TechGulf CEO, Franklin Asare, has expressed concerns regarding the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI), citing ignorance as a primary reason for worry.
Speaking at the first Citi Business Festival Forum on Citi TV, under the theme ‘Reimagining the Digital Economy,’ Asare, who formerly served as the Country Director for Oracle Corporation, highlighted the intrusive capabilities and algorithms of AI, which can be exploited to a great extent.
He provided an example of how mentioning pizza can trigger targeted pizza advertisements on smartphones, attributing this phenomenon to the algorithms employed by AI systems.
He noted that many individuals lack knowledge about how to block or counteract these intrusive practices, emphasizing the necessity of educating the public about digital privacy.
While acknowledging the negative implications of AI, Asare also recognized its potential for positive impact, particularly in the context of data mining, he believes that if individuals have ownership and control over their own data, AI can be leveraged for positive outcomes.
As such, he suggested that discussions about AI should begin with addressing the issue of data ownership. Drawing attention to the African paradigm, Asare emphasized the importance of changing the current scenario where data is being mined without individuals’ knowledge.
“I think we should be worried about AI because of our ignorance but let me start from the positives. AI is one to watch. It has the ability to abuse to a very large extent because of the intrusive capabilities and algorithms that it has got. You notice now that when you talk about pizza before you know it you see pizza ads on your phone, these are not prophecies, it is because of the algorithms it has got. And most of us don’t have a clue as to how to block them and this should be part of the immediate digital education we provide.”
“Privacy is being intruded. But AI can be positive, and that will be in the context of the data it is going to mine, if we own the data. And for me that is where the conversation should begin. Our data is being mined and we do not even know about it, the African paradigm. That should change. Because in this digital era where we were not born in the industrial era. We need a lot of policy and education in this era. Universities should do more of data science.”