Experts on Information Technology (IT) now want the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Society Bill, 2023 dismissed arguing, that it has a lot of glaring gaps and could lead to a national disaster.
The delegation from American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) was appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation Chaired by Hon. John Kiarie (Dagoretti South) to consult on AI and Emerging Technologies for Safer Internet Day that was marked on Tuesday 6th February 2024.
Mr. Alex Gakuru, who is the Director Center for Law in Information Technology and leader of the delegation, told the session that was chaired by Hon. Irene Mayaka (nominated) that stakeholders were not involved at any stage before coming up with the Bill.
“This specific Bill was conveyed to the Parliament through a citizen petition under public Petition NO. 75 of 2023. It was filed by Fred Ondieki Sakwe and is now before the Public Petitions Committee,” Mr. Gakuru told the Committee.
On her part Ms. Elizabeth Mutua, lecturer at Dedan Kimathi University and who was part of the delegation, stated that the Bill lacks the aspect of Gender Equality since it has no provision for women participation and space for the old people.
After the presentation, the Committee acknowledged that the delegation’s opinion was an eye opener assuring them that once the Bill is presented before it, they will conduct public participation before rejecting or amending it.
The members also took the delegation to task to explain to them how the country could position itself to benefit from AI and minimize the its risk of potentially replacing the Human Resource aspect.
“Conversations around AI are in two distinct brackets. One majors on AI solving all problems and the second one is AI is spelling doom, but as experts what are the global conversations happening around it? And how can we leverage on it as a country so that we are not left behind,” Hon. Kiarie posed.
In their response the delegation told the Committee that there was a midpoint framework that exists in every sphere and that the major fear of AI replacing HR cannot be accurately predicted however, there was also a possibility of it creating more jobs once incorporated and the right framework put in place for its implementation.
The Committee also met a delegation from Huawei Kenya to deliberate on its role in the government’s Digital Superhighway Agenda.