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AI developers need to be transparent about data, algorithm – NCC

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The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, said telecommu

The Nigerian Communications Commission has tasked Artificial Intelligence developers to be transparent about the data, algorithms and models used in systems for fair and responsible deployment of AI to address challenges facing the country.

The commission also called on AI organisations to handle personal data responsibly, following strict privacy regulations, stressing that consumers should understand how AI systems work and have a way to address issues or biases.

The NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Dr Aminu Maida, made the call at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja on Friday while delivering his keynote address at an event held in commemoration of the World Consumer Rights’ Day themed “Fair and Responsible Artificial Intelligence for the Consumer“.

World Consumer Rights Day is observed annually on March 15 to raise awareness about consumer rights and advocate for fair treatment and protection of consumers worldwide.

It serves as a reminder of the ongoing need to protect and empower consumers in an ever-evolving marketplace.

The history of World Consumer Rights Day dates back to 1962 with the introduction of four basic consumer rights by President John F. Kennedy in his speech to the US Congress. These rights included the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard.

Since its introduction in 1983 by Consumers International, World Consumer Rights Day has catalysed global action on pressing consumer issues utilising this annual occasion to mobilise efforts to address critical consumer concerns in Nigeria.

Represented by the Executive Commissioner- Designate, Technical Services, Abraham Oshadami, the NCC boss noted that the adoption of Fifth Generation Technology in Nigeria has increased the deployment of AI in various sectors and therefore called for ethical adoption of the innovation.

He said it has also become necessary for consumers of any products/services in the society to be treated fairly with the perversive deployment of Artificial Intelligence, especially in healthcare, financial, and transportation services.

According to him, the use of AI should be done within the ambit of the laws, with respect for citizens’ privacy and rights, transparency and accountability, and without biases.

The NCC boss, assuring of the commission’s alignment with the global trend said, “Artificial Intelligence is a phenomenon that has captured the imagination of scientists, engineers, and thinkers for decades. It represents the culmination of human innovation and the quest to create machines that can mimic human intelligence and problem-solving capabilities.

“AI has already made significant inroads into our lives. From voice assistants that respond to our commands to recommendation algorithms that suggest what we should watch, read, or buy, AI is all around us.

“To this effect, AI Developers need to be transparent about the data, algorithms, and models used in AI systems. This ensures that decisions made by AI can be explained and mistakes can be fixed to ensure everyone is treated fairly, regardless of their background. This helps prevent biased decisions or discrimination thereby promoting inclusivity and equality.

“Protecting citizens’ privacy is extremely important when using AI. Organizations should handle personal data responsibly, following strict privacy regulations. Respecting privacy builds trust in AI systems. Responsible AI requires mechanisms for holding systems accountable and explaining their decisions. Consumers should understand how AI systems work and have a way to address issues or biases.”

He further urged AI developers in Nigeria to be transparent about the data, billing systems in services, and models used in AI systems.

“This ensures that decisions made by AI can be explained and mistakes can be fixed to ensure everyone is treated fairly, regardless of their background. This helps prevent biased decisions or discrimination thereby promoting inclusivity and equality,” Maida added.

The highlight of the event was a roadshow showcasing the rights of consumers to good and durable telecommunications services.

 

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Businesses disrupted globally as Microsoft suffers technical glitch

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Businesses disrupted globally as Microsoft suffers technical glitch

Businesses across the globe have been disrupted as a result of a series of technical glitches in Microsoft’s systems.

According to reports, airlines, banks and several other businesses relying on Microsoft cloud infrastructure have not been able to operate in several countries, especially in the US and Asia.

On social media, employees from across the world have shared how they have been unable to work as their Windows systems refused to power up. Images of blue screens showing “your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” dot the social media as people struggle to power up their computers.

However, checks by Nairametrics show that this has not impacted businesses in Nigeria yet as Microsoft services are still working fine in the country as of the time of filing this report.

Affected business
Bloomberg on Friday reported that McDonald’s Corp., United Airlines Holdings Inc., and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group were among the major companies to disclose a variety of issues with communications to customer service.

“KLM said it was suspending most flights because of a global computer outage. They were the most prominent of a plethora of corporations from Japan to India and the US to report glitches with their operations. It was unclear what triggered the issues, which coincided with Microsoft’s disruptions,” the report stated.

It added that several newspapers have also reported at least some of the problems stemmed from CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. cybersecurity software. Australia’s AGL Energy Ltd. said in a post on X it was currently experiencing system issues due to a CrowdStrike outage.

What they are saying
According to Bloomberg, a Microsoft spokesperson said the company was looking into the situation, while Crowdstrike representatives were not immediately available for comment outside normal business hours, and calls to their main number in Japan went unanswered.

