Accountable use of artificial intelligence in the public sector and ensuring these technologies don't amplify or replicate existing real-world inequalities is vital for Africa in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Artificial Intelligence and big data are creating new opportunities for African countries. Unfortunately, they are also creating new threats for national security, privacy and civic space.
As governments begin to adopt artificial intelligence technologies in more diverse contexts, they is a growing need to better understand how to identify the most appropriate solutions, build local capacity for development of AI and create the right enabling environment to ensure responsible use in both the private and public sectors.
About The Program
Our AI4D program is focused on providing practical evidence-informed insights to guide public sector institutions in addressing the human capital, sustainable financing and enabling environment challenges that come with artificial intelligence in government.
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data have created an array of life-changing possibilities for smallholder farmers, small businesses, non-state actors and governments alike. From satellite data and mobile call records data being processed to glean insights on movement of people, urban sprawl and service delivery gaps to crop yield predictions, disease identification on entry-level mobile phones and farm-level crop health assessments, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data could accelerate the rate of change towards eradication of hunger, poverty and reducing inequality. But they aren’t quite doing that yet.
These possibilities are accompanied by a seemingly insurmountable array of risks and challenges that keep the continent from leveraging the extensive big data resources or AI technologies. Privacy concerns due to poor data protection regimes, lack of algorithmic transparency, exploitation of marginalised groups and many more concerns can result in many public sectors champions losing interest and the political will to pursue them dissipating.