April 22, 2024
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Kenyan outspoken Member of Parliament John Kiarie and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on communication, information, and innovation on Monday made Kenya Proud on the Global Scene when making a very candid, informed, and detailed presentation and contribution on the need for equitable data representation in the artificial intelligence race.

John Kiarie noted: “When we are having a conversation on AI Human Rights and Democracy, you understand why Africa is walking into this very cautiously. We do not want to walk into it blindly. We want to walk into it vigilantly. The lessons from the past have taught us that there are developments that can be exploitative to individuals to communities and even to countries. And now that we know that AI, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be fueled by data, the question begs: what does the data representation look like as we go into this fourth industrial revolution? As we look into the data centers and where they are being stationed in the world, we see that the Southern Hemisphere is very disenfranchised. A case in point, we got to look historically, Africa has passed its indigenous knowledge, beliefs, their cultures from one generation to another orally. It has not been recorded, not in numbers not in words, indigenous data that is not in our books, is not in the library, and is not even in the internet from which the AI systems are scraping data out of.

I was very excited about what Mr. Sebar said, because in the context of AI and democracy and human rights, then Parliaments must advocate for Affirmative Actions that ensure inclusivity and equity in the principle of leaving nobody behind. We’ve got to ask ourselves: if this data that is being scraped off the internet, is what is going to fuel the Artificial Intelligence, what will some of the communities contribute to this data? Does it mean some cultures, some religions, some beliefs or some tribes are going to go extinct in this what we are calling the fourth industrial revolution.

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