“We’re continuing to progress on our mitigation efforts for the affected Microsoft 365 apps and services. We still expect users to see remediation as we address residual impact,” Microsoft said in its latest status update.

What you should know
The first glitches emerged in the US late on Thursday, blamed on a failure of Microsoft services including Azure and 365. Denver-based Frontier Airlines, a unit of Frontier Group Holdings Inc., grounded flights for over two hours. The airline lifted a nationwide pause on departures and started the process of resuming flights from 11 p.m. New York time.

The LSE Group, which operates the London Stock Exchange, said it’s experiencing a global technical issue preventing news from being published.

In Asia, Japanese users began reporting glitches with services including Microsoft 365 — the company’s internet-based office software suite — in the afternoon. Airlines at Mumbai, Narita, Singapore and Hong Kong airports reverted to manually checking in passengers.

The latest failures came right after Microsoft said it had resolved an Azure cloud services outage. The company’s status pages had earlier showed Azure and Microsoft 365 experienced problems for several hours.

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NCC seeks local production as coalition bridges smartphone access

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is worried that mobile device production is not happening in the country, giving o

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is worried that mobile device production is not happening in the country, giving out $76 billion telecoms sector to foreign economies.

The Nigerian Communications Commission is worried that mobile device production is not happening in the country, giving out $76 billion telecoms sector to foreign economies.The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission , Dr. Aminu Maida and the President, FintechNGR, Ade Bajomo, when the governing council of FintechNGR visited Maida at the NCC headquarter in Abuja.

However, the country currently has no local smartphone assembling plant, while the cost of smartphones in the country is currently above the N30, 000 minimum wage. Bajomo disclosed that the meeting with NCC aimed to deepen the role of the telecommunications sector as a crucial enabler of fintech in Nigeria.

According to the GSMA, which announced this, members of this coalition include major global mobile operators, vendors, device ecosystem players, international organisations and financing institutions, such as the World Bank Group, the International Telecommunications Union and the WEF Edison Alliance.

By exploring new solutions including ‘de-risking’ financing mechanisms, with the support of the World Bank Group, the coalition will enhance and complement ongoing efforts to expand digital access and affordability. “By building creative solutions to bring mobile internet into the hands of those who need it the most, we believe we can make real strides towards closing the Usage Gap and help millions more maximise their potential by getting online.”

-Headtopics

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U.S explores more opportunities in Nigeria’s tech, education

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U.S explores more opportunities in Nigeria’s tech, education

The U.S. consul general to Nigeria, Will Stevens, said on Tuesday that the American government expressed willingness to invest more in Nigeria’s tech and education sector for the mutual development of both countries.

He said that for the U.S. government to understand the African market better, it sent the PAC-ADE team to bolster further economic, technological, cultural, and educational ties in Nigeria.

According to Mr Stevens, the diaspora council comprises people from the academia, finance, business, tech, think tanks, and religious sectors.

Mr Stevens said that by engaging with government officials, civil society leaders, tech leaders and private-sector partners, they could promote diaspora-led investments in various sectors.

“Also, through the various dialogues, they can advise the U.S. president on how to develop better strategies and bring more investment to the continent. We are also touring tech centres to see the incredible advances that are happening in the sector here in Lagos and in Nigeria to make investments,” he said.

While taking the delegates on tour, Moyosore Asubiojo, general manager of Vibranuim Valley, said the tech city had different technology companies focused on various sectors, such as power, aviation, education and fintech.

She added that they also specialised in talent outsourcing by connecting organisations to the best-skilled talents in Africa under its garden academy company.

Source: Peoples Gazette

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Elon Musk says the Trump assassination attempt is making him want to build a flying metal suit of armor

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Elon Musk has not only declared his endorsement for Trump, he's also started thinking about his own security.

The shooting in Pennsylvania that left former President Donald Trump bleeding from the ear is making Elon Musk rethink his security protocols.

“You better beef up your security too @elonmusk,” an X user called Whole Mars Catalog tweeted at Musk on Saturday night, after the shooting.

“Maybe it’s time to build that flying metal suit of armor,” Musk replied.

Ian Miles Cheong, a Musk friend and common fixture on X also asked Musk to “triple” his protection, writing on X: “If they can come for Trump they will also come for you.”

“Dangerous times ahead,” Musk wrote in response to Cheong. “Two people (separate occasions) have already tried to kill me in the past 8 months. They were arrested with guns about 20 mins drive from Tesla HQ in Texas.”

Videos taken at the Butler, Pennsylvania rally showed Trump speaking before gunshot noises rang out. The former president was then seen ducking while agents ran to cover him.

Trump was then seen standing up and defiantly raising a fist — with streaks of blood streaming down his face.

The FBI has now named the 20-year-old suspect in the assassination attempt, and an active investigation is ongoing.

