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Kenya supports ethical global use of AI

By , Kenya Correspondent
19 Mar 2024
Engineer John Kipchumba Tanui, Kenya's principal secretary: department of ICT and digital Economy.
Engineer John Kipchumba Tanui, Kenya's principal secretary: department of ICT and digital Economy.

Kenya has underlined its commitment to collaborating with global partners to ensure the proper and ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Eng. John Tanui, the permanent secretary for ICT and the digital economy, made the statement during the three-day ministerial conference on Artificial Intelligence/Digital Technologies and Democracy, which began on Monday in Seoul, South Korea.

“While the rise of AI and digital technologies presents unprecedented opportunities for economic growth and innovation, it also brings forth complex challenges that necessitate global cooperation and commitment,” he told delegates.

“Kenya stands ready to collaborate with global partners in building strong frameworks and ensure the responsibility use of AI for the betterment of humanity and also upholding our cherished freedoms, ethics and democratic values.”

Tanui said that while AI holds the promise of boosting democracy by improving access to information, decision-making processes, and openness, it also brings substantial concerns such as privacy erosion and an increase in inequality.

“To safeguard democracy in the age of AI, we must prioritise accountability and transparency and inclusivity,” Tanui proposed.

“Policy makers must enact robust regulations to ensure ethical development and deployment of AI systems, coupled with effective oversight mechanisms.”

Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, is also advocating for investing in digital literacy and education, which Tanui said was paramount to empowering citizens to critically engage with AI technologies and navigate the digital landscape effectively.

Tanui also expressed Kenya's gratitude to South Korea for its support in establishing the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology recently.

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