The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mal. Kashifu Inuwa has canvassed that those who build Artificial Intelligence systems should accommodate the laws of the society, where such systems will be deployed.
The NITDA DG, who was speaking while joining other world-leading tech experts at the Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on a plenary session with the theme, “Catalyzing AI Communities and Solutions: Sharing Cases Across the EU, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, also urged the global tech community to find measures that will ensure that AI systems are built according to policies, regulations and laws.
He argued that since Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become embedded in people’s lives and activities to an unnoticeable stage, people in the community should be considered to be part of building AI systems.
“If few techy people are allowed to develop AI systems, they will build the systems with a techy mindset, while the systems are used in so many ways such as criminal justice, recruitment, profiling, etc. So software engineers that build AI are beyond just software engineers; they are also social engineers,” he said.
Inuwa emphasized that the government needs to make sure that there are Ethics, Codes, and Standard for anybody designing any system that will make decisions on behalf of the government or that will make decisions that the community must follow.
He further stated that “the way it is today, we obey most of the rules of these technologies than the rules of our country. Before you use any system or access any place controlled by the technology, you have to agree to follow the rules of the technology.
“We need to stop looking at technology from either consumer’s perspective in terms of where he buys and costs or a capitalist’s in terms of how to exploit or build products around it. We need to start looking at it from the citizen’s eyes, how it changes the way we live together, and how it can be used for the public good. This can only be achieved through policies, regulations, and laws, which we believe has to be co-created,” he added.
Inuwa further informed that to make the digital space safer for everyone, including children, Nigeria came up with a Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries.
He said what the government is trying to achieve with the Code is to ensure that what is illegal offline is illegal online, adding that the action plan is to move Nigeria’s legal laws to the digital space. Initially, cyberspace was seen as an ungoverned space, but now everyone agrees that regulation is needed. However, what is the right regulation, and he further stated that it can’t be created today. The creation of the regulations needs to evolve.