All of the old colonial powers are now coming to Africa bearing AI gifts. Talks are being sponsored by the UN. Our flagship tech companies are building new offices and innovation centers. New development and opportunities everywhere. But ask yourselves, when have our gifts ever been free?
If the presentation you're attending doesn't fully discuss the risks of AI, if it broaches them in the last 2 slides, or leaves them to the Q&A session; if the business plan is founded on corporations entering the country through the government, and startups and entrepreneurs are relegated to the sidelines; if there are no Africans in positions of actual power on the design or consulting teams, regardless of whether they have 'oversight'; if consultants and corporate experts do not actively and publicly educate the government on both the positive and negative aspects of AI adoption and empower it to freely choose which technologies to take and which to leave - then what you're experiencing is not development. It is colonization 2.0.*
*While this page is specific to AI adoption efforts in Africa, the insights are applicable to all nations and societies, including those that have not historically experienced colonization.
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