AI Faith and Civil Society Commission Meeting – Royal M Hotel, Abu Dhabi

27th-29th February 2024

From 27-29 February, the AI Faith and Civil Society Commission hosted their first official in-person Commission meeting in Abu Dhabi for a 2.5-day conference with the goals of hearing from new perspectives from the Middle East and engaging with senior government officials. In addition to Commissioners, a small group of key AI experts and leaders across faith and civil society were in attendance, as well as a wider group of students, academics, and AI experts from the UAE for the opening ceremony.

Speakers included His Eminence Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, president of Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace; Dr Omar Al Derei, Director of the Ifta Department at the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments; and Father Paolo Benanti, Professor at the Gregorian University and Pontifical Advisor on AI among many others. During the conference, participants workshopped four key values: ‘accessibility’, ‘transparency’, ‘justice’ and ‘truth’, in sessions led by one of the Commission’s experts.

AI Faith and Civil Society Commission’s Inaugural Summit – Central Hall, Westminster

7th December 2023

Building on this success, the Commission held its inaugural in-person meeting in December 2023 in Central Hall Westminster focusing on the values which should underpin AI regulation and development.

Speakers included Saqib Bhatti MP, Minister for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, technology entrepreneur Jeremy Peckham, Rev Dr Kathryn Pritchard of Lambeth Palace, Maria Harb of Stop the Traffik, Kate Devlin of Humanists UK, Clive Gilbert of Policy Connect and Graham Budd of the Faraday Institute for the Study of Science and Religion. During the Conference, speakers and delegates shared the importance of keeping human voices at the heart of AI development, especially bringing in the voices of society’s most marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Following the main session, a smaller select group of key faith and civil society representatives then met to discuss the vision of the Commission, including its mission, goals, key priorities and means of engagement.

AI Faith and Civil Society Commission Meeting at Google

26th October 2023

The Commission began its work in October 2023, with the vision of becoming the leading body in the global discussion on the far-reaching impact of Artificial Intelligence on faith communities and civil society. Its first meeting was held ahead of the inaugural AI Safety Summit, chaired by The Rt Hon Sajid Javid and hosted by Google. It marked the first High-Level meeting for Faith and Civil Society Leaders, discussing the implications of Artificial Intelligence on Global Society.

The meeting resulted in an open letter to The Rt Hon Michelle Donlan MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, ahead of Bletchley Park, highlighting the pressing need to include faith and civil society perspectives in AI regulation.

UK Caravan of Peace MoU Signing

1st August 2023

On the 1st August 2023, The Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace, Office of the Chief Rabbi, and Lambeth Palace agreed to an MoU to collaboratively construct and carry out the inaugral UK Caravan of Peace, bringing together faith leaders from each tradition to embark on an interfaith pilgrimage to build relationships and explore opportunities of peace and dialogue for the United Kingdom. This collaboration is borne out of the interfaith leadership of Shaykh bin Bayyah, Archbishop Justin Welby, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirivs as well as peace-building initiatives from each institution in their respective fields

Faraday & Abu Dhabi FFP MoU Signing

1st August 2023

On Tuesday 1st August 2023, the Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace and the Faraday Institute for the Study of Science and Religion signed a Memorandum of Understanding in London, England. This monumental partnership will expand on their past work on AI & Ethics, leading to future publications, disemmination of outputs from the London conference at this year’s 10th Assembly, and further enhancing the understanding, research, and practical application of AI and faith-related topics.

AI, Faith & Future of Society

15th June 2023

The “AI, Faith, and the Future of Society” event was held on June 15, 2023, at the Attlee Suite in Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster. The gathering brought together prominent policy makers, faith leaders, and technologists to explore the implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for society, with a specific focus on incorporating Abrahamic faith perspectives.

The Marrakesh Declaration and UK Policy: Introducing a New Paradigm of Religious Freedom

14th June 2023

The UK Forum for Peace’s first publication,The Marrakesh Declaration and UK Policy: Introducing a New Paradigm of Religious Freedom, launched in June 2023. This report explores how the Marrakesh Declaration can be used to help reconcile human rights with religious traditions towards developing a framework for Freedom of Religion or Belief that accommodates British Muslims.

His Eminence Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah’s video address, delivered to an audience of British faith leaders, civil society leaders and policymakers on the day of the Marrakesh Declaration policy handbook launch in the House of Lords, June 2023

Artificial Intelligence

10th January 2023

Since its inception, the Forum has sought to offer faith-based responses to the developments of our rapidly changing world, from extremism to climate change. The rise of artificial intelligence has increasingly become an issue of great concern for followers of traditional religions, and one that demands us to affirm our position on technology and its implications for human life whilst also engaging in constructive dialogue with those who advocate it. To this end, the Forum for Peace recently collaborated with the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life to produce a Multi-religious signature of the Rome Call for AI Ethics, where representatives of major technology companies and global faith communities came together to discuss the need to consider religious ethics in artificial intelligence and how such considerations can be put into practice. The Forum for Peace intends to continue these conversations in the UK context, with plans for a British AI Ethics conference already underway.

Muslim Leaders Roundtable

3rd July 2022

In Summer 2022, over forty imams, educators, civil society leaders and influencers from all over the UK gathered in central London for a Muslim leaders roundtable convened by the Forum for Peace. This event was an opportunity to address the main challenges currently facing the British Muslim community, ranging from anti-Muslim sentiment to the lack of intergenerational engagement in matters concerning the reconciliation of Islamic thought and contemporary socio-political issues. Taking the form of a question and answer session with HE Shaykh bin Bayyah, the meeting sought to ascertain possible solutions to such problems, and to build a network of British Muslim leaders who share the Forum’s ethos. 

Dialogue with the Chief Rabbi

4th June 2022

The Forum For Peace was honoured to host a dialogue between HE Shaykh bin Bayyah and the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster. The conversation, entitled “Loving Kindness, Humanity and Flourishing as Faith Communities in the UK”, drew on historical and theological affinities between Islam and Judaism to assert the need for the two communities to strengthen their relationship in Britain today. The event was also an opportunity for the audience, which consisted of parliamentarians, scholars and religious leaders, to ask the Shaykh and the Chief Rabbi questions concerning the contributions that faith groups can make to modern Western society.

UK Freedom of Religion or Belief Ministerial

4th June 2022

The Forum was honoured to participate in the Government’s UK International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, occupying an exhibition space at the official Civil Society Fringe and hosting a series of events surrounding the conference.

Collaboration with LSE Faith Centre

4th June 2022

During the UK Government’s International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Forum for Peace collaborated with the LSE Faith Centre to host a panel discussion on “FoRB, Interfaith and Human Flourishing in the 21st Century” with Dr. Mohammed Elsanousi, Executive Director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers; Dr James Walters, Director of the LSE Faith Centre; Dr Susan Kerr, author and human rights adviser; and Ambassador Rashad Hussain, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. The panel discussed the importance of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the pursuit of human flourishing, and how interfaith engagement can work towards the promotion of peace.

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