African AI Futures: Transnational Governance for Society 5.0
The Society 5.0 vision is a concept originating from Japan that envisions a human-centric, data-driven society where digital technologies and innovations are leveraged to address societal challenges and improve quality of life.
Strategic planning, anticipatory governance, and foresight are needed to design policies and regulation that are dynamic, sustainable, equitable and contextually relevant to different groups of people in order to reap the benefits of data-driven digital transformation, contextualized to African realities.
Society 5.0 represents a transition from the current industrial society (Society 4.0) to a future society where advanced technologies are integrated with social systems and infrastructure. The Society 5.0 vision highlights the interplay between data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and societal advancement. It emphasizes the importance of ethical data practices, open data, robust data governance, and the promotion of digital public goods as essential pillars for realizing the vision of a human-centric, data-driven society that also respects the planet.
A commitment to an experimental, comprehensive approach to policy design through forward-looking policies that are fit-for-purpose, contextually relevant, and facilitate greater cooperation across seemingly unrelated policy areas such as reducing inequality and promoting environmental sustainability can facilitate a more equitable tech driven future. Sadly, these mutually reinforcing policy areas are often addressed through siloed policy interventions.
In addition, transnational coordinated action and acknowledging the interlinkages between the most pressing developmental challenges of our time, need to be carefully considered in AI governance. This is crucial to secure equitable wealth creation, poverty reduction, and environmental protection — all necessary elements required to attain all-inclusive human prosperity needed to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
While technological innovation and digitalisation has the potential to boost the SDGs on the Continent, strategic planning, anticipatory governance, and foresight are needed to design policies and regulation that are dynamic, sustainable, equitable and contextually relevant to different groups of people in order to reap the benefits of data-driven digital transformation, contextialised to African realities.
Further reading can be found here.