Be wary of artificial intelligence, public urged

ARUSHA: MEMBERS of the public have been challenged to be conscious as they navigate through the murky waters of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Speaking here on Friday , Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) Executive Secretary Kajubi Mukajanga emphasized the importance of public awareness regarding the negative implications of artificial intelligence technology.

The MCT Executive Secretary said it was important for the public to be cautious about the potential consequences of AI.

“Artificial intelligence is rewarding but a challenging endeavor. Some unscrupulous individuals are exploiting this technology to mislead the public and tarnish other people’s images,” he observed.

The drawbacks of AI include job displacement, ethical concerns about bias and privacy intrusion, security risks from hacking, lack of human-like creativity and empathy.

Mr Mukajanga equally appealed to members of the public to desist using digital platforms in tarnishing the country’s image.

The MCT Executive Secretary urged the government to continue its efforts to amend various laws that restrict freedom of expression and press freedom.

He acknowledged the existence of changes and amendments in the 2016 Media Services Act, calling on the government to consider the input of stakeholders.

Mr Mukajanga highlighted the Council’s desire to see amendments to the Electronic and Postal Communications Act for online content, the Right to Information Act 2016, and the Cybercrime Act to facilitate easy access to information for citizens.

Established in response to the shift to liberal policies in the early ’90s, which led to the proliferation of media outlets, the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) is dedicated to upholding media freedom and ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and accountability.

Originally initiated by the media community as an independent, voluntary, non-statutory regulatory body during a convention in Dar es Salaam on June 30, 1995, the MCT formally commenced its operations in 1997 after official registration under the Societies Ordinance of 1954.

Initially, the Council’s primary focus was addressing ethical lapses within the media. Through its Ethics Committee, it mediated complaints lodged by the public against media organizations.

Over time, its responsibilities expanded to include ethics and professionalism training, addressing the shortage of qualified practitioners in the burgeoning media industry. It is noteworthy that the proliferation of media outlets did not correspond to the availability of qualified professionals.

Additionally, the MCT operates two information research centers, serving media practitioners, scholars, researchers, and journalism students in both Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.

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