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Without Proper Labour Protections, AI Adoption can Exploit African Workers

Unemployment remains a pressing concern across Africa, where job opportunities are crucial for economic growth and stability. Amid the rising tide of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption, questions remain about its impact on employment dynamics, particularly in a region with unique socioeconomic challenges, and where approximately half a billion jobs need to be created by 2050. In an exclusive interview, IC Intelligence sat down with Adio-Adet Dinika, a dedicated researcher at the University of Bremen and an intern at the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR), founded by Timnit Gebru. DAIR is “an interdisciplinary and globally distributed AI research institute rooted in the belief that AI is not inevitable, its harms are preventable, and when its production and deployment include diverse perspectives and deliberate processes it can be beneficial”. Dinika sheds light on the often-overlooked realities of data workers and annotators who power AI technologies. His insights stem from his in-depth exploration of the impact of digitalisation on the future of work in sub-Saharan Africa, a focus of his thesis at Bremen University. Through this lens, Dinika delves into the challenges and opportunities that the region faces in terms of socio-economic development.