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'Zimbabwe risks losing out on AI prospects'

by Staff reporter
27 Nov 2023 at 04:55hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE and Africa, in general, stand to lose out on the potential US$7 trillion in additional gross domestic product (GDP) that artificial intelligence (AI) could brings to the world economy if they are unable to optimise the productivity of AI goods, a professor of robotics has said.

AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.

Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision.

AI is seen raising the global GDP by nearly US$7 trillion in the next decade.

Generative AI helps organisations to classify the different documents submitted, such as employment records and payslips, and subsequently extract the relevant information needed to assess the applicant's eligibility.

While these phenomena are seen threatening the labour sector, robotics professor and former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told an In Conversation with Trevor Ideas Festival in Nyanga last week that the continent needs to embrace AI.

"I'm talking of the opportunities and dangers of AI. We're talking about AI (which) has to put US$7 trillion into GDP. The danger is: Is Africa worth the value of US$7 trillion? Are we producing the AI product? Are we manufacturing the AI product?

"Or are we just consumers of AI? What are we? We must also have a share of that. We can talk about healthcare, finance, efficiency, reduction of costs and so on. Ask yourselves, how can we be more productive because of AI?" he said.

Mutambara said AI could drive productivity and production.

"There are so many other things that you can do with generative AI. You can add US$4 million to global GDP by generative AI. General AI will add U$4 trillion annually to the global economy," he said.

"On top of the US$11 million coming from the 4th Industrial Revolution, what is the major driver? Productivity is being driven by AI. Why? Because data is so much, remember the way robots and AI works is about data. They give you so much data. There's so much data now and there's so much computing power."

Mutambara said Zimbabwe needed strategic thinking to get things done.

While there are vast opportunities in AI, Mutambara also flagged the risks and dangers.

"Existential risks — concerns that AI could eventually become so powerful that it poses an existential threat to humanity by accident or design.

"What happens when we have a million super-intelligent agents whose capabilities surpass those of Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Elon Musk, Prof Edward Witten or Prof Andrew Wiles? How can humans control society or the world with a million such super-intelligent agents?"

Mutambara said Zimbabwe should accept the destruction of some jobs and then acquire new capabilities and skills for the new AI jobs and AI-modified careers.

Source - newsday
More on: #Mutambara, #Risk