Let’s harness potential of AI in safeguarding rights of consumers –CIMG

The National President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG), Dr. Kasser Tee, has emphasized the need to harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) while safeguarding the rights of consumers. He said this during the World Consumer Rights Day in Ghana, last Friday.

Addressing the gathering, under the theme “Fair and Responsible AI for Consumers”, Dr Kasser Tee said it is for this reason that CIMG acknowledges the significance of consumer rights and the urgent necessity for dialogue to effect positive change in the lives of consumers in Ghana.

“We all recognise the role that artificial intelligence (AI) has come to play in an increasingly digitised and interconnected world.

“From personalised recommendations on e-commerce platforms to automated customer service chatbots, AI has become an integral part of our daily lives, particularly in urban centres where there is internet connectivity”, he explained.

He further acknowledged the need for robust regulatory frameworks, ethical guidelines and industry standards to govern the development, deployment and utilization of AI technologies, thereby promoting fairness, accountability and trust in the marketplace.

Dr. Kasser Tee is optimistic that AI has the potential to revolutionise our experiences, offering personalised services and enhanced convenience.

However, he cautioned that “we must ensure this technology is used ethically, with consumer protection at its core, because the power that technology gives us today should also come with great responsibility in its usage by us.”

Regardless of novelty and lack of regulatory frameworks, he said the consumer rights remain unchanged. This, according to him, meant that there was the need to recognise these fundamental rights, including the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the right to redress, the right to education, etc, as contained in the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection.

He continued that, “It is in our own interest as consumers, to demand that the technology environment is well regulated in a manner that prioritises fairness, transparency, and accountability.

“AI systems should be fair to all, with no discrimination of any kind, except those that may violate our cultural norms and practices, as a people.

“We must strive for fairness in decision-making of algorithms, ensuring that biases are minimised, and opportunities are accessible to all.”

Also, he indicated that consumers must have the right to know when AI is at play.

“Organisations must, therefore, be transparent about how AI systems operate, the data they generate and use, and the impact of their decisions. Transparency builds trust and empowers consumers to make informed choices”, he explained.

He again called for an inter-sectorial collaboration between government, industry, academia, media, civil society, and regulators to ensure end-to-end protection for consumers.

As they celebrated World Consumer Rights Day, Mr Tee urged marketers to commit to advancing the cause of fair and responsible AI through discussions such as these, to equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the evolving world of AI.


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