NCC addresses ethical and societal impact of Artificial Intelligence

The Nigerian Communications Commission has published a research report on the ethical and societal impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As a way of enlightening the public, the paper, sponsored by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), looked at AI, its impact on society and the ethical considerations concerning its wide deployment.

According the report published on the Commission’s website the technology comes with its merits and demerits.

 “It is apparent from this Research study that the transformative effect of AI on countries can have far-reaching economical, legal and regulatory implications that reinforce the fact that there are always unexpected and unwanted consequences when new technology is introduced. This technology also comes as a double edged sword, with rising concerns over its harmful effects and ethical implications such as security concerns, lack of standardizations and accountability, and bias.”

The report calls for human adjustments, “Human intelligence influences AI and iteratively, in the near future, AI will improve human intelligence by reeducation of humanity to understand the technology’s mechanisms and consequences. In order to accomplish that, there has to be a shift in human ability to interact with AI in sustainable terms to yield positive impact. Coupled with thorough ethical examination of AI systems to ensure moral codes, privacy, fairness and safety, the use of AI systems will revolutionize many industries in the future and might change the future as we know it.”

“It is important to note that AI is constantly changing, hence, the legal and regulatory environment is also ever- evolving. This means that policy and regulation concerning AI should embody an iterative system, involving all crucial stakeholders. The future of AI will ultimately be set by the ability of the world to strike a balance between reaping its benefits and addressing its fallouts; and this balance is dependent on adaptable regulatory structures that can ensure the prosperity of the Industry.”

It recommended that regulators have an obligation to brave new regulatory frontiers to drive the benefits unleashed by new and emerging technology.

It advised that in order for the Nigerian Communications Commissions to drive for a safe and enabling environment for the deployment of AI systems to maximize its potentials while curtailing its negative effects, the following recommendations are emphasized:

“With the increasing emergence of AI enabled technology, there has to be a set of requirements to ensure only authorized businesses/ service providers would offer AI enabled services to the public. This would not only ensure the safety and security of customer data, but also serve as a monitoring mechanism to make sure only ethically and legally compliant AI systems are deployed, whilst limiting third-party use of the technology. The Commission can achieve this via the Licensing Department, by formulating a new class of license to be made available for AI providers. Ideally, licenses would provide an avenue for regulatory examinations which would force the providers to guarantee security compliance and eliminate errors, bias.”

“The Commission should drive collaboration toward informed and effecting regulation with relevant stakeholders such as Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, NOTAP and NITDA. Constant collaboration would establish information sharing and boost stakeholder involvement.”

“Considering the plans to establish an Agency for robotics and AI (RAI), the Commission can establish a partnership to confer and deliberate on the regulatory needs for a RAI license for AI in the future.”

“In order to keep up with the continuous challenges and solutions concerning AI in terms of societal and ethical impact, the Commission should study and localize international best practices by other Nations to enforce global standardization.”

“The Commission should consistently engage with the ITU on AI standardization efforts for replication at the National level.”

“The Commission can render support and collaboration to center for Robotics and AI upon its launch, in order to carry out a holistic 31 needs and challenges review, as well as the creation of a White paper on Robotics and AI for Nigeria.”

“Collaborate and partner with Academia and Research Institutions to drive constant and intensive research in the field of Emerging Technologies such as AI. This partnership would also foster sensitization and educational reform of Nigerian school curriculums to include ICT and digital skills for retool and reskill of Nigerians for this new era of emerging technology.”

“The ITU regulatory Tracker76 was launched by the organization to aid Regulators analyze the ICT sector for their regulatory environments. NCC can use this tool, via the Research Department to identify, monitor and resolve gaps in existing regulations in the area of Emerging Technology.”

“The Commission should drive Public- Private Partnerships (PPP) via a roundtable with captains of the ICT Industry in the field of Emerging Technologies to encapsulate information sharing and foster inclusive collaboration in policy formulation.”

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