Experts: AI key in advancing economic sectors performance

TANZANIA: EXPERTS have said Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a crucial role in enhancing and advancing the performance of various sectors of the economy.

However, they said that AI could significantly impact employees’ activities since it will require employees to dig deeper for knowledge to outshine it and be able to sustain in the work economy rather than concentrating on being replaced by machines.

Recently, the Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE) organised a discussion to analyse its impacts and as well observe the country’s preparedness.

“The future of work will continue to innovate to meet challenges with advanced technology,” said Ms Suzanne Ndomba-Doran, ATE’s Chief Executive Officer at the 65th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and High-Level Meeting Conference.

The high-level annual conference hosted by ATE dubbed ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work’ with the sub-topic ‘Mental Health in a Digital World’ focuses on exploring the country’s readiness over the technological advancement.

Ms Ndomba-Doran added that the advent of AI necessitates guidelines to promote economic development, efficiency, and productivity, thus reskilling and upskilling workers are essential to protect jobs.

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She further said by balancing the workforce to embrace the digital era while AI progresses is important that employers and employees must collaboratively seek solutions through open discussions.

Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA)’s Secretary General Mr Henry Mkunda said as AI continues to advance, preparing for its impact at workplaces is vital.

He said the current AI presence is not quite different with the situation occurred during the industrial revolution when people matched front over machines inventions.

“This situation is of no difference with what happened during the industrial development. The landscape is shifting, with AI now poised to take over. The lessons from the industrial revolution’s technological changes can guide in navigating the current scenario,” he said.

The Information and Communication Technologies Commission (ICTC) Dr Nkundwe Mwasaga said there has to be a need to create a balance between AI and employees at workplaces to increase productivity.

“A combination of a robot or AI with smart employees can lead to more production by up to twenty times,” he said.

Additionally, the Deputy Minister, Prime Minister’s Office (Labour, Youth, Employment, and People with Disabilities) Mr Patrobas Katambi argued that replacing human beings is impossible in technological advancement.

“There are areas where replacement is impossible, for example, in the judiciary where the AI cannot understand hypothetical situations. In judgment, we need collaborative evidence or interpretation based on reality, which can take time with AI,” he said.

However, Mr Katambi stressed that staying in the comfort zone is a challenge, calling upon the citizens to adapt the changes and demands of today’s world.

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