President Tsai Ing-wen recently sent a letter to Pope Francis of the Catholic Church in response to his message marking the 57th World Day of Peace.
The following is the full text of the president's letter to the pope:
Your message for the 2024 World Day of Peace stressed that artificial intelligence (AI) should be used to promote peace and improve the quality of life of all humanity. I wholeheartedly concur with your appeal. As we face the growth and resulting challenges of AI, Taiwan is eager to work with the international community to build a more stable society.
A world leader in the semiconductor industry, Taiwan has advanced the growth of AI and other cutting-edge technologies. As the wave of AI sweeps across the world, Taiwan will continue in its endeavor to be a highly reliable, effective, and secure partner in the international community.
In recent years, we have been committed to bolstering resources and talent in the industry. Our aim has been to stimulate technological development, upgrade our industries, and spur digital transformation while also addressing the challenges of labor shortages, an aging society, and achieving net-zero carbon emissions. In this way, Taiwan will continue to play an indispensable role in global supply chains and make substantive contributions to global prosperity.
As Your Holiness has warned, the growing scope of AI applications and its implications for human values engender grave ethical risks, such as invasion of privacy, data manipulation, and illegal surveillance, which all have serious consequences for free and democratic societies. For Taiwan, as for other democracies, one major challenge has been disinformation campaigns.
As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan is doing its utmost to help build the capacity for every individual to identify true, false, or misleading information; raise the public's information awareness; and strengthen cohesion among different groups in society. We have been effective in combating disinformation, and we are sharing what works with people around the world to help them do the same.
Additionally, to promote a more comprehensive AI policy, we launched in 2023 the AI Taiwan Action Plan 2.0, which emphasizes the ethical and legal considerations of AI. We are also drafting basic laws to create a trustworthy digital environment and protect the rights and interests of our people. Our efforts closely correspond to your own reflections and vision for AI.
We fully understand – as you underlined in your message – that "algorithms must not be allowed to determine how we understand human rights." Taiwan, in working intelligently to develop AI technology, will always keep humanity foremost in mind. Working alongside like-minded partners, we will use technology to increase public trust, defend democracy and freedom, and mitigate the negative impacts that AI may bring. Taiwan will deepen cooperation with the Holy See across many areas as we work toward exercising good technological governance, maintaining social harmony and stability, and jointly creating a peaceful future for humanity.
Please accept, Your Holiness, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration, as well as my best wishes for your good health and the continued prosperity of the Catholic Church.