NITDA Canvasses For Safer Artificial Intelligence

The director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, has urged the global tech community to find measures that will ensure that
Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are built according to policies, regulations, and laws as AI becomes embedded in people’s lives.

Inuwa made this call recently while joining world-leading tech experts at the Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on a plenary session with the theme, “Catalyzing AI Communities and Solutions: Sharing Cases Across the EU, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.”

According to a statement issued by the agency, Inuwa stated that getting people in the community to be part of building AI systems is very important, adding that if few techy people are allowed to develop AI systems, they will build the systems with a techy mindset, while the systems are used in so many ways such as criminal justice, recruitment, profiling, etc.

He noted that software engineers that build AI are beyond just software engineers as they are also social engineers.

Inuwa emphasized that the government needs to make sure that there are Ethics, Codes, and standards for anybody designing any system that will make decisions on behalf of the government or that will make decisions that the community must follow.

He further stated that “the way it is today, we obey most of the rules of these technologies than the rules of our country. Before you use any system or access any place controlled by the technology, you have to agree to follow the rules of the technology.

We need to stop looking at technology from either a consumer’s perspective in terms of where he buys and costs or capitalists in terms of how to exploit or build products around it. We need to start looking at it from the citizen’s eyes, how it changes the way we live together, and how it can be used for the public good, “he said.



According to the NITDA boss, this can only be achieved through policies, regulations, and laws, which have to be co-created even as he encouraged the government to use armchair theory to come up with laws or regulations.

“We are saying that the government should co- create it with the ecosystem because the technology is new and evolving. You cannot regulate what you don’t know. Regulation is synonymous with putting a traffic light in a traffic place, and you need to understand the traffic
patterns before putting the traffic light” he added.
Inuwa further informed that to make the digital space safer for everyone, including children, Nigeria came up with a Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries.
He said what the government is trying to achieve with the Code is to ensure that what is illegal offline is illegal online, adding that the action plan is to move Nigeria’s legal laws to the digital space.


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