Understanding the Tool of Artificial Intelligence

Ogunsakin Mustapha
10 Min Read

By Oluwatomi A. Ajayi


Many of us have heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI), including those who are not yet connected to the Internet. AI is a type of modern technologies which has been quite revolutionary and useful in almost any field or profession. This cutting-edge technology enables us to answer complex questions and conduct research in all areas and beyond. In Bill Gates’ words, the potential of AI is limitless, having regard to the evolving rapid adoption of AI and Machine Learning (ML) to unlock greater efficiency, lower costs, transform faster interaction and strengthen businesses in many ways through the use of data-driven techniques to improve performance of a task. Thus, the US Presidential Order of Governance defines AI as a machine-based system that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, make predictions, recommendations or decisions influencing real or virtual environments.

Role of AI

The founding fathers of AI conceived AI as a concept as well as a career. More importantly, their objective was to ensure AI should be at par with human intelligence or go beyond human level.

That AI should be smarter than humans; to save humanity from unnecessary mistakes. In other words, AI system uses machine and human based inputs to perceive real and virtual environments.  AI reads human behaviour to develop intelligent machines because AI systems are able to learn and adapt having been trained on massive datasets of data to perform tasks. It cannot overtake human, but it can likely replace human in some areas. As a concept, AI refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence for learning, reasoning and problem solving. As a career, AI offers the opportunity to acquire skills/knowledge of computer science or computer engineering that is concerned with designing intelligent computer systems. 

Basically, AI falls into 2 categories which are Closed-Source or Open-Source. Closed-Source AI are models and software that are proprietary and kept secret by their owners or developers, while Open-Source AI focuses on how computers went from being huge machines to portable devices which allowed many people to have access to technology instead of just a privileged few. At least, after the World Wide Web (WWW) was invented in 1989, people all round the world had access to technology. For example, Chat GPT is owned by OpenAI.


AI systems are poised to constitute the repository of all human knowledge. That is why it has been said that not only will AI take over the world, but it will also be the next pandemic or nuclear Armageddon. This is a clear warning to us. It means we have to be cautious of these so-called tech companies that intend to take over as regulatory bodies and dictate how AI should align with our human interests, values and safety.

Many have therefore called for an international regulatory body to set out a framework for AI. Consequently, there have been global efforts to regulate AI governance. Such bodies include the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. The regulation is partly designed to prevent what is known as ‘AI Rogue’.  An AI rogue is an AI system that behaves in a manner that is unpredictable, malicious or contrary to its intended purpose or programming, capable of manipulating people to stop it from being switched off.

To control the ‘Rogue AI’ and ensure AI safety in the United States, for example, President Joe Biden issued the ‘US Executive Order on the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI 2023’ which has 8 guiding principles and priorities. They are: (1) AI must be safe and secure. (2) AI must promote responsible innovation, competition and collaboration to solve challenges. (3) AI must support workers and provide access to opportunities. (4). AI must be consistent to advance equity, justice and human rights. (5). AI must not be deplored irresponsibly or laced with discrimination or bias. (6) Privacy of citizens must be protected while collection of data must be lawful and secure. (7)There must be a way to manage the risks induced by AI by training the workforce, modernizing IT infrastructure and removal of obstacles. (8) There must be effective leadership to ensure that AI benefits the whole world rather than exacerbating inequities, threatening human rights and causing other harms.

The recent Bletchley Declaration on AI Safety 2023 in UK is another positive development convened to address the growing AI challenges and opportunities as well as to ensure an human-centric, trustworthy and responsible AI is deployed across the world. Similarly, African governments are not left out at both ensuring and implementing safe digital access on the continent. There is the Malabo Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data Protection, the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024’ and other AI regulatory sandboxes.


While AI offers tremendous potential for enhancing tech defence mechanisms and the quickly gathering or interpreting large amount of data to evaluate areas of need in all fields, it can also lead humans astray through misinformation, propaganda and the promotion of  sophisticated attack vectors. Cyber threat is indeed surging. Many people are becoming victims of faulty AI because AI models are trained on the contents of the Internet which borders on security and privacy violations.  AI tool for instance is stealing people’s voices or cloning singers’ voices without their consent. The ChatGPT is also creating fake references to lawsuits and legal documents. There is AI-generated text, image, video, art, food and even people. As information are being updated daily with AI technology, its generated images are also misused for malicious purposes, looking convincing yet deceptive and inaccurate.

According to Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, the threat of AI and generative technologies are already beginning to manifest new avenues for fraud. Given the biggest limitations of AI which are its algorithmic bias, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ (GIGO) model and the “black box” nature coupled with companies designing AI to appear human as AI cyborgs, AI is potentially posing significant safety risks and promoting substantial disparities.


Despite the human level understanding of the sophisticated AI, these trends should be a wake-up call to government and all tech stakeholders to regulate the use of AI and checkmate these big tech companies which have a track record of indulging in unethical data use that makes them susceptible to cyber-attacks leading to massive data breaches. Collectively, we should also strive to promote an inter-disciplinary AI emanating from a legal perspective, ethical perspective, academic perspective, business perspective and technological perspective, including accommodating the perspective of political leaders.

These diverse views are important. No one entity should be allowed to hijack it. Thus, in anticipation of its potential vulnerabilities, it is pertinent to ensure AI does not get out of control. There is need to begin to take a cautious approach in order to identify and operationalize what AI responsibility fully entails from the diverse views so we can confront the issues they bring now and in the future. AI research is a sure way to go in the search for solutions and a pro-active AI Law to legally oversee the continuous roll-out of this field.

Conclusion and way out for Nigeria

Amidst the significant challenges associated with AI in this fast-evolving digital age, the Nigeria Data Protection Commission has disclosed that it is playing a major role in creating an AI Strategy as a result of the recently passed Nigeria Data Protection Act of 2023 which is capable of protecting the interest of Nigerians in the area of emerging technologies.

Interestingly, Nigeria has also recently adopted the Bletchley Declaration of 2023.We look forward to having a smart AI which offers a plethora of cognitive computing technologies designed to reason, make predictions, take decisions or actions, and solve problems without harming humans. 


– <futurism.com>; <hackernoon.com>; <apacentrepreneur.com>; <techtarget.com>

Oluwatomi A. Ajayi is the Secretary, NBA IKEJA Bar Journal Committee (2022-2024)

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