Nigeria's Artificial Intelligence Potential: How AI Is The Future Of Nigeria
Nigeria has a lot of potential in the Artificial Intelligence sector. The country is set to become the hub for AI research and development. Recently, Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) announced that it will establish an Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research at the University of Lagos with funding from Google. This institute will serve as a centre of excellence to create awareness about AI in Nigeria and provide affordable access to AI solutions. NITDA also plans on establishing an Innovation Centre in Abuja which will be focused on using artificial intelligence technologies to solve problems related agriculture, education, health care and infrastructure among others.
Section 1: What is AI?
Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to imitate human thinking. AI uses advanced algorithms that allow computers to learn without being explicitly programmed, enabling machines to be used in new ways, either independently or as extensions of humans. Some AI tools have already advanced beyond their initial