UNESCO forum to examine challenges and opportunities of AI for Africa

AdobeStock 181424164The high rate of smartphone penetration has been followed by the development of many applications that facilitate everyday life. (Image source: 181424164/AdobeStock)UNESCO and Mohamed VI Polytechnic University will organise an Artificial Intelligence (AI) forum on 12-13 December in Benguérir, Morocco

The forum aims to explore the opportunities and challenges of technological innovations relating to AI in Africa, UNESCO said in a statement.

Although there are significant disparities between countries, the majority of the African continent has mobile network coverage. The high rate of smartphone penetration has been followed by the development of many applications that facilitate everyday life be it with regard to health, education, culture or the environment, it added.

The organisation stated that the initiatives on AI are still limited and they raise important ethical questions concerning the use of private data, freedom of expression and responsibility. It also added that the societal impact of AI technologies, which can replace human labour, is an issue yet to be addressed.

These subjects will be at the heart of the two-day forum organised with the support of Microsoft.

Morocco’s Education Minister Said Amzazi, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and Zohour Alaoui, president of the general conference of UNESCO, will attend the conference.

The forum will bring together ministers, representatives of the private sector, experts, researchers and representatives of international and regional organisations, as well as NGOs and civil society actors.

Through roundtables and thematic sessions, the conference will examine ways in which artificial intelligence can serve as a lever for development, the future of AI in Africa and ethical issues for the continent.

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