People should be conscious of the dangers “both economic wise leading to unemployment and the moral issues” connected to Artificial Intelligence, or AI, according to Catholic leaders in Nigeria.

Bishop Felix Femi Ajakaye of Ekiti on Sunday told leaders in the country to avoid legislation that would give AI the power to hurt the welfare of people in Africa’s most populous nation.

“While we approve of the good things that technology have brought to us, we should be conscious of the dangers both economic wise leading to unemployment and the moral issues that go along with it,” he told the congregation at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral.

“We still have a high rate of unemployment in Africa, by the time we allow this artificial intelligence, AI, to take control of us and be everywhere, a lot of people and the rate of unemployment would be higher or triple or more,” the bishop said.

“The artificial intelligence, as we know, the rate at which the technology is going, a lot of jobs ordinary being done by human beings are simply being taken over by machine and if these continue, there is going to be a serious rate of unemployment in Africa and other nations,” he continued.

“Technology is very good but at the same time, we have to be weary that God made us, to know Him, Love Him and Serve Him, so that through this means, we have the salvation of our souls. Artificial intelligence has no thinking, no conscience, where those two things are lacking, there is danger. Otherwise, the future of the world is very bleak,” Ajakaye said.

“Our world is in bondage today, look at the level of unemployment in Nigeria, all the technological giants are reducing the workforce with AI, human beings are only looking for financial gain, and it is a direct affront to God. Let us raise our voice against artificial intelligence; there should be restrictions to areas where to use it. It would cause a lot of confusion in our world,” the bishop said.

The Catholic Church in Nigeria dedicated Sunday, the last day of World Communications Week, to the discussion over AI.

The Vatican dedicated the whole Church to look at this issue when it announced last year it was dedicating World Communications Day to Artificial Intelligence.

In a statement published last year, the Vatican said the evolution of artificial intelligence “makes it ever more natural to communicate through and with machines, so that it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish computation from thought, and the language produced by a machine from that generated by human beings.”

“Like all revolutions, this one based on artificial intelligence, too, poses new challenges to ensure that machines do not contribute to a large-scale system of disinformation,” the statement said.

The Vatican also cautioned against the risk of increasing “the loneliness of those who are already alone, depriving us of the warmth that only communication between people can provide.”

“It is important to guide artificial intelligence and algorithms, so that there is in each individual a responsible awareness of the use and development of these different forms of communication that go hand in hand with social media and the Internet. It is necessary for communication to be oriented towards a fuller life of the human person,” the Vatican statement said.

In his homily at St. John Catholic Church in Mararaba, Bishop David Ajang of Lafia, said AI is transforming the world of information and communication, and is “affecting everyone, not just professionals.”

“We must acknowledge the excitement and confusion that comes with rapid innovation and take necessary precaution,” he said.

“The Church recognizes the power of media as gifts that can foster human progress and development, but also warns of their potential risks if not approached with discernment and responsibility,” Ajang continued.

“Starting with the heart, Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of the human heart, symbolizing freedom, decision-making, integrity, and unity. We must engage our emotions, desires, and dreams, and encounter God in the inward place of our heart,” the bishop said.

“As Artificial Intelligence advances, we must not lose sight of our humanity. Rather, we must engage AI with openness and sensitivity, starting from our humanity, and strive to become a new kind of human being with deeper spirituality, freedom, and maturity,” Lafia said.

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja said people cannot run the risk of becoming rich in technology but poor in humanity.

“Our actions, guided by modern technology, should begin from the human heart,” he said on Sunday.

“We cannot run the risk of becoming rich in technology but poor in humanity. Our actions, guided by modern technology, should begin from the human heart. Communication is about building relationships, fostering understanding, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. In a world filled with noise and distractions, it is essential for us to reflect on how we communicate with one another and with God,” the archbishop said.