Beware of ethical issues associated with AIs – Prof. Marwala

Gideon Nicholas Day
Gideon Nicholas Day
3 Min Read

Rector of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Professor Tshilidzi Marwala has urged users of Artificial intelligence software to be cautious of ethical issues that technologies breach in the quest to solve real-life problems.

He spoke at an event held under the Prof. Alexander Adum Kwapong Lecture (Nature Speaks) of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and the University of Ghana Vice-Chancellor’s Occasional Lecture Series, focused on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence and Economic Growth”.

“Issues of AI and the distribution of harmful content is  ethical issues that we need to watch, issues of copyright and legal exposure. Of course now we have ChatGPT that is using copy written information and we don’t understand what that means and so on and so forth. There are ethical issues that we need to watch about this technology.”

Professor Marwala called on the general public to learn about the use of AIs so that they are not left behind in the era of emerging technology usage.

“When I was a vice chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, one of the innovation that I did was to create some students courses, irrespective of what they were studying. It was not a technical course, it was a literacy course and I call upon all of you to make yourself literate about technology. I don’t think you need to know the technical details, but you should at least understand what these technologies are, what they can do, what they cannot do and what we should be quite careful about.”

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Chairperson for the Lecture  Prof Nana Aba Appiah Amfo , emphasized the timeliness of discussing AI’s potential as a game-changer for Africa’s development. She also said  the University will continue to collaborate with institutions that promote conversations that push Africa’s development.

“The University of Ghana, which has a mission of remaining relevant to national and global development. Through cutting edge research as well as high quality teaching and learning, we’ll continue to promote these collaborations, which contribute to advocacy on pertinent issues of national development and global concern. In light of rapidly growing evolution within the technology space, this lecture is considered very timely. To keep us abreast of the changing times and more importantly, we would see how these technologies can be employed as a game changer for answer of Africa’s sustainable and inclusive development.”

Story by Gideon Nicholas Day |

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