Artificial Intelligence: MPs propose setting up of council to regulate technology
“Ghana as of today, has no strategy, Ghana has no legislation on AI, no ethical guidelines on AI. As the development and use of AI expand across different domains, there is a need to have legal regulatory guidance to ensure that AI is used in a manner that aligns with human rights.
Members of Ghana’s Parliament are proposing the setting up of an Artificial Intelligence Council to regulate the use of the technology. This came after the legislators raised concerns about the need to establish legislation to govern the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Ghana.
AI tools, which utilize algorithms based on artificial intelligence to perform various tasks, have found applications in industries such as healthcare, finance, marketing, and education. While these tools offer significant benefits such as task automation, data analysis, and improved decision-making capabilities, MPs have highlighted the importance of responsible and aligned usage through regulation.
The challenges associated with the use of AI were brought to the fore during parliamentary deliberations on Wednesday, June 8, 2023.
A statement by the MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu proposed the establishment of an AI Council, expressing concerns that without action, the future of Ghana could be bleak.
“The use of Artificial Intelligence poses several challenges that cannot be resolved simply by ethical principles and existing laws and policies because the risk of AI is not yet understood. AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges (Microsoft CE Satya Nadella).”
“Ghana as of today, has no strategy, Ghana has no legislation on AI, no ethical guidelines on AI. As the development and use of AI expand across different domains, there is a need to have legal regulatory guidance to ensure that AI is used in a manner that aligns with human rights. Ghana will probably have to consider establishing an Artificial Intelligence Council probably led by the Minister responsible for ICT or the Vice President of the Republic with representation from the Ministry of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Higher Education, mandated to coordinate and come out with a unified strategy that reflects the government’s priorities and other stakeholders and the use of AI applications.”
“Ghana as a country needs a new legal and regulatory framework for AI governance. The development and use of AI as a priority for the future remains imperative. We need to initiate measures to guide the development and use of AI through the launch of AI strategies and policies, enactment of legislation and probably even anticipate the establishment of centres of excellence on AI through scientific research.”
He also emphasized the potential risks associated with AI and the necessity of addressing them through a comprehensive framework.
On his part, the Information Minister who also doubles as the MP for Ofoase/Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, echoed the sentiments, emphasizing the need for a legal and regulatory architecture to mitigate the risks of AI.
He highlighted the worries among AI developers themselves and emphasized that now is the right time to proactively address potential concerns.
The discussions in Parliament reflect a growing recognition among MPs of the need to tackle the challenges and potential dangers posed by AI. By implementing appropriate legislation and regulations, the aim is to leverage the benefits of AI while safeguarding against any adverse impacts.
The push for AI legislation in Ghana demonstrates the country’s commitment to ensuring responsible and ethical AI deployment. As AI continues to advance and permeate various sectors, such legislation will play a crucial role in guiding its development and usage in a manner that aligns with Ghana’s societal values and aspirations.