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3rd AMC: Prof. Admire Mare advocates for African inclusion in the global AI ecosystem

3rd AMC: Prof. Admire Mare advocates for African inclusion in the global AI ecosystem
Prof. Admire Mare

By: Jeremiah Nutsugah

Head of the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Johannesburg, Professor Admire Mare, has highlighted the challenges and opportunities surrounding the future of AI in Africa, emphasizing the need for African media and AI futures to disrupt the current conversation and integrate into the global AI ecosystem.

Speaking at the the 3rd African Media Convention on May 15, 2024, Professor Mare mentioned that, “One cannot ignore the fact that natural resources from Africa play a role in some of these technologies. We are part of the conversation.”

Answering a question on AI and the future of African media, he explained that, “The unfortunate reality is that we are not part of the conversation as developers. Instead, we are entering this conversation primarily as consumers. As we move forward, we need to ask ourselves what we can do to become part of the ecosystem rather than just deploying other people’s solutions.”

“My argument,” he continued, “is that as long as our languages and cultures are not part of the AI ecosystem, we are not truly engaging with AI as Africans. It is something being developed and imposed upon us, and we need to ask ourselves: until when will we remain in an ecosystem where African voices are marginalized?”

“We need to develop a system that not only represents our conscious efforts but also helps us advance to the next level. It is essential to move away from the hype around AI and actively engage in the conversation.”

Professor Mare concluded by asking, “What will Africa do to ensure it develops its own AI systems that serve its interests?”

The theme of the program was “Enhancing Freedom and Environmental Sustainability in a Dynamic Media Landscape.”

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