News Conversations on AI with Peter Marley Addo

On June 21st 2022, Dr Peter Martey Addo, head of DataLab at the Innovation, Research And Knowledge (IRS) Directorate of the French Development Agency (AFD), delivered an exciting presentation on “Advancing The Responsible Adoption of AI at The Local Level”.

Dr Addo stated that most of the data available for developing AI solutions are generated at the national level. In order to develop AI solutions that will be adopted at the local level, data must be taken from the granular level such as at the district and regional levels.

When AI solutions are designed and implemented responsibly, society will have down to earth solutions to most developmental challenges. Some of the major set back for the adoption of AI are privacy issues, lack of responsible data infrastructure and gap in AI governance structure in Africa.

To make adoption of AI at the local level possible, the following recommendations were made;

Create Education and Training Programs on AI: People should be able to understand what AI is all about, AI and it’s implications should be explained to decision and policymakers as well as to ordinary citizens. Universities can roll out special programs to educate company staff and policy makers.

“I personally recommend universities to collaborate with the private sector. 
We need to move from the lab to the market.”

Promote Open Dialogues and Social Innovations: creating forums for people to meet and discuss at the regional and national levels and share their views regarding AI related issues will help identify key issues that are of high importance to their communities and thus deepen trust.

“Identify the needs that matter. Promote open public dialogues and include everyone in the discussions. Diversity and Incusion matter.”

Support and Promote Investments in AI Research: NGOs and other donors should channel resources to support grassroot AI solutions and research that is tailored for people at the local level, e.g. solutions for farmers and traders.

Promote Open Data Sharing: there must be collaborations among the private sector, government and higher learning institutions to create data 
infrastructures that will allow data management, data sharing made easy and transparent.

“We need what we call data stewardship.”

There must also be an effective data policy and national AI strategy to direct the development of AI.

During the Q/A section with the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, Dr Caitlin Corrigan and the participants, our distinguished guest speaker added,

To allow adoption, use cases and how useful AI will be to the layperson must be explained clearly to all and sundry. E.g. boosting productivity and reducing cost.

Overall, Dr Addo pointed out that it is important to stress that the use of AI is not always applicable to every problem; understanding the issues and aligning it with the right technology is the best approach.

The RAIN Africa team would like to thank Dr Peter Martey Addo for the insightful presentation and the fruitful discussion 

Check the recordings for more: