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Nollywood Veterans Advocate For Innovation As AI Takes Centre Stage

Nollywood industry veterans, Joke Silva and Kunle Afolayan have advocated for a more responsible and balanced innovation geared towards the good of the society.

This is against the backdrop of the evolving technological landscape as Artificial Intelligence continues to gain significant momentum in providing insights that help to shape advanced solutions across industries.

They also added that there must be a balance in the use of AI to avoid the erosion of human values and cultural narratives that represent the identity of African creatives.

The creative icons and legends made this advocacy during a panel discussion at the 11th edition of the Annul Innovention Lecture Series, hosted by Verdant Zeal Communication, and held in Lagos on 27 October, 2023.

Dwelling on the potential of AI, actress Joke Silva called for an innovation that stands as a force for good with the ability to fight social ills, improve safety and security through data gathering.

The international screen diva averred that innovation lies at the intersection of AI and human safety, where it will play a pivotal role as a safety monitoring technology in solving crimes.

The award-winning screen goddess noted that untapped data is useless with AI, adding that it has the potential to enable the development of revolutionary solutions that can reveal hidden insights through a disciplined approach to solve several challenges.

“I know there is a confluence between drugs and trafficking in persons. It is about collecting data and looking for the anomalies in the data. Also, being able to leverage AI in locating crime scenes and what kind of activities are going on in a particular area, as well as being able to prevent the crime if possible. It should also help us to channel our resources so that we can deploy people and resources to protect the users.

Kunle Afolayan, while acknowledging the potential of AI, expressed worry that its disruptive potential could lead to robbing people of their intellectual property, creativity and a change in the narrative of African storytelling.

Speaking from the perspective of a movie producer, he noted that AI’s potential benefits are undeniable, but urged Africans to use a behavioral lens to bridge the gaps between humans and technological tool. He pointed out some negative consequences and risks that might arise from the implementation of AI. This, he warned, may distort or severe human relationship and also erode some of the African values.

“I am really excited with the fact that, few years ago, we were struggling with distribution, and then Netflix came, streaming platforms came and that made it easier. But then as individuals, does that help our mindset?

“We are talking about AI going to take jobs away from people. Of course, it is going to take jobs away from people, but that is not the point. If you move with time and you upgrade yourself, you can still key into that thing. But then what happens to using your brain? I hate it when I can’t have full control of my narrative. I am not saying it is bad, but then, how do I train my children? How do you encourage human beings to do stuff that come with values? Machines cannot give those values, those are human values.”

This year’s theme was focused on: “The Future of Africa’s Creative Industries in the Era of Artificial Intelligence.” This, according to the convener, is to have a better understanding of the implications and potential benefits of AI to creative industries in Africa and how they intersect with its advancements.

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