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Parliament set to introduce AI technology in reporting for efficiency

Nairobi, Kenya: Parliament House with its clock tower and the coat of arms of Kenya - architect Amyas Douglas Connell - photo by M.Torres

Parliament has announced plans to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in its parliamentary reporting in a bid to reduce the time taken to produce Hansard Reports.

The move will reduce by half the time taken to produce the reports while making them accurate, easy to access and transcribe while making them timely.

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This emerged during the 6th Hansard Association of Kenya (HAK) Annual Conference in Naivasha which has brought together Hansard reporters from parliament and all the 47 county assemblies.

During the conference at Sawela Lodge, it emerged that county assemblies were poorly equipped and understaffed, a move that was affecting the production of the Hansard reports.

According to the Deputy Clerk in the National Assembly Serah Kioko, there was a need to embrace Artificial Intelligence in parliamentary reporting.

She noted that use of the new technology would come in handy in reducing the time used in producing Hansard reports and making sure that they were accurate.

“Artificial Intelligence is here with us and we cannot ignore but embrace it as we move to reduce the time taken to produce these reports that are very crucial,” she said.

Addressing the press on the sidelines of the five day workshop, Kioko noted that institutions like Judiciary and the National Land Commission relied a lot on the Hansard reports.

“Parliament is keenly looking at the introduction of Artificial Intelligence in its reporting and this will not in any way affect the workforce,” she said.

An official of the Society of Clerks at the Table in Kenyan Legislatures (SOCATT) Denis Mutui decried lack of equipment and personnel in many county assemblies.

He noted that years after devolution came into force, counties had not invested in Hansard reporting in assemblies due to financial constraints, a move that had affected service delivery.

Mutui challenged counties to invest in live-streaming so that members of the public could get a chance to hear and view their elected leaders’ articulate issues in county assemblies.

“Despite the financial constraints, counties should invest in recording equipment and personnel as this will assist in production of better Hansard reports,” he said.

On his part, HAK President George Wanyoko said that plans were underway to register the association so that it could be anchored in law thus making funding easier.

A member of the association Res Ndilai echoed the sentiments adding that they were keen to embrace Artificial Intelligence in their reporting so as to ease their duties.

Antony Gitonga
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