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Embracing AI in 2023 and anticipating the future: A personal journey

Embracing AI in 2023 and anticipating the future: A personal journey

As the curtains draw on the year 2023, Artificial Intelligence ‘AI’ was on everyone’s mind this year. Audrey Chanakira, an iOS Developer at Green Enterprise Solutions and a confessed AI Enthusiast fully embraced AI within the Namibian context.

Amidst TV interviews, tech events, and the delivery of her inaugural TEDx talk hosted by TEDxVinetaWomen, in Swakopmund in October, Audrey found herself immersed in exploring the realms of AI. There’s a real desire to understand the transformative potential of AI and what its applications and impact will be in Namibia.

At work and even in her personal life, AI became an indispensable tool at Audrey’s workplace, amplifying productivity in daily tasks such as programming with GitHub Copilot. This tool, while making coding faster and more efficient requires users to exercise wisdom and discretion in its application. A wonderful development in 2023 was how AI is impacting her everyday and personal life as well.

A perfect example of this is on her iPhone, the new feature in iOS 17 on the health app, named ‘Mental Well-being,’ provided a unique way to track and maintain mental health. These personal experiences underscore the practical applications of AI in enhancing individual efficiency and well-being.

As a young leader in the ITC industry, Audrey’s experiences at Green highlight the importance of providing a conducive environment for talent to flourish. The company’s emphasis on embracing AI and staying abreast of industry trends has not only elevated her career but has positioned her as a beacon for others aspiring to make a mark in the rapidly advancing field of technology. Which includes a lot of young women and girls who now aspire to enter the ITC sector.

The AI landscape of 2023 witnessed groundbreaking developments, with AI-generated content gaining prominence through apps like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, creating viral content and clinching competition victories. These successes not only showcased the creative potential of AI but also highlighted its capacity to empower individuals and businesses in Namibia to compete on a global stage. Advances in synthetic data and the integration of AI in business decision-making underscored the technology’s versatility, opening new avenues for innovation and growth.

Remarkably, AI made significant strides in the pharma and healthcare domains, contributing to innovation and efficiency. This progress holds promising implications for the Namibian healthcare system, potentially improving access to quality healthcare services and enhancing overall public health outcomes.

However, the rapid adoption of AI creates ethical challenges and privacy concerns. The responsible adoption of AI necessitates robust government policies to prevent potential misuse. Addressing these concerns promptly is imperative to sidestep the unintended consequences of widespread AI usage.

Approaching 2024, Audrey holds hopes Namibia’s Government will proactively enact AI-related laws. Establishing a regulatory framework will guide the ethical use of AI, ensuring responsible innovation as the nation catches up with this transformative technology. Additionally, fostering educational initiatives on AI awareness and literacy is key in preparing the youth to navigate the evolving digital landscape.

In consonance with these sentiments, Bill Gates’ thoughts on the future of AI resonate deeply. He envisions a paradigm shift where AI evolves from merely responding to commands to becoming personal assistants capable of understanding and executing complex tasks based on a rich understanding of the user’s life. Gates predicts that, within the next five years, AI will revolutionize how we interact with computers, ushering in the most significant revolution in computing since the transition from typing commands to tapping on icons.

As we eagerly anticipate what 2024 has in store for us, the fusion of personal experiences, key developments, awareness of trends, acknowledgment of challenges, and insights from experts join to paint a comprehensive picture of the evolving landscape of AI. Embracing AI’s potential while remaining vigilant to its challenges is the key to unlocking a future where this transformative technology serves humanity responsibly and ethically.


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