In chat con Padre Pio: l’intelligenza artificiale incontra la preghiera thumbnail

In chat with Padre Pio: artificial intelligence meets prayer

It is quite clear that the potential, but also the areas of use, of artificial intelligence are still largely to be explored.

We are referring above all to conversational chatbots, capable of having increasingly realistic “dialogues” with human interlocutors, convincing not only from the point of view of the correctness of the information but also, so to speak, from an empathetic point of view.

And if empathy means getting intimately in tune with other people’s moods, what could be more intimate than the spiritual sphere?

Right, thinking of keeping prayer and artificial intelligence together may sound paradoxical. It is completely inconceivable to anyone who has a conservative idea of ​​the sacred dimension. Yet this is what did, a portal that allows you to start… a chat with Padre Pio.

In what sense? We explain it to you better.

What is

On the home page of stands out a sentence. Which, although it was written to explain the nature of the site, we must admit verges on unintentional humor.

In fact, we read: “Send your thought or your prayer to the saint to whom you are most devoted.

Choose the Saint to whom you are most devoted and write to him your thought, your prayer: He will immediately answer you with words of closeness and comfort.

It’s not really about the Saint you’re devoted to but an artificial intelligence that has studied his writings and responds with his words, his thoughts. He aims to convey the message of your beloved saint so as to spread his virtues to as many people as possible.”

In chat with Padre Pio (and not only with him)

In a drop-down menu you can choose the interlocutor of the chat: Padre Pio, Sant’Antonio, Santa Rita, San Francesco or San Gennaro.

Needless to specify, as did, that it is not the real saint. Less superfluous to note that religious figures were chosen, who – throughout our country or in specific areas – have over time reached a conspicuous number of faithful.

In addition to the number of believers that may be attracted by the possibility of conversing with an AI that mimics five very popular saints, there is the further curiosity towards ChatGPT, the conversational chatbot behind the project. And of which today we do nothing but talk.

Beyond the authentic religious afflatus that may have given way to, in short, it is a commercial operation destined in all likelihood to have a strong success.

The word to the founders of

But the question is: during the chats, Padre Pio and the other saints respond… as saints?

The founder of, Fabio Salvatore, spoke on the subject. The forty-seven year old Salvatore, interviewed by Il Sole 24 Ore, explained: “We made him credible, natural in him being his artificial intelligence. In the testing phase we told him ‘I would like a Kelly from Hermès’, and he scolded us saying that material goods don’t bring happiness, also showing that he knows that Kelly is a bag”.

The co-founder of, the twenty-six-year-old Angelo Bottone, returns instead to the concept of empathy: “We realized that starting from the thought of Padre Pio, empathy came by itself”.

The chatbot trained… like a saint

In short, ChatGPT in the version has been trained to respond as, presumably, an eminent religious personality would respond.

Salvatore still says to Sole 24 Ore: “We worked to make the answers balanced. We trained him not to swear or respond to insults. And, for privacy, there’s no trace of what people write.”

Behind the project is ImpactOn, a startup specializing in digital assistance to third sector companies, especially religious bodies.

The dimensions of the sacred

It is difficult to pass judgment on this operation.

The dimensions of the sacred, in theory, are two. Or the intimate one, of relationship with the transcendent through prayer, or the social one (much more present in cultures other than ours).

So, thinking badly, the chat with Padre Pio seems to resemble a way to exploit the need for faith and, broadening the field, that of listening.

But to be less pessimistic, one could assume that the Net – by now a substitute for reality-reality in an ever-increasing number of aspects – could also serve as a place in which to cultivate one’s relationship with the otherworldly.

However, just like no chatbot will ever be able to replace the physical pleasure of having a chat with a friend over a beer, like this we imagine that no alleged Padre Pio in chat can provide the same spiritual comfort as a confessor in the flesh.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.