Stamps Professor Ron Eglash gave the closing keynote speech at the International Workshop on the Social Impact of AI in Africa on Saturday, Feb 26. AI at Africa’s Crossroads: Extractive or Generative Future?
In African traditions, the crossroads is where the trickster makes his/her appearance. Eshu, Legba, Anansi and others create complexity when our decisions fold back on themselves. AI has created yet another crossroads, and again the trickster brings surprises. What might have seemed like Africa’s worst challenges – ”underdeveloped” from the colonial perspective – could be the basis by which computational aids can facilitate more sustainable and egalitarian futures. Blending the heritage algorithms of Africa’s past with fullstack decolonization can guide us through the crossroads, on the path towards generative justice.