Shamira Ahmed, the executive director of the Data Economy Policy Hub, said there should be a balance between “the hype, the reality and the risks” associated with AI models, noting that there is a dearth of African-led research on the subject, which tends to come from jurisdictions with greater AI-related capabilities."
In South Africa, it is difficult to think of a more economy-defining phenomenon than electricity.
Data released this week was a stark reminder of what happens to economies when they are starved of energy. In the last three months of 2022 — a quarter hit by severe load-shedding — South Africa’s GDP contracted by 1.3% as the economy slipped back into Covid-19 pandemic territory. Seven of the country’s 10 industries contracted.
But electricity, which powered the second industrial revolution, is not the only advancement that has shaped economies in recent history. Another technological breakthrough promises to alter the way people work, the skills they need and to determine the jobs that survive — ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence (AI) bot trained to follow prompts to generate content.
In the most benign scenario, ChatGPT — and the advancement and democratisation of other large language models — will reduce friction in the workplace, increasing productivity so that more attention can be dedicated towards doing tasks that demand workers to do intellectual heavy-lifting.
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