A jour­ney into the Un­pre­dictable – em­brace Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence – ZICTA chal­lenges All

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Zam­bia In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy Author­ity ( ZICTA) the com­mu­ni­ca­tions reg­u­la­tor cel­e­brated World Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions day on 17 May barely 12 days’ af­ter Zam­bia was ap­pointed to the 12-mem­ber board of Smart Africa ini­tia­tive in Rwanda.

Zam­bia In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy Author­ity ( ZICTA) the com­mu­ni­ca­tions reg­u­la­tor cel­e­brated World Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions day on 17 May barely 12 days’ af­ter Zam­bia was ap­pointed to the 12-mem­ber board of Smart Africa ini­tia­tive in Rwanda.

“Al­low me to com­mence by in­di­cat­ing that this year’s com­mem­o­ra­tion of the World Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion So­ci­ety Day ( WTISD) is a spe­cial one to me and the Zam­bia In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy Author­ity ( ZICTA), and in­deed the gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Zam­bia. This is be­cause the com­mem­o­ra­tion comes barely a week af­ter Zam­bia was ap­pointed to the twelve (12) mem­ber coun­tries’ Board of Smart Africa Ini­tia­tive at the just ended “Trans­form Africa Sum­mit” held in Ki­gali, Rwanda a week ago, ZICTA Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Pa­trick Mu­timushi said in his open­ing re­marks.

Ap­point­ment to the 12-mem­ber board of Smart Africa ini­tia­tive gives Zam­bia a great op­por­tu­nity to be in the steer­ing board pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship on the use of ICTs for so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as pro­moted by the African Union (AU). Zam­bia will be rep­re­sented by the Honor­able Min­is­ter of Trans­port and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mr. Brian Mushimba.

ZICTA cel­e­brated World Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion Se­cu­rity day which it themed “En­abling the Pos­i­tive Use of Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence for All”. The theme was cho­sen be­cause it em­pha­sizes an in­te­gral part of the dig­i­tal ecosys­tem as al­most all ser­vices rang­ing from bank­ing to tele­coms ser­vices are dig­i­tized.

Jour­ney into the world of un­pre­dictable and pos­si­bil­i­ties – Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Mu­timushi Mushimba ac­knowl­edged the rise in tech­nol­ogy us­age and key ad­vance­ments con­stantly be­ing made. The ZICTA boss fur­ther rec­og­nized that the world is now mor­ph­ing into an era of Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI) – the era which en­ables a dig­i­tal com­puter or com­puter-con­trolled ro­bot to per­form tasks com­monly as­so­ci­ated with in­tel­li­gent be­ings. With AI, sys­tems en­dowed with the in­tel­lec­tual pro­cesses char­ac­ter­is­tic of hu­mans, such as the abil­ity to rea­son, dis­cover mean­ing, gen­er­al­ize, or learn from past ex­pe­ri­ence are de­vel­oped. It means giv­ing non-liv­ing things, such as com­put­ers and ro­bots, the abil­ity to think for them­selves to an ex­tent, he said.

AI as an ICT com­po­nent to achiev­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence – AI was rec­og­nized as a key ICT com­po­nent in achiev­ing sus­tain­able eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. The role AI plays in eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion was em­pha­sized with fo­cus on the need to em­brace it in ev­ery as­pect of na­tional de­vel­op­men­tal plan­ning across eco­nomic sec­tors. Mi­tu­mushi said only when this con­di­tion is met will we de­velop our do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and ex­pand Zam­bia’s in­ter­na­tional trade an­chored on tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment. Fur­ther, this can only be pos­si­ble if cer­tain driv­ing in­gre­di­ents and ad­vance­ments such as ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence are em­braced by pro­po­nents of such change.

Mi­tu­mushi shared in­tel on gov­ern­ment de­vel­op­ments, through ZICTA, to in­clude fa­cil­i­ta­tion of the de­vel­op­ment of the na­tional broad­band strat­egy which is aimed at fa­cil­i­tat­ing the pro­vi­sion­ing of af­ford­able, uni­ver­sal ac­cess to broad­band and in­fra­struc­ture to cit­i­zens, busi­ness, com­mu­ni­ties and gov­ern­ment to stim­u­late the us­age of broad­band ser­vices in or­der to pro­mote so­cial eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“Ev­ery­thing we love about civ­i­liza­tion is a prod­uct of in­tel­li­gence, so am­pli­fy­ing our hu­man in­tel­li­gence with ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence has the po­ten­tial of help­ing civ­i­liza­tion flour­ish like never be­fore – as long as we man­age to keep the tech­nol­ogy ben­e­fi­cial,” end of quote. Max Teg­mark - Pres­i­dent of the Fu­ture of Life In­sti­tute

Pos­i­tive use of Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence for all em­pha­sised

Pos­i­tive Use of Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence for All has been em­pha­sized and is in align­ment with the Smart Zam­bia Now Vi­sion that aims at trans­form­ing Zam­bia into a pros­per­ous and knowl­edge based de­vel­oped coun­try by 2064. Un­der this vi­sion, a Smart Zam­bia Project was con­ceived and is be­ing im­ple­mented to im­prove the ICT in­fra­struc­ture and build ICT hu­man ca­pac­ity. Suf­fice to note that ZICTA has been highly in­volved in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this project which has seen the Tal­ent Train­ing Cen­tre be­ing com­pleted at the Zam­bia ICT Col­lege.

Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence the fu­ture of Zam­bia’s ICT sec­tor

AI has been cited as the fu­ture of Zamia’s ICT sec­tor, its science and tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion, en­trepreneur­ship and in­deed re­search and de­vel­op­ment. Max­i­mum up­take and us­age of AI tools will spur the suc­cess of the ICT sec­tor. Uni­ver­si­ties, col­leges and vo­ca­tional cen­ters have been chal­lenged to widen their re­search horizons to em­brace AI. For the in­no­va­tors and en­trepreneurs - dare to dream big. For the in­dus­try play­ers in the ICT sec­tor, strive for ex­cel­lence and to be the best in what you do, Mu­timushi said in clos­ing.

ZICTA Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Pa­trick Mu­timushi at the com­mem­o­ra­tion of World Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion Se­cu­rity day on 17 May.

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