The RATZINGER Award 2019

Saturday 9 November 2019 at 12.00 in the Clementine Hall, the Holy Father Francis will confer the RATZINGER AWARD.

Please Click Here to view the program of the Event Premio RATZINGER 2019

Fr. Philip Larrey is one of the many guests invited to this exclusive gathering.

The Vatican Foundation, established by Pope Benedict XVI in March 2010, aims at scientific and cultural goals aimed at promoting the study of theology, with particular reference to Sacred Scripture, Patristics and the Sacred Arts.

The Foundation actively collaborates with the Joseph Ratzinger-Papst Benedikt XVI - Stiftung of Munich and with the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI in Regensburg.

The aims of the Foundation are mainly:
1. The promotion of the study of theology, through the assignment of scholarships.
2. The organization of conferences of high cultural and scientific value. This year the conference took place at the Catholic University Pázmány Péter in Budapest, on the theme "The economic, social and spiritual situation of the countries of Central Europe in the light of the Social Doctrine of the Church", on 8 and 9 October.
3. The awarding of scholars who have distinguished themselves for particular merits in the activity of publication, in scientific research, or in artistic production:
• 2011 Prof. Olegario González de Cardedal - Rev. Maximilian Heim, O.Cist. - Prof. Manlio Simonetti
• 2012 P. Brian Edward Daley S.J. - Prof. Rémi Brague
• 2013 Prof. Richard Burridge - Dr. Christian Schaller
• 2014 Prof. Waldemar Chrostowski - Prof. Anne-Marie Pelletier
• 2015 P. Mário De França Miranda S.J. - Prof. Nabil El-Khoury
• 2016 Mons. Prof. Inos Biffi - Prof. Ioannis Kourempeles
• 2017 Prof. Theodor Dieter - Rev. Prof. Karl-Heinz Menke - M ° Arvo Pärt
• 2018 Prof. Marianne Schlosser - Arch. Mario Botta

European Computer Science Summit 2019

The 15th European Computer Science Summit (ECSS 2019) is coming up and will be held in Rome from 28 to 30 October at NH Collection Roma Centro.

This year's edition focuses on the theme: 'Social Responsibility of Informatics'.

The conference this year will have a renewed and enriched format consisting of the main summit of three days composed of several complementary events and sessions. Among the main events are the Workshop for Leaders of Informatics Research and Education, the Workshop of the WIRE working group and the Workshop on Bridging the Digital Talent Gap in Europe, organized by Informatics Europe in partnership with the European Commission DG CONNECT.The conference will be co-organised by the International Research Area on Foundations of the Sciences of the Pontifical Lateran University and held at the Hotel NH Collection Roma Centro.

The Summit is the only event, once a year, where leaders and decision-makers in Informatics, research, and education in Europe gather to debate strategic themes and trends related to research, education, and policies in Informatics. 

The last years have clearly shown that Informatics is not anymore only a solid and pervasive scientific discipline with a huge potential for technological innovation, but it is also deeply affecting the fabric of our society. More and more, informatics systems automatically control our lives, regulate our personal and social relations, and take decisions directly affecting ourselves, other people and the whole society. This situation is often perceived completely only when something wrong happens. The literature includes a significant number of situations where technical problems, software bugs in many cases, have caused significant incidents with loss of money and human lives. Moreover, the experience is showing that the more we increase the power and autonomy of our informatics systems, the more the criticality of incidents increases.

Scientists and technologists cannot forget being first of all human beings, and - as such - cannot forget about the social impact of their science and technology. This has been true at least since Hippocrates introduced the Oath which became the reference code of ethics for physicians. Now Computer Scientists find themselves in a similar situation. In fact, while the increasing automation offered by informatics could allow humankind to achieve huge possibilities of progress, it could also dramatically affect not only everybody's quality of life but also the fundamental rights of individuals and society.

It is, therefore, becoming mandatory that our scientific community reflects on the "Social Responsibility of Informatics" and makes sure that this "social responsibility" perspective is more and more integrated into our teaching and research.

During the ECSS, prominent academics, industry leaders and decision-makers discuss the importance of responsibility assigned to us by unbelievably powerful technology, offering food for thought in state-of-the-art lectures, an engaging panel discussion and examples of successful stories.

