The Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has pointed out that embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other innovative technologies will facilitate a timely dispensation of justice by Nigerian courts.
Speaking during a seminar on banking and related matters for judges, themed “strengthening the quality of judicial systems and banking operations through innovations” held in Abuja, the minister noted that the choice of the theme and timing of the seminar is apt, considering the recent increase in cyber and financial crimes in the country. The need for increased knowledge and skills acquisition for judges, especially on AI and other related innovations, could not be more emphasised.
Represented by the director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, Pantami said AI is currently doing what human beings can do.
“Before, humans can think and make decisions. Today, we have systems that can make decisions like we do by using available data.
“We live in a world that is increasingly integrated with technology and it is very difficult to separate our online life and offline life; everything we do is being captured, processed and stored by these big tech companies. We need to utilise our time to develop new ideas that will improve our court proceedings.
“Artificial Intelligence has powers which can be used against or for social justice, criminal justice and many more. We need to design a system with legal minds that can solve the challenges of our courts.
“By 2025, China will commence the use of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies in its judicial system. ICT is taking over everything and the need to leverage on the vast opportunities it provides in commerce, financial services and our legal system can never be more emphasised,” he stated.
Speaking on NITDA’s statutory mandate, Pantami said NITDA Act of 2007 was aimed at developing the regulations of electronic governance and monitoring the use of electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions as an alternative to paper-based methods in government, commerce, education and other fields, where the use of electronic communication may improve the exchange of data and information.