Paris Peace Forum offers platform to discuss artificial intelligence

The sixth edition of the annual Paris Peace Forum got underway on Friday in the French capital, with the aim of tackling a wide range of global challenges from climate change to migration.

But is also offered a unique platform to discuss the crucial role that artificial intelligence can play in development.

This is particularly true in Africa, despite challenges such as the high cost of connectivity and low internet penetration on the continent.

For Sally Bilaly SOW from the organisation Guinea Check, there is no need to wait until internet penetration is 100 per cent to understand how AI works.

“We need to adopt it now, integrate it into our daily practices, but also and above all – raise awareness of its positive aspects,” he said.

Cameroonian Steve MengnHe said artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in Africa’s development, but there is still a long way to go to before the benefits reach many remote villages.

“In the rural areas, in the villages where we live every day, there are no networks, there is no light. So, how do you expect AI to have an impact,” he said.

In connected regions, AI has the potential to transform Africa with significant advances in areas of health and agriculture through applications tailored to specific needs.

Vilas Dhar is president of the Patrick J McGovern Foundation, an organisation that focuses on artificial intelligence and data solutions.

He said he was inspired by the work that is happening in the field across the continent.

“In places as far flung as Morocco, South Africa, and Senegal, where the government recently rolled out a new national AI strategy that acknowledges that AI is something that could drive meaningful social and economic progress.”

The Paris Peace Forum highlighted the essential role of artificial intelligence and its impact on development.

But countries will need to work together to strike a balance between technological innovation and responsibility.