Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in focus as Zambia set to mark World Consumer Rights Day


The breakthrough in generative Artifical Intelligence (AI) will require businesses to leverage on the development to detect fraudulent activities, consumer protection officials have said.

The Consumer Protection Organising Committeee (CPOC), noted that AI had taken the digital world by storm and that this would require businesses to safeguard consumers against scams and phishing attacks.

Committee Chairperson, Kutemba Fwoloshi, said this when she announced the 2024 commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day which falls on March, 15, in Lusaka on Tuesday.

Fwoloshi stated that traders may use it to manipulate consumer behaviors or make decisions that were not in the best interest of consumers.

“Therefore it is crucial for consumers to be informed of their consumer rights and for traders or business houses to be transparent in their use of AI,” she said.

Kutemba emphasized the need for consumers to understand what AI was, how it works and its potential impact on their lives in order for them to harness its significance in today’s world.

She noted that the use of AI platforms across all sectors continued to grow with every advancement in technology and that the Zambian economy stands to benefit immensely.

“Stakeholders should use AI effectively and efficiently to produce products and services,” Kutemba advised.

She said the theme of “fair and responsible AI for consumers” called for concerted efforts to ensure that it was developed and used in a manner that upholds consumer rights, promotes fairness and protects indivudlas from harm.

Read More: Minister Mutati tasks banks, others to adopt Artificial Intelligence to meet contemporary demands

Kutemba noted the need to ensure transparency and accountability in AI systems, including clear explanations of how AI-driven decisions were made and accountability mechanisms for errors and biases.

“Safeguarding consumer privacy and date protection in the collection, processing and use of personal information by AI technologies,” she emphasized.

Kutemba stressed the need to mitigate the risks of discrimination, bias and inequality in AI algorithms and decision making processes.

She said there was need to empower consumers with knowledge, skills and tools to understand and navigate AI-driven products and services effectively.

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