A virtual gallery of the Sistine Chapel and its most beautiful works of art, this is the original project that the Vatican plans to create in the coming months thanks to a partnership, signed on May 2, the innovative company specializing in the Virtual Sensorium. This virtual gallery of Vatican collections would consist of NFT (non-fungible token), digital files of outstanding quality, non-reproducible and tamper-proof, which for several months have driven pixel collectors and markets crazy. The idea would be to provide easy access to more than 800 works by 250 artists, including the famous paintings of the Sistine Chapel, presented in an NFT format, in a virtual reality museum. Access to Vatican manuscripts and events would also be on the agenda.
An association and a priest behind the project
This project is the core of a partnership launched by Sensorium and Humanity 2.0. The first is a company that presents itself as at the forefront of the development of metavers, these enduring virtual universes, which are available today thanks to the technology of 3D (three-dimensional) interaction. She works especially with a view to developing them in the field of entertainment and social networks. The other, Humanity 2.0, is an NGO committed to development based on respect for people, particularly in the technological field. Its president is Father Philip Larrey, a Catholic priest who holds the chair of logic and epistemology at the Papal Lateran University of Rome.
Dean of the Department of Philosophy, he works mainly with philosophy of knowledge and critical thinking, with a special interest in the consequences of the new digital age for society. His latest book is about the challenges of artificial intelligence. ” He honestly challenges the leaders he meets in the Vatican to discuss how technology shapes the formation of our society Says his presentation on his personal website. At his side, in the Advisory Committee on Humanity 2.0, we find the President of Publicis, Maurice Lévy, or the President of Noovle Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, also former head of Google’s European operations. It was again Father Larrey who was present during the audience that Pope Francis gave to the President of the Alphabet (Google), Eric Schmidt, in 2016.
” Like Dominican Father Eric Salobir, Philip Larrey is one of those people who understood that the Vatican could not ignore these new realities and that they should not be discovered too late, in 30 years, when they want to be democratized. Said an observer from the Vatican. ” It is also an opportunity to act upstream to avoid ethical abuses “, he stresses, while acknowledging that these issues have not yet” good press in the Catholic world.
A technology that needs to be well-informed, according to the Pope
If the Vatican and Silicon Valley can often seem like two worlds in conflict with each other, many bridges have been built between them in recent years. Pope Francis sharply criticized in Laudato Si ‘(2015) ” technology, linked to the financial sectors, which claims to be the only solution to the problems “And more generally the existence of a” technoeconomic paradigm ” and even ” technocratic ‘To the danger of society and the environment. However, he also believed that ” techno-science, well-informed, can not only produce really valuable things to improve the quality of life for people […] but is still able to produce beauty and “project” into the realm of beauty man immersed in the material world “.
In 2020, Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Papal Academy for Life, succeeded in getting Microsoft’s number 2, Brad Smith, to sign a “Call from Rome to an Ethics of Artificial Intelligence”. A document that aims to promote a sense of responsibility in the organizations that today invest in this technology so that they serve the human being and not its ” progressive replacement “.