‘The Future of Catholic Universities in the AI Age’

SACRU is holding the International Scientific Colloquium on the role of universities in the age of artificial intelligence, an event which will also be attended by Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, the Vatican’s Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education.

By Vatican News

The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore will host The Future of Catholic Universities in the AI Age on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 July, with the scope of exploring the challenges and opportunities that new technologies pose to universities and analyze how they can be used in an inclusive and human-centered way.

Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Prefect of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Culture and Education, will give the keynote lecture the first day.

The Scientific Colloquium is organized by the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU), a network of eight Catholic Universities from five continents and coordinated by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

They are: the Australian Catholic University, Boston College, Universitat Ramon Llull, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Sophia University, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa and, of course, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The eight Universities are cooperating to promote global education for the Common Good and excellent interdisciplinary research.

On Thursday 13 July, the Colloquium will be opened by Professor Franco Anelli, Rector of the Università Cattolica and Vice-President of SACRU, followed by Cardinal Mendnça’s keynote lecture, and the introduction by Professor Zlatko Skrbis, President of SACRU

Speakers in the plenary session will include Marcelo Gattass, Vice-President for Innovation at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Andrea Vicini, Director of the Theology Department at Boston College, Alvaro Soto, Professor of Computer Science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, William Hasselberger, Professor at the Institute of Political Studies at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon and Xavier Vilasis, Professor of Engineering at the Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona.  Chairing the plenary sessions will be Antonella Sciarrone Alibrandi, Undersecretary of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Culture and Education, rapporteur Marco Carlo Passarotti, Professor of Computational Linguistics at Università Cattolica.

On Friday 14 July, the discussion will continue in the plenary session with contributions from Andrea Gaggioli, Professor of Psychology at Università Cattolica, Samuel Baron, Professor of Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University and Tad Gonsalves, Professor of Computer Science at Sophia University in Tokyo.

The Scientific Colloquium is organized in plenary sessions that will include keynote speeches by eight keynote speakers, one from each partner University. There will be also two parallel sessions, one on education and research and the other focusing on the broader social function of universities. The first will be chaired by Giovanni Marseguerra, Professor of Political Economy and Pro-Rector for the Coordination of Educational Offerings at Università Cattolica, with rapporteur Mikki Schindler, Social Psychologist at the Universitat Ramon Llull.

In the second session, the chair will be Marília dos Santos Lopes, lecturer in Human Sciences at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, rapporteur Federico Manzi, Researcher in Developmental and Educational Psychology at Università Cattolica.

The Rectors of all eight Universities will participate and, at the end of the event, a preliminary document will be produced for the publication of a position paper describing SACRU vision of the impact of artificial intelligence and the role of universities, especially Catholic Universities. The conclusions will be delivered by the President and Secretary General of SACRU. The Scientific Colloquium will be in a hybrid format, in person and remotely via the SACRU website.