Keynote Speakers:


Why attend?


ECSS speakers are always among the world`s most distinguished academics, industry leaders and decision-makers in the field. The event never fails to inspire and stimulate the audience.


Learn directly from your peers. Share best practices, common challenges and proven strategies for improving the quality of research and education in Informatics at the ECSS workshops (LeadersWIRE and Talent Gap).


Meet some of the leading decision-makers in Informatics research and education and discuss the critical issues of the discipline. Build valuable relationships with department heads, deans, policymakers, industry and other leaders in the field.


To learn more about this event, ECSS 2019 quick links:


Towards Data Science: Artificial Inhumanity

A few months ago, Fr Philip Larrey published his book called “Artificial Humanity”. It discusses the need for developing humane Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In this article, we will explain what would happen if we have an inhumane AI.

Inhuman — “lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric.”

Click Here to read this article.

This article by Prof. Alexiei Dingli was inspired from “Artificial Humanity — An Essay on the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence by Fr Philip Larrey.

Prof Alexiei Dingli is a Professor of AI at the University of Malta. He has been conducting research and working in the field of AI for more than two decades, assisting different companies to implement AI solutions. His work has been rated World Class by international experts and he won several local and international awards (such as those by the European Space Agency, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the United Nations to name a few). He has published several peer-reviewed publications and forms part of the Malta.AI task-force which was set up by the Maltese government, aimed at making Malta one of the top AI countries in the world.

Artificial Intelligence: Ethics and Algorithmic Biases

Artificial intelligence applications increasingly shape the societies and opportunities of their citizens. While it is argued that applications can be of great benefit to humanity, there is also evidence of risk. Recently there have been cases of distorted and discriminatory outcomes of artificial intelligence technologies, which illustrate how ethical problems and negative social impacts can be integrated into the criteria and design of artificial intelligence applications and decision-making systems based on algorithms. Algorithmic prejudices have consequences on real-life and as society moves more and more towards forms and applications of algorithmic decision, a more urgent request to understand and face these prejudices is emerging.

Ursula von der Leyen, in presenting the new course of the European Commission she led, expressed her commitment to new legislation for a coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. The Innovation Ministers participating in the multi-stakeholder conference on G7 Artificial Intelligence state that

Artificial Intelligence should focus on enabling environments that promote social trust and responsible AI adoption to build on a common vision centered on man.

The announced European legislation could be a pioneer of a coordinated effort towards international regulation of the frenetic developments of AI. There are many challenges that can be made for this legislative effort, at a local and international level.

How to balance technological development and regulation in a region without tightening global competition? How to legislate on a technological development that does not yet exist? And what technical solutions should be adopted to regulate this evolution? Should these solutions be shared and standardized nationally or globally?

More importantly, when political, economic, cultural and social differences seem to lead to very different interpretations of the values that these artificial intelligence applications should incorporate, a more fundamental discussion emerges about the global social consequences that such diversity would entail.

Many events concerning Artificial Intelligence are scheduled from here to the end of the year.

One of these, is in fact the "Artificial Intelligence: Ethics and Algorithmic Biases", which will take place:

 Monday 21 October from 10.30 to 12.30 at the John Cabot University - Piazza Giuseppe Gioachino Belli 11 in Rome.

Participating in the round table are:

  • Francesco Lapenta, Director of John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies
  • Kai Härmand, Undersecretary Ministry of Justice - Estonia
  • Irene Sardellitti, European Commission
  • Alexey Malanov, Antivirus expert, Kaspersky
  • Corrado Giustozzi, cyber security expert of the Agency for Digital Italy for the development of CERT-PA
  • Massimo Buscema, Semeion Institute
  • Fabio Filocamo, Managing Director of Dnamis, Author of "2081 - Technologies, Humans, Future"
  • Andrea Gilli, Senior Researcher, NATO Defense College
  • Ann-Sophie Leonard, Mercator Fellow, NATO Defense College
  • Luca Baraldi, Cultural Diplomacy Advisor Energy Way and promoter Manifesto of sensitive rationality
  • Philip Larrey, Chair of Logic and Epistemology, Author of "Connected World" & "Artificial Humanity"
  • Amedeo Cesta, Research Director at CNR-ISTC
  • Sébastien Bratières, Director of Artificial Intelligence at Translated
  • Ansgar Koene, Senior Research Fellow: ReEnTrust, UnBias & Horizon Policy Impact, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, University of Nottingham, Chair for IEEE Standard on Algorithm Bias Considerations
  • Alina Sorgner, Professor of Applied Data Analytics, John Cabot University

Dignity and the Future of Work in the Age the 4th Industrial Revolution

Fr. Philip Larrey was invited to a small, private gathering of luminaries at Casina Pio IV in Vatican City. The debate was on how to promote the dignity of work in the face of its hybridization in the digital economy. Many others were the topics taken into consideration and discussed.

