The African Media Festival 2023: How AI is affecting the marginalized

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  • AI is forcing the working population to be more creators than adopters, thus heightening the quality of the labour force coming from Africa.
  • The African Media Festival, the first ever biggest media festival in Kenya, took place in Raddison Blu on 14th and 15th February 2023
  • AI still requires human intervention. In 2023, most of what is termed as AI is 90 per cent Machine Learning

Africa Media Festival 2023

The Africa Media Festival, the first ever biggest media festival in Kenya, took place in Raddison Blu on the 14th and 15th of February 2023. The festival attracted many experts from all over the continent to discuss the future of the media industry.

Among the key takeaways from the event is how Africa can democratize their datasets. Most machine learning and Artificial Intelligence tools have western-based datasets that do not serve the primary needs of the vast majority in Africa.

AI and ML- despite the adaptive potential that comes with these technologies- have affected the marginalized in Africa.

Difference between AI and ML

To put the information into context, it is imperative to understand the difference between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. ML is a subset of AI. However, AI is the training to be while ML is the training to do.

ML gives feedback on only what it has been fed. On the other side, AI can derive meaning from the data that it has been given. AI has human-like intelligence which is derived from continuous learning. A good example of AI is ChatGPT. The tool answers the user in a typical human-like response.

Read: Truths and misconceptions of AI possibilities in DeFi

AI application in mobile credit.

In most mobile loaning and credit application. AI is a critical tool in creating the algorithms that run how money is distributed. However, AI has been used to pick personal data from the users of these applications. For example;

Brenda is broke. She is texting her friend Jane to lend her some cash to pay for her house rent. Brenda has used a lending app before and given them her details. She has given this application access to, among other things, her contacts. The app uses AI to follow up on any conversation on her phone that is around money and credit. As such, they can follow up on Brenda and Jane’s conversation. If Jane cannot help Brenda, AI takes that and sends Brenda a message that they can offer her a loan.

There are many examples of how AI is being used to read personal data. The biggest disadvantage is that there lack of policies in Africa to govern how these tools work. Additionally, ignorance in Africa eats into how people give permissions to these apps without knowing.

AI replicating biometrics

Recently, there was this AI tool that was running on TikTok that a user could upload their photo, and the tool would replicate it in different ways. The tool looked fun and many people using the application in Africa were excited to use it. If the app could produce something close to a copyright on the original, the potential of AI in biometrics cannot be underrated.

If the AI tools get more refined, applications that people log in using biometrics, such as Binance, could be compromised. The biggest problem is that most consumers do not understand the potential that AI has, and its dangers could find them unaware of its dangers.

The racist nature of AI

First off, the is no AI technology discovered yet that can understand any African-originating language. That means that it is pretty a broken vehicle for those who don’t understand English.

In 2019, Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found out that self-driving cars are more likely to drive into blacks. They further explained that the sensors and the cameras used in these cars are more likely to better detect people with lighter skin tones. The technology is still in its early stages of development and things might change over time.

Recently, Black Tiktok creators said that their content was being suppressed by automated moderation. The AI algorithms that the social app runs under make it more difficult for black content creators to get mainstream attention. Some of the black dancers and choreographers watched as white people skyrocketed from copying their creativity.

AI renders people jobless

There are many AI tools. In Futurepedia.io for example, there are over 1011 AI tools. The tools help in video making, designing, social media management, transcription, music production, script and code writing, and website designing, among many others.

Most people employed to perform these jobs in companies are now liabilities in these companies. However, AI still requires human intervention. In 2023, most of what is termed as AI is 90 per cent Machine Learning.

In retrospect, most people who lose their job to AI are those engaging in repetitive content. AI is forcing the working population to be more creators than adopters, thus heightening the quality of the labour force coming from Africa. 

Read: Software, packages and tools you need to become a web3 developer

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JOSEPH KANGETHE
JOSEPH KANGETHE
I am a tech, business, and investment news reporter covering Africa. Most of what is good in Africa is obscured by preconceptions, yet there is still a lot of good going on. Technology is what is driving the continent and this is my passion. For Africa, I share the stories that are important to Africans.