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Experts Reflect on Tanzania’s Readiness for the AI Revolution

They think Tanzania's most important task is imparting the right skills to its population rather than opposing the technology.

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Dar es Salaam. Artificial Intelligence (AI) was one of the topics that attracted significant reactions from experts and audience members during a recent Impact Business Breakfast (IBB) event at the Hyatt Hotel in Dar es Salaam on April 24, 2024.

IBB, a platform seeking to change Tanzania’s corporate culture, organised the event to discuss the intersection between technology and human capital.

During the panel discussion, Nicholas Lodge, co-founder of Wingu.Africa highlighted that moderation is an important aspect of the AI revolution.

“AI is not a bad thing; it is about how technology augments what we are doing,” argued Mr Lodge.How do we remain human, and how does our humanity sort of stand first in the queue.”

“It’s about keeping things in moderation and using AI to support and not control us, but it’s a challenge on how to regulate it and ethics around it,” he emphasized.

READ MORE: Tanzania Court Adopts Artificial Intelligence in its Processes

Adding to the discussion, Tanzania’s Ambassador to South Korea, Togolani Mavura, highlighted that Tanzania’s most important task is to impart the right skills to its population and not oppose technology.

“The people who develop the technology are making a lot of investments in making technology better, but on our side, we do less and less in developing humans to manage technology,” said Ambassador Mavura.

“AI and everything we fear today is because it’s new and it disrupts us in so many ways, but in ten years down the lane, we will have better governance to it, and we will be able to see it as a problem of yesterday,” continued Ambassador Mavura.

It was noted that there are several steps that academic institutions are already taking in coming up with AI initiatives, including the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology and Dodoma University, as well as private actors such as the AI community in Tanzania looking to bring together actors in the AI field.

George Mulamula, a long-time government consultant on tech and ICT policies, explained that the government can also anticipate the changes that AI will bring.

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“I have just supported the Ministry of ICT in writing up the framework and guidelines for the responsible development and use of AI, that framework is expected to come out within the next month or so,” explained Mulamula.

Mulamula elaborated that the new framework is expected to help the country navigate the challenges and opportunities brought by AI. Nevertheless, he cautions about the technology gap that still exists as the development of AI rushes everywhere in the world.

“If you take an AI chat box, for example, Chat GPT, and talk to it about Tanzania, it will not know what a person in Rukwa is thinking and doing,” he argued. “It will give you an example of what is happening in the US, the UK, and so forth; this is a bias that we are talking about.”

Regarding the development of human skills in the country, Ambassador Mavura also reveals that the country is in the process of building the first-of-its-kind digital technology institute with the support of the Korean government. 

The institute is expected to support and develop digital technology enthusiasts regardless of their academic qualifications.

Digital Freedom and Innovation Day
The Chanzo is hosting Digital Freedom and Innovation Day on Saturday April 20, 2024 at Makumbusho ya Taifa.

Register to secure your spot

One Response

  1. AI holds immense promise across various domains, showcasing its transformative potential. While acknowledging challenges, I believe the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. To truly excel, we must wholeheartedly embrace AI, committing to substantial investment and active participation rather than passively observing the unfolding advancements.

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