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AI comes with dangers however loads of alternatives

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This text is sponsored by UN ECA

That is the view of James Manyika, Senior Vice-President for Analysis, Know-how and Society at Google delivering the 2024 Adebayo Adedeji Memorial Lecture at CoM2024.

Manyika, who can be the co-chair of the UN Excessive Stage Advisory Physique on Synthetic Intelligence, stated AI would have essentially the most affect in “aiding individuals, powering the financial system and increasing prosperity, accelerating scientific breakthroughs and serving to to deal with societal challenges, enabling growth”. 

He famous, nevertheless, that these good points wouldn’t accrue routinely and would require funding, innovation, diffusion and an enabling coverage agenda.

Already, Manyika stated, AI helps to enhance lives via advances in scientific analysis and discovery. 

Amongst different makes use of, these developments are serving to professionals to fund cures for illnesses quicker, discovering minerals that may energy next-generation expertise and enabling quicker predictions of pure disasters. 

Some African nations have already deployed AI capabilities to enhance lives. “In Kenya, AI fashions are being trialled that make ultrasounds extra accessible to calmly skilled ultrasound operators in under-resourced settings. 

“In South Africa, AI-powered screenings are serving to to catch tuberculosis early, lowering its unfold,” he famous.

Regardless of these benefits, Manyika stated there are potential drawbacks and complexities, together with issues concerning the affect it’ll have on jobs. 

Whereas most analysis signifies that extra jobs, together with new sorts of employment, may very well be created by AI, Manyinka stated its advantages may very well be diminished if it led to job losses and affected employees have been unable to search out
new jobs as a consequence of their lack of related expertise. 

“Tackling these problems with workforce readiness, skilling and supporting employee transitions will probably be important,” he emphasised, including that Google is concerned in initiatives to offer licensed coaching programmes for hundreds of Africans. 

This, he stated, will probably be particularly important for Africa, given the dimensions of its younger inhabitants who should take care of AI-related shifts over the course of their working lives.


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