A journal of academic theology

Paul Scherz

Data Ethics, AI, and Accompaniment: The Dangers of Depersonalization in Catholic Health Care

Health-care systems use AI-driven data analytics to target high-cost patients for early interventions. Many ethicists see these programs as enacting a preferential option for the poor. Ethnographic studies, however, find that their data analytic framework emphasizes efficiency, cost containment, and constant evaluation of patients. Ongoing evaluation and surveillance can undermine other goals of Catholic health care like personal encounter and accompaniment. While targeted care programs can be implemented well, the use of AI in data analytics to serve the poor creates dangers of depersonalization.

Living Indefinitely and Living Fully: Laudato Si’ and the Value of the Present in Christian, Stoic, and Transhumanist Temporalities

Transhumanism promises to overcome human finitude by indefinitely extending human life, enabling a vast increase in valuable experiences. Yet transhumanism depends on social processes of what Pope Francis calls rapidification and sociologists call social acceleration, which are causing people to experience a lack of time, driven by increasing speed of work and fears of missing out on opportunities for enjoyment. In contrast, Francis and the Stoics encourage people to confront finitude by flourishing through a qualitative transformation of character marked by a temporality focused on God’s providential presence and on serving the present needs of others.

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