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South Africa Intends to Create Law for Use of Artificial Intelligence

South Africa Intends to Create Law for Use of Artificial Intelligence

After the European Union, it’s now South Africa’s turn. The country intends to create a bill that could regulate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

According to Kabum Digital, the announcement was made by South Africa’s Minister of Communications, Mondli Gungubele, at a national conference on Artificial Intelligence, organised by the department, where he said that the country should not be left behind in the development of AI, citing the potential economic benefits of the technology.

According to Gungubele, certain regulations must be put in place to institutionalise open AI, to apply to the development of continental and national Artificial Intelligence policies and programmes.

The South African government plans to set up an Artificial Intelligence Expert Advisory Board to advise on the development and implementation of AI policies and regulations. The working group will be headed by Vukosi Marivate, associate professor of computer science and chair of the “ABSA UP” Chair in Data Science at the University of Pretoria, and the initiative will also contribute to the selection of experts for the same group.

The selected professor specialises in the development of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods, with special emphasis on the intersection between ML/AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Mondli Gungubele argues that the role and potential of AI in helping the world achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is an imperative and a responsibility that all the world’s nations must assume.

“As a continent, we must recognise that the increased availability of digitised data in the global economy, unlimited access to computing power and reduced data storage costs are important for driving the growth of AI worldwide,” he said.

According to Techpoint, the generative AI market, responsible for creating new data, ideas and content such as text, images and audio, is expected to reach 0.89 billion dollars by 2024 on the African continent.

After the summit, the minister said that he expects a clear path to maximise AI to tackle some of the country’s economic and social challenges.

Also at the same conference, approaches were made for a “better AI future” in South Africa, such as policies, regulatory experiments and defining the country’s expectations of AI, plans to understand AI’s technological capabilities, define the technology and mitigate its potential negative effects.

On the African continent, Benin, Egypt, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia have developed national AI strategies, but none of them have implemented formal regulations on the same topic.

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