Private sector pushes for ethical AI guidelines

Players in the private sector have called for the formation of the Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council comprising of local and international experts to develop a framework for ethical adoption of AI even as the new innovation takes root in various sectors of the economy.

This call was part of the recommendations of a two-day ‘Digital Transformation in East Africa Conference’ organised by the Aga Khan University that brought together over 50 high profile global speakers and over 1000 delegates from 24 countries for the hybrid conference.

In addition, the conference called for sustainable development and environmental conversation that focuses on green technology, digital tools for sustainable development and nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem while respecting people’s privacy and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Representing the Prime Cabinet Secretary Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, the Principal Secretary for Parliamentary Affairs Aurelia Rono reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the adoption of new technologies.

“At my State Department we are charged with coordinating with parliament on legislative matters. I will be looking forward to receive the recommendations of this forum which I am sure will benefit our work,” said Aurelia Rono, Principal Secretary, State Department for Parliamentary Affairs who spoke during the closing ceremony.

Read also: AGA Khan and ICT Ministry seek public-private alliance for digital future

Africa’s digital transformation

In his remarks Aga Khan University Vice Chancellor Dr. Sulaiman Shahabuddin lauded the government for providing an enabling environment that has propelled Kenya to the forefront of Africa’s digital transformation.

“The government’s vision and the support that it has provided has helped to create what Aga Khan University’s Founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, has described as an enabling environment. Without an enabling environment, private initiatives struggle to find their footing. With it, the private sector pushes off like a sprinter and races ahead,” he added.

The conference also discussed the relevance of technology in healthcare as an enabler to efficient service.

“In order to effectively serve our patients, we recently installed an Electronic Health Records system. This system has improved patients’ experience and care, automation of physician notes and improved financial viability,” said the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi CEO Rashid Khalani.

The CEO said the new system that is being implemented across the health facilities of the Aga Khan Development Network spread across Africa and Asia and will facilitate education and localised research.

Some of the speakers of the conference included Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Hon. Eliud Owalo, Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, Republic of Estonia Former President Toomas Ilves, Kyrgyz Republic Former Deputy Prime Minister Dastan Dogoev, Aga Khan Development Network Diplomatic Representative Amin Mawji, Aga Khan University Global Chief Information Officer Shaukat Ali Khan and Harvard Vice President and University Chief Information Officer Klara Jelinkova.

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