- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming significant in various Kenyan industries, including dispute resolution, bringing forth potential advantages.
- AI is reshaping arbitration with its speed and efficiency, yet issues regarding transparency and empathy remain at the forefront.
- Kenya acknowledges AI’s role in enhancing its digital economy, emphasizing the need for regulation to maximize benefits and manage emerging challenges.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a prominent force across diverse industries in Kenya, mirroring global trends. AI is making its presence felt from finance to entertainment, academia to energy. This article explores the burgeoning role of AI within Kenya, with a particular focus on the field of dispute resolution.
AI is ushering in a new era in dispute resolution, presenting opportunities and challenges alike. Under Article 159 (2) (c) of Kenya’s Constitution, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are encouraged for the expeditious settlement of disputes, reducing reliance on conventional court proceedings.
The emergence of AI in arbitration
While Kenya’s Arbitration Act does not expressly forbid the appointment of AI arbitrators, there are now two distinct categories of AI arbitration systems. The first category comprises autonomous AI systems that make independent decisions without predefined programming. The second category includes automated AI systems guided by preset commands for resolving disputes.
AI arbitration offers notable advantages, including swiftness and the capacity to autonomously absorb and process data. Its proficiency in generating summaries, analyses, and inferences from limited data within extremely short timeframes makes it attractive to businesses seeking efficient dispute resolution.
However, the integration of AI into arbitration is not without ethical and moral challenges. Concerns regarding privacy, manipulation, profiling, discrimination, misinformation, and biased outcomes are emerging. The “black-box syndrome,” wherein AI decisions are difficult to scrutinize, raises transparency issues. The absence of empathy and emotional understanding further questions AI’s suitability in resolving emotionally charged disputes.
AI’s role in Kenya’s digital transformation
In Kenya, AI has been acknowledged as a pivotal catalyst in the nation’s pursuit of a developed digital economy. The Digital Economy Blueprint 2019 highlights AI’s potential to elevate Kenya from a low-middle-income economy to a first-world nation. The 2019 Distributed Ledgers Technology and Artificial Intelligence Task Force report underscores the importance of regulatory oversight to maximize AI’s advantages.
The task force also envisions AI as a potent instrument in enhancing governance and tackling endemic issues such as corruption. Nevertheless, it is evident that as AI’s footprint expands, regulations are imperative to govern its emergence as a cutting-edge technology in Kenya.
Artificial Intelligence is making significant strides across various sectors in Kenya, including its role in dispute resolution. The promise of AI arbitrators lies in expedited dispute resolution, yet it is accompanied by ethical and moral dilemmas that demand careful consideration.
Kenya’s journey toward embracing the digital age and incorporating AI into its societal and economic fabric hinges on the responsible deployment of AI. The nation’s ability to fully realize AI’s potential necessitates a reasonable approach that navigates the fine line between technological advancement and ethical responsibility. The path forward will undoubtedly be shaped by thoughtful policies and a commitment to addressing the emerging challenges that accompany AI’s integration into Kenya’s digital landscape.
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