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President Kagame speaks on why AI should not be feared

During a conversation with Vicky Akani-Wahbo, Managing Director of Hens Technologies Rwanda, President Kagame of Rwanda shared his insights on the evolving landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications for Africa. Akani-Wahbo, a Carnegie Mellon University Africa alumna, inquired about Kagame’s stance on AI in the context of ethical concerns, safety issues, and Africa’s readiness for this technological leap.

President Kagame acknowledged the apprehensions surrounding new technologies, particularly AI. He emphasized the considerable benefits technology brings, such as increased productivity and advancement on a societal level. However, he also highlighted the importance of acknowledging potential risks associated with these advancements. Kagame advised that the focus should not be solely on the advantages or the dangers of AI, but rather on a balanced approach that seeks to maximize the benefits while effectively managing and mitigating the risks.

The President stressed the need for collective effort and collaboration in addressing the challenges posed by AI. Since AI’s impact is global, transcending individual entities, nations, or companies, a unified approach is crucial. He pointed out the ongoing debates around regulation, noting the delicate balance between over-regulation, which may stifle innovation, and under-regulation, which could lead to unmanaged risks. Kagame’s stance is that through global cooperation and thoughtful deliberation, it is possible to minimize the potential dangers of AI while capitalizing on the opportunities it offers for advancement and progress.

His advice to tech entrepreneurs in Africa is to be cognizant of both the promise and the pitfalls of AI. By working together and thinking critically about the implications of AI, African innovators can contribute to making the continent a leader in this field while ensuring that the technology’s deployment is safe, ethical, and beneficial for all.

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