While Day 2 of Arch Summit saw fewer attendees, there were still plenty of engaging roundtable discussions, exciting talks, an online appearance by Vodafone’s CEO as well as the announcement of the 13th edition Fit 4 Start participants.
Where talks about sustainability dominated the first day, the second day was more focussed on social inclusion, technological innovation and startups.
In one of the talks titled “Technology Enabling Impactful Inclusivity in Africa,” Patricia Ithau, CEO of WPP Scangroup, talked about the improving conditions for business owners and women and the many opportunities that still lay ahead. With a total population of 1.4 billion (17% of the world’s total), 40% of which are aged 50 and younger, the continent is an important one to keep in mind.
Recently startups such as Farmpass, M-Pesa and Tala have helped micro and small business owners raise themselves out of poverty and grow their businesses. While on the one hand innovation has helped a lot of people, Patricia warned that “it is still a risk and can drive exclusion if not implemented properly.”
Continued attention should be given to funding digital initiatives, supporting the development of tech skills and building key infrastructures all across the continent, not just the urban areas.
Ethics of AI
Later in the day, AI experts discussed the importance of ethics in AI and whose role it was to establish international ethics standards.
One of the challenges of establishing these norms is that there are no international bodies regulating AI, which in turn leaves countries to their own devices when drawing the line between ‘right and wrong’. Where Western countries have been more likely to stop unethical research into AI, other countries have forged ahead.
As stated Zak Doffman, CEO of Digital Barriers: “There is a battle between East and West and AI lies in the middle of that.”
Personal data and understanding how AI algorithms come to their conclusions were also important topics of discussion. “When people say yes to sharing their data, do they know what they are saying yes to? Is it an informed yes?” asked Carla Penedo, Lead Offer Development & Architecture at Celofocus.
To cap of the second day of Arch Summit 2022, Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, made a video call appearance, assuring everyone that their “data overwhelmingly showed that those who are not embracing innovation are being left behind,” adding “that buying tech is not the problem but implementing it correctly.”
Fittingly, the day ended with Sasha Baillie announcing the 15 participants of Fit 4 Start’s 13th edition, all of which will pursue their own vision of ‘innovation with impact’ over the next six months.