- 26 June 2023
- News GRAIN
Following its participation in the opening session of the AI workshops on June 8 and 9, IPAR took part in the second workshop to formulate the national Artificial Intelligence strategy, held on June 21 and 22, 2023 in Dakar under the auspices of the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy (MCTEN).
Represented by Seynabou Sall, data expert, and Mouhamadou Dia, Communication and Technology Watch Officer, Ipar took part in group A entitled “ Fostering, supporting and driving AI innovation (infrastructures, funding, clusters, animation) and priority use cases” and group B about ensuring trusted, ethical, and responsible AI.
Fostering, supporting and driving AI innovation
In Group A, IPAR played a crucial role in assessing the current state of AI in Senegal. They showcased the AI projects implemented at IPAR, highlighting their commitment to responsible and ethical AI utilization, including considerations for gender dimensions and responsible data use (GRAIN, CLIMB, AGRIDATA). IPAR's contributions also revolved around identifying priority sectors, use cases, and roadmaps for AI innovation.
For instance, IPAR proposed leveraging AI to address the inefficient management of water resources in the agricultural sector. By implementing early warning systems based on accurate weather forecasts generated through AI, IPAR aimed to enhance resource management practices.
The proposed roadmap for this use case is to promote and implement data collection systems to gather relevant datasets, including information on soils, weather, crops, diseases, markets, along the lines of the AGRIDATA platform. This would require a suitable technological infrastructure to collect, store and manage agricultural data, but above all to ensure that data is regularly updated, while guaranteeing security and confidentiality.
Ensuring trusted, ethical and responsible AI
In Group B, which involved setting up an AI Governance framework in Senegal, IPAR took part in drawing up the summary document of the AI strategy, making contributions to the development of the normative framework and the institutional framework for ethical and responsible trusted AI. With regard to the normative framework, the project's policy paper (Development and use of Artificial Intelligence Systems (AIS)) provided elements of a proposal for the strategic, legal and institutional regulation of AI.
Through the DUA mapping report, IPAR proposed the need to carry out a political, legal and institutional mapping of AI for better governance and multi-stakeholder, adaptive collaboration.
Finally, the IPAR proposed recommendations through the LAS policy brief for adopting an effective and promising AI strategy.
One of the conclusions of Group B's synthesis work is the IPAR's recommendation for a national consultation at ministry level, which would include the relevant study carried out by the LAS project around the establishment of the legal, institutional and ethical policy framework for AI in Africa.
As a reminder, Ipar had participated in the first workshop on the development of the national strategy on Artificial Intelligence, held on June 8 and 9, 2023.
The aim of this workshop was to initiate this essential national reflection on AI desired by the Minister because of its multiple impacts, by bringing together representatives of Senegal's digital ecosystem, economic players and the country's main institutions.
The aim was to draw up an initial status report on AI in Senegal, diagnose the country's capacity to harness its full potential without suffering negative impacts, and recommend initial courses of action to achieve this. Finally, the aim was to identify priorities in terms of sectors and use cases.
These initial reflections from the kick-off workshop were intended to structure preparations for the in-depth workshops scheduled for June 21 and 22, 2023.
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