Musk, for his part, has stopped sitting on the fence over on his support for Trump, and gave a full-throated endorsement of the presumptive GOP nominee after the shooting.

“I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery,” Musk wrote on X.

Musk has also donated an undisclosed amount of money to America PAC, a super political action committee working to elect Donald Trump in 2024, sources familiar with the donation told Bloomberg on Saturday.

A Trump campaign spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

The billionaire previously stated on X that he had no plans to donate to any US presidential candidate.

Following the shooting, Musk launched into a reply spree on posts alluding to the shooting being due to incompetence from the Secret Service and blaming Secret Service chief Kimberly Cheatle for the incident.

“Extreme incompetence or it was deliberate. Either way, the SS leadership must resign,” Musk wrote on X on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Musk revealed that he’d long held sympathies for Trump.

The mercurial billionaire said he was present at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011, when then-President Barack Obama roasted Trump for questioning his citizenship status.

“At the time, I thought it seemed messed up to be picking on someone in the audience so meanly,” Musk said in an X post.

Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours

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Google is reportedly planning its biggest startup acquisition ever

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Google is reportedly planning its biggest startup acquisition ever

Google is considering spending $23 billion to buy Wiz, a cloud cybersecurity startup with partners that include Amazon and Oracle, reports The Wall Street Journal. At close to twice what it spent for Motorola Mobility in 2012, it would be the most Google has ever paid for another company.

The New York City-based Wiz offers “siloed security tools and scanners” for the enterprise space, according to the company. Wiz writes that it secures corporate cloud infrastructure “by creating a normalizing layer between cloud environments,” letting businesses “rapidly identify and remove critical risks.” Buying such a company feels particularly targeted at an increasingly vulnerable-looking Microsoft that’s recently weathered multiple high-profile security breaches.

Google Cloud boss Thomas Kurian has been the driving force behind the acquisition attempt, according to The New York Times. If successful, it could help solidify Google’s reputation as a secure cloud platform. That seemed to be the idea behind its half-billion dollar purchase of another cloud security startup in 2022 and the $5.4 billion acquisition of Mandiant, the company that discovered the SolarWinds hack later that year.

The deal “looks likely,” according to the Times, but it could fall through and risks triggering reviews from US regulators. The Biden administration has presided over significant antitrust action, including the Department of Justice’s lawsuit over Google’s Search deal with Apple and the Federal Trade Commission’s failed effort to block Microsoft from buying Activision.

Source: Theverge.com

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Star Citizen is Free to play until 19 July for Foundation Festival

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Star Citizen Is Free To Play Until 19 July For Foundation Festival

Courtesy of Cloud Imperium, Star Citizen once again offers free access to anyone who wants to test out the game from 12 July through 19 July. This comes with the annual Foundation Festival, so it’s the perfect time to try out the game.

This festival introduces an expanded player experience for new and returning players. It features an inclusive Guide system that connects seasoned players with newcomers so that they can feel safe and included during their play time at Star Citizen. These players will be responsible for showing the newbies the ropes and helping them learn how to explore space.

Additionally, for those who decide to enjoy Star Citizen during the free-to-play period, three starting bundles will be discounted so that you don’t have to grind for ages to get resources. These bundles are perfect for those who want to get a bit of a head start.

The Foundation Festival is a “civic program in-lore” designed to bring players together and create a positive community spirit. It runs from July 13 to July 31. The new guide system will be available to players from wherever they start within Star Citizen. It will slowly ease players into the game before introducing them to more advanced techniques.

Additionally, there is also a referral program. If you are already a player of Star Citizen, and there is someone you want to invite to play the game during Star Citizen’s free-to-play period, you can give them your unique referral link to use so that as they register, any progress they make or any time spent in-game will give you rewards for convincing them to sign up to the game. It also benefits them, as they will be given 5,000 UEC (United Earth Credits), which can be spent on various customizations.

However, you will only reap the rewards once someone who has used your referral link purchases a bundle for the game worth at least 40 USD. From this, you’ll earn 1 Recruitment Point. The Robert Space Industries website explains all the reward tiers and what you will be given to convince another player to take to the skies.

At the time of writing, the Foundation Festival is already live, meaning you can get stuck into the game using the free-to-play install on Steam if you choose to. While it may seem overwhelming to get stuck into such a gigantic game, there are plenty of resources available on their website to help you track your progress, as well as the new guide system where you can team up with Star Citizen veterans to get the best tips and tricks out there.

Cloud Imperium aims to release the long-awaited Pyro star system later in 2024, which is governed by gangs and clans. As for Squadron 42, the campaign mode of Star Citizen has been in the polishing phase since last October. Fans are certainly hoping to get an update at this year’s CitizenCon, scheduled at Manchester Central on October 19-20.

Source: Wccftech.com

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