AI in South Africa: Special Dilemmas and Usual Risks


When discussing artificial intelligence (AI), most people envision a futuristic world. However, AI is already a part of our lives, with applications ranging from voice-operated personal assistants to self-driving cars and advanced medical diagnoses. While AI offers numerous benefits, it also poses ethical and moral questions that demand careful consideration. This blog explores the universal ethical risks associated with AI, comparing its impact in wealthier countries with its unique challenges in South Africa and other global southern nations. Understanding these ethical dilemmas is crucial for policymakers and organizations to develop appropriate risk management strategies.

Universal Ethical Risk Themes

  1. Accountability: One major concern is the ambiguity regarding who should be held accountable for the outcomes produced by AI models and systems.
  2. Bias: Shortcomings in algorithms or biased data can lead to AI perpetuating societal biases and inequalities.
  3. Transparency: AI systems often operate as “black boxes,” making it challenging for developers and users to comprehend or validate their outputs.
  4. Autonomy: As AI advances, there is a potential risk of humans losing control over decision-making processes.
  5. Socio-economic Risks: AI’s widespread implementation may lead to job displacement and further exacerbate existing inequalities in society.
  6. Maleficence: There is a fear that AI could be exploited by criminals, terrorists, and repressive state entities for malicious purposes.
Prev1 of 2