ROME, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Africa and the dangers posed by artificial intelligence (AI) will be two of the key themes for Italy during its one-year presidency of the Group of Seven, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Thursday.
Italy took over the rotating presidency of the G7, which includes the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Britain and Italy, at the start of January.
It will host numerous ministerial meetings throughout the year, including a leaders’ summit in June. However, Meloni said she wanted to hold a special session before June focused on AI.
“I am hugely concerned about the impact (of AI) on the labour market,” she told a news conference to mark the end of the year. “Today we are faced with a revolution where (human) intellect is in danger of being replaced.”
She told reporters that supporting African development would also be a central theme of her G7, saying it was vital to boost local economies and living standards to dissuade would-be migrants from heading to Europe.
“What I think needs to be done in Africa is not charity. What needs to be done in Africa is to build cooperation and serious strategic relationships as equals not predators. What needs to be done in Africa is to defend the right not to have to emigrate … and this is done with investments and a strategy.”
Among other issues likely to dominate Italy’s presidency is the ongoing war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni and Giuseppe Fonte; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Keith Weir