Zim Parliament to set Committee on future of Artificial Intelligence

Jacob Mudenda
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HARARE – Advocate Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, has suggested that the Zimbabwean Parliament should create a committee called “the Committee of the Future” to provide guidance on the positive use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He mentioned that other countries, like the United Arab Emirates, have already embraced AI, with the establishment of a dedicated university.

Mudenda made these comments during a pre-budget consultation seminar held at the New Parliament Building in Mount Hampden. He said:

We are now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is likely to have profound implications for virtually all aspects of economic development. The Fourth Industrial Revolution beckons the emergence of global digital economies.

Zimbabwe, as part of the comity of nations cannot afford to lag behind this leap-frogging digital match in all its facets of human endeavour. It is now proven that Artificial Intelligence enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of e-governance and e-commerce.

By leveraging AI in the ensuing 2024 Budget, Parliament will enhance its tripartite roles of oversight, legislation and representation. In that regard, Parliament is enjoined to immediately establish the Committee of the Future to guide Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary in the positive application of Artificial Intelligence in the mould of Finland, Uruguay, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates which has established a fully-fledged Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. This includes things like problem-solving, learning, and decision-making. AI has evolved from its early beginnings in the 1950s when researchers first started exploring the concept. Over the years, advancements in technology and computing power have allowed for significant progress in AI development.

Predictions about AI vary. Some believe it has the potential to revolutionise various industries, improve efficiency, and enhance our daily lives. Others express concerns about the impact of AI on job displacement, privacy, and ethics. Already there is a company that appointed a robot as its CEO. However, AI also presents opportunities for humans. It can assist in repetitive tasks, provide valuable insights from vast amounts of data, and support decision-making processes.

AI can be used in various sectors to bring about significant advancements. In agriculture, AI can help optimize crop yield by analyzing data on soil conditions, weather patterns, and pest control, enabling farmers to make informed decisions. In education, AI can personalize learning experiences, providing tailored content and feedback to students. In healthcare, AI can assist in diagnosing diseases, analyzing medical images, and developing treatment plans. In the field of science, AI can accelerate research by analyzing large datasets, simulating complex experiments, and identifying patterns or trends. These applications of AI have the potential to revolutionize these sectors, improving efficiency, accuracy, and outcomes.

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