammy Fejokwu, a veteran with the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS), Asaba and currently Senior Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor on Media at the St. Bridges Catholic church, Asaba Delta state.

Pope Francis i noted that the use of AI could make positive contributions to the communication sector as long as it does not eliminate the role of journalism on the ground but serves to support journalism in general.

He acknowledged the importance of technology and urged humans not to reject the AI but to be sensitive in it’s usage for reportage and also pray for endowment from the Holy spirit so that they could always look and report things and have a listening heart which he said a gift of the Holy spirit at all times.

He said that Holy Spirit would enable them to see connections, situations, events and to uncover meanings of events before reporting.

He , however , appealed to the international community to work together in order to adopt a binding international treaty that regulates the development and use of Artificial Intelligence in its many forms.

Pope Francis also stated in his message that there was need to set aside catastrophic predictions and their numbering effects , adding that we must enter into the process with openness but also with sensitive to everything is destructive and inhumane.

He said our reflections must begin with the human heart , stressing that all humans were called to grow together in humanity and as humanity, they are challenged to make qualitative leap in order to become complex, multiethnic, pluralistic and multicultural society.

The Bishop of Issele Uku Diocese, Bishop Michael Elue, who was represented at the event by Rev. Father Henry Ogonwa noted the reality of Artificial intelligence and advised on the positive usage of AI , emphasizing that it had several negative uses that people must avoid the usage.

In his goodwill message, the National President of Catholic Media Practitioner Association of Nigeria, Sir Chimdi Oluoh explained that from 5th of May, 2024 the Catholic Practitioners of Nigeria had been engaged in various activities lined up to celebrate the event.

He listed the activities to include advocacy visits, lectures and media presentations which highlighted the importance of media literacy and more specifically discussed this year’s theme “Artificial Intelligence and wisdom of the heart: towards a fully Human communication”.

He said that no doubt AI had come to stay and would continue to evolve as a useful technology in delivering services in communication and other fields.

Oluoh stated that there was need for trainings on the concept and application of AI as they evolve, noting that this would enable the media practitioner to learn how to apply the technology usefully to facilitate professional ethics, excellence for the common good of all.

He opined that there was need for the standardization of communication tools for better public image and relevance in the church and the public space should be fundamental in all activities going forward.

On his part, the Issele-uku Diocese Chairman, Comrade Felix Igbekoyi said that this year’s event and message was aimed at activation of communication by modernization with the use of Artificial Intelligence.

He said that it showed that change was a constant thing , reminding them that the Pope message provided an insight for them to know that there was need for them to upgrade their evangelical messages and communication using updated technology.

He advised the media to use the latest channel , particularly in the communication of God’s messages and enjoined members of the Catholic Media Practitioner Association to always be dedicated in the activities of the association.

This occasion was well attended by Media Practitioner drawn from different media houses and their instruments of communication were blessed by the Priest.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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