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Mapping Artificial Intelligence in Africa

Web Foundation · August 7, 2017

The Web Foundation is supporting the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society with an Artificial Intelligence and Africa Mapping Project

We’re excited to share that we are working with the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence initiative at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society to research various approaches to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in several African countries. Through conversations with African experts — from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa — we are mapping people/institutions, resources, events, and existing efforts related to the ethics and governance of AI. This research will help us better understand the challenges and opportunities of AI for the continent over the next five to ten years. We expect to share our findings this fall.

This is the first mapping of its kind — most research to date on AI and its impacts has been focused on high-income economies, such as those found in Europe or North America. Yet, decisions made by machines could have a dramatic impact across the African continent, affecting everything from employment, to access to finance, to how government services are delivered. We believe a clear understanding of the risks and benefits of these technologies for Africa — and a clear response from policymakers — is crucial to our mission of delivering digital equality.

Our research will be led by Dhanaraj Thakur, the Web Foundation’s Senior Research Manager. In addition to an analytical report, the study will also feed into a publicly available database of key actors, events, and resources on AI in Africa, designed to help inform policymakers, researchers, businesses, civil society groups, and others going forward.

If you have questions about this study, please email Dhanaraj Thakur.

 

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