Africa ICT research hosted an open consultation on the project of AI Global Index with the African Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies on Thursday, 28 April 2022, from 2pm – 3:30pm (SAST). The event took place on Zoom.
The consultation is aimed at facilitating input from stakeholders from Francophone and North Africa on the Global Index, in order to strengthen the utility of the Index on the ground, and validate the conceptual framework of the project.
With the rapid rise of AI-driven technologies in recent years, advances have been made in
developing principles, guidelines, and regulations to govern their development and use,
including the OECD Principles onAI Ethics and, more recently, the comprehensive
UNESCO Recommendation on Ethics in AI. It is important that our starting point for all of
these efforts be respect for international human rights, protection and promotion of
democracy, and inclusion. While AI has the potential to be used for good, such as advancing
the realisation of development goals, there is increasing evidence that AI can be used to
undermine democracy and negatively impact our rights and freedoms. In order to protect
human rights and promote democratic values, we must advance the implementation of
principles for AI ethics in practice.
The Global Index on Responsible AI is a new tool being developed to support the
implementation of human-rights based responsible AI principles and standards in countries
around the world. 1 The Global Index is a project of Research ICT Africa and D4D.net,
supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and
Objectives of the Global Index:
To establish systematised human rights based benchmarks for responsible AI.
Provide evidence to decision-makers around the world to advance the responsible use
of AI and promote digital inclusion.
Assess country conditions to support and promote responsible AI.
Realise AI ethics principles through implementation, evaluation and accountability.
Advance the development and use of AI that promotes and respects human rights,
strengthens democracy and inclusivity, and responds to local socio-economic needs.
Design Principles of the Global Index:
1) Accessibility and Openness – The Global Index must be accessible to other
stakeholders and researchers wishing to understand or re-use the data. A methodology
that is too complex will undermine the transparency of the project and its usefulness
for other groups.
2) Inclusion and Participation – The Global Index will be co-created with a wide range
of stakeholders to ensure its value on the ground, with specific emphasis on including
the inputs and perspectives of underserved and marginalised groups.
3) Fairly reflect local contexts and realities – The Global Index must fairly reflect
local contexts and realities, and measure a country’s level of responsible AI in relation
to available resources.