Pope Francis is no stranger to artificial intelligence — a deepfake photo of him in a white puffer jacket went viral last year — but his concerns about AI go far beyond an unflattering image and are now taking center stage at the Group of Seven summit.

Francis will address G7 leaders on Friday at their annual gathering in southern Italy — a first for a pope. He intends to use this occasion to join the chorus of countries and global bodies advocating for stronger guardrails on AI following the boom in generative artificial intelligence sparked by OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot.

The Argentine pope used his annual peace message this year to call for an international treaty to ensure AI is developed and used ethically. He argues that a technology lacking human values of compassion, mercy, morality, and forgiveness is too perilous to develop unchecked.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni invited Francis, recognizing the potential impact of his star power and moral authority to align a widely shared concern about AI with his priorities on peace and social justice.

Despite being an octogenarian who admits he cannot use a computer, Pope Francis engaged in a significant discussion about AI in February 2019. On that day, Microsoft President Brad Smith visited the papal residence to seek guidance on the ethics of the rapidly developing technology.

While some argue that the Pope should focus on addressing issues within the Catholic Church, such as priestly sexual abuse and declining church attendance, others see his involvement in AI as a way to influence global ethical standards. Using AI to engage Catholics worldwide could also be a strategic move to revitalize the church’s presence and mission in the digital age.