AI Dialogue in Africa Signals Possibilities for Global Governance

Olalekan J. Akintande is a lecturer and researcher in the Computational Statistics Unit at the University of Ibadan. Joseph B. Keller is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, affiliated with the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative. Rens Dimmendaal & Johann Siemens / Better Images of AI / Decision Tree / CC-BY 4.0 If the international community is to effectively coordinate effective governance of artificial intelligence (AI), it’s critical to expand representation in discussions of regulation, standards, and policy. Currently, African nations lack sufficient representation in most high-level collaboration around AI. While inclusion is improving, it must be prioritized. Failure to do so risks perpetuating historic and systemic inequalities and harms, limiting the integration of the needs and lived experiences of certain groups into emerging AI innovations, and undercutting democratic values such as equity and fairness. Last Spring, Kigali, Rwanda played host to one of the major international AI conferences (the International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2023), drawing academics, industry scientists, and civic sector actors to the African continent in an unprecedented convening. While this event was notable in its attempt to increase global inclusion in machine learning (ML) research, it may signify an important component of a broader strategy to enhance the global governance of AI.  Global AI governance needs help Recent interest in the global governance of AI has been driven by a variety of actors. National governments, international organizations, and civil society groups have constructed frameworks concerning AI development, historically driven by well-resourced tech companies…AI Dialogue in Africa Signals Possibilities for Global Governance