“Nor shall we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveler who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going”.
(St. Gregory the Great, Homily, 14)


Concept and Theme of the Debate

The massive irruption of automation in the production process, although not a new phenomenon, is advancing with particular intensity in what has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, based on the knowledge and information economy and the accelerated transmission of data and digital flows throughout the planet. We are witnessing a transition where, as Pope Francis has pointed out, the phenomena of accelerating the time of productive processes coincide with the phenomena of the irruption of technology as a central piece of social changes. 

It is not science fiction. The International Federation of Robotics is predicting that by the end of 2018 there will be 35 million units of robots sharing our domestic life. Their sales will grow at a rate of 30% annually. Of the current 10% share of robots in the world’s manufacturing process, it will grow on to no less than 25% in 2025, increasing productivity by 30%, reducing labor costs by one third, and lowering the price by no less than 20% of the most advanced robots. 

Between 20 and 50% of current occupations run the risk of being automated in the next decade – according to the somewhat different estimates of the Oxford University, the World Bank, the IDB, the ILO or the OECD. Such a phenomenon is no stranger to increasing inequalities and wage polarization. 

The available scientific evidence also indicated that not only the emergence of more “hard” skills among workers will be necessary – in mathematical sciences or programming – but also of more “soft” abilities where empathy, emotional intelligence, intuition, and creativity, are key to the development of services and a new universal network of personal care.

Facing this scenario, one cannot lose sight of the centrality of the human being, within a framework of integral development, which constitutes a fundamental premise when ad-dressing this phenomenon.

This Seminar is inspired by the call of Pope Francis, who invites us to analyze every dimension of this problem based on the inescapable importance of the dignity of human work: A certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the serious detriment of the world around us.

Should we not pause and consider this? At this stage, I propose that we focus on the dominant technocratic paradigm and the place human beings and of human action in the world (Laudato Si, 101).

From this perspective, multiple scenarios coexist on the horizon. On one hand, the emergence of new technologies, being put at the service of integral human development, can contribute to improving situations of climate change, health, education, and productivity. On the other, the emergence of robotization and automation phenomena establishes the danger of displacing current jobs, deepening the problem of unemployment, inequality and hollowing out of our societies, where we see that the increased revenues of technology are being concentrated in the capital side and not on the workers.

This new techno-social inclusion requires the rethinking of the model of still prevailing social order, that should contribute to sustainable solutions instead of deepening, as Pope Francis says, the “throw-away culture”, through technology, particularly serious in the existential peripheries of both the developed and the non-developed countries. The present Seminar intends to tackle these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, encouraging a holistic, multifaceted and inclusive approach, which incorporates the human dimension as an illuminator of all perspectives of the future of work, in pursuit of the common good and the construction of an integral and sustainable human development.


Times of Malta: Through the philosophical glass

Fr Philip Larrey speaks to Kristina Cassar Dowling about how technological advances – including AI – can be seen in a philosophical way.

The human mind is a strange universe. It’s a machine that requires complex methods of understanding to fully grasp the logical and rational approaches the human race adapts to survive.

We are inclined to act on a whim, to react to our surroundings – but there’s a certain element in life that we’ve come to call ‘intelligence’. And although it may seem that some members of our species disregard this factor in life, hopefully, the greater part of our conscious decisions are intelligently examined before they take shape to form actions.

There have been countless studies on thought in general, varying from scientific to philosophical.
St Augustine of Hippo, an active philosopher in the late fourth century, discusses free will in The Confessions and attributes the existence of sin to be directly connected with the choice afforded by free will. This is directly linked to the choices and consequences we experience in our lives, but Thomas Aquinas describes ‘freedom’ in another way. In natural science, reason is the necessary tool; in mathematics discipline is adopted and in divine science, we use intellect to fully understand our freedoms in life. These principles are what lead us to human excellence, human happiness and the fulfillment of human destiny. The major question of concern here is whether the philosophical
intelligence of humans can be applied to that of artificial intelligence (AI), while keeping the philosophy of the mind in constant focus.

Fr Philip Larrey, chairman of Humanity 2.0 and of logic and epistemology at the Pontifical Lateran University in the Vatican, is an author of two books that deal with AI in connection to philosophical study.

In his newly launched book, Artificial Intelligence. An Essay on the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, he discusses the speculations that circle around AI and its possibility to revolutionize the world as we know it.

Complete Interview with Times of Malta

TVM: Malta is on the forefront of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may appear to be an abstract subject but it is already being used in every day technology to simplify the use of systems deployed in mobile apps.

Professor Philip Larrey from the pontifical Laterana University told TVM that Artificial Intelligence has a great potential to help society and humanity in cases where economic interests over-ride ethics and respect for humanity.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming more relevant to life by providing electronic programmes that save a lot of work and time.

Professor Larrey said that Malta may become among the leaders to regularise the use of this intelligence.

“Malta is going to be a leader in AI, we can already say that with the number of international conventions and summits that are located here in Malta. Also the Government has been very active in promoting this in different ways and there are many thought leaders either here in Malta or that come to Malta often to discuss these issues.”

Professor Larrey said that AI is acquiring more skills and therefore he believes that ethics are essential to ensure that humanity takes priority over other interests.

“We should be careful of market forces, which tend to be blind and oriented towards money and sometimes they can force a product or system like AI to get out of hand, so we have to keep that in check. The most important thing with AI should be to help human beings do what they do, better.”

Professor Larrey is in Malta to launch a publication on AI and the meaning of technology in relation to mankind.

Maltese RTK Radio Interview with Fr. Philip Larrey

Interview between Fr. Joe Borg, Director of the Maltese Catholic radio station and Fr. Philip Larrey speaking about his book and Artificial Intelligence.

To listen to the Interview please Click Here.


Book Launch in Malta of “Artificial Humanity"- October 4th 2019

About this Event

What is meant by AI? What is the nature of intelligence? What is transhumanism and common sense reasoning? These are some of the questions which the book covers.

The relationship between man and machine has fascinated people ever since the writing of  Frankenstein, where we are warned about the unintended consequences of the use and development of technology. While scrutinizing AI, one profound question emerges as a natural result: what makes us truly human?

"Artificial Humanity" analyses several aspects of AI from a philosophical point of view.

During the book launch at the Chamber of Commerce on October 4th, the author proposes to open a philosophical discussion precisely about human nature itself in light of existing and future technologies, with particular emphasis on AI.

Many theorists working in the field of AI have identified a very relevant distinction: a sufficiently complex AI system can only choose among options; it cannot decide, because essential to making a decision is having a will – a capacity for willfulness.

Will technology help humanity to grow in virtue and flourish, or will it hamper and constrain that which makes us human? Is the transhumanist movement favoring true human flourishing or does it lessen that which constitutes human nature? Can humanity integrate technological advancements while placing people at the center? Will powerful market forces drive how we use technology and AI?

Event Photos

To view images from the book presentation Click Here.

Event Details 

Date: Friday, 4 Oct 2019

Time: From 18:30 to 20:45 pm

Location: Chamber of Commerce (64, Republic Street - Valletta, Malta)

Cost: Free of charge

Does the digital economy change everything? Dialogues on the Future.

Developing new economic and business models that are digitally driven, creating sustainable value for an inclusive economy.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly driving transformational disruption across every sector. By 2022, over 60% of global GDP will be digitized. An estimated 70% of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally-enabled platforms. Currently, about 50% of the world’s population does not currently participate in the digital economy at all – and growth in internet adoption is slowing. The G20’s Global Infrastructure Hub estimates a global funding shortfall of nearly $1 trillion for information and communications technology infrastructure by 2040.

During an event, in Ravenna, Fr. Philip Larrey, Matteo Lepore, Andrea Pezz and Raffaele Barberio had something to say about "Digital Economy".