By Courtney Mares
Pope Francis met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Vatican on Monday morning.
Cook heads up a company whose stock market value hit $3 trillion in June. He spoke privately with Pope Francis on Oct. 3, the eve of the feast day of the pope’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi — known for embracing radical poverty.
The technology executive has been in Italy since Sept. 28. He first traveled to Naples, where he launched the first Apple Developer Academy in Europe and received an honorary degree from the University of Naples Federico II.
Cook told students in Naples about his excitement for the future of artificial intelligence technologies, predicting that it will be a “fundamental, horizontal technology that will touch everything in our lives.”
“I’m super excited about augmented reality. … So I think that if you, and this will happen clearly not too long from now, if you look back at a point in time, you know, zoom out to the future and look back, you’ll wonder how you led your life without augmented reality,” he said.
Pope Francis has also spoken about the future of artificial intelligence. In November 2020, the pope invited Catholics around the world, as part of his monthly prayer intention, to pray that robotics and artificial intelligence always remain at the service of human beings — rather than the other way around.
The Pontifical Academy for Life has also signed a declaration calling for the ethical and responsible use of AI.
Pope Francis has often met with tech company executives in recent years. Elon Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX, posted a photo with the pope on Twitter in June.
The pope previously met Cook in 2016, a year in which Pope Francis also hosted the CEO of Google (Eric Schmidt at the time) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the Vatican.