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Here is Why Experts Wants State to Reject the Proposed Robotics Bill

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Kenyan experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and information technology have raised serious concerns over the proposed Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Society Bill 2023, urging lawmakers to reconsider its implementation, citing fears of stifled innovation and potential negative impacts on the nation’s technological advancement.

Among the key issues highlighted by stakeholders is the lack of adequate consultation during the drafting process of the bill.

According to reports by Business Daily, the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and other industry experts have expressed dissatisfaction with being excluded from crucial discussions, questioning the bill’s representativeness and feasibility.

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Critics of the bill argue that it places undue emphasis on bureaucratic procedures, such as establishing a regulatory body and imposing licensing fees, rather than addressing critical aspects of AI policy, data accessibility, and ethical considerations.

Alex Gakuru, representing AMCHAM and a legal expert, went as far as labeling the bill a “national disaster,” emphasizing its lack of foundational policy and oversight on essential AI matters.

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Elizabeth Mutua, a lecturer at Dedan Kimathi School of Computer Science, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the absence of public datasets, clear legal frameworks, and integration of AI into university curriculums as significant deficiencies in the proposed legislation.

Acknowledging these concerns, John Kiarie, Chair of the National Assembly’s Committee on Communication, Information, and Innovation (CII), has promised to address the issue by initiating stakeholder consultations.

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“However, experts stress the urgency of withdrawing the bill and conducting more comprehensive discussions to develop an effective regulatory framework for AI that encourages innovation while safeguarding against potential risks.”

The bill, proposed by Fred Ondieki Sagwe aims to establish a governing body, the Kenya Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Society (RSK) to regulate and promote the development and application of robotics and AI technologies in Kenya and impose licensing fees on AI and robotics businesses.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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