Catholic Communications Official in Nigeria Warns against Ignoring Artificial Intelligence

Fr. Michael Nsikak Umoh. Credit: Nigeria Catholic Network

The National Director of Social Communications in Nigeria is cautioning Catholic leaders and media practitioners against the temptation “to ignore” problem-solving and decision-making capabilities mediated by computers as opposed to the human mind, popularly known as Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

In his message published Tuesday, July 4, Fr. Michael Nsika Umoh says, “The beauty and challenges of the AI technology in particular is one which Catholic leaders and media practitioners cannot afford to ignore, as we have often acted towards many other past technologies.”

Fr. Umoh adds, “To say the least, the AI has the existential capacity to determine ‘what is’, without boundaries.”

He underscores the need to invest time, talent, and resources to enhance full participation in engaging contemporary technology “because the consequence for lateness or indifference can be very devastating.”

“To my fellow Catholics in the media industry, there are real serious tasks before us, which we should be preoccupied with,” the Nigerian Catholic Priest says, adding, “Unless we are united and well-coordinated, we may simply get too busy with our desires, and achieve nothing in the end.”


He continues, “Our Lord Jesus Christ and his Church rely greatly on us. We cannot afford to fail Him at this critical and defining moment. Let us begin to think and act positively and purposefully in this direction.”

In his March message during the Minerva Dialogues at the Vatican, Pope Francis underlined the importance of emerging technologies, including AI, which he said “could be beneficial to society as long as they respect human dignity.”

The Holy Father who was addressing scientists, engineers, business leaders, lawyers, philosophers, Catholic theologians, ethicists, and members of the Roman Curia on March 27 said, “The fundamental value that we must recognize and promote is that of the dignity of the human person.”

He added, “I encourage you, in your deliberations, to make the intrinsic dignity of every man and every woman the key criterion in evaluating emerging technologies. These will prove ethically sound to the extent that they help respect that dignity and increase its expression at every level of human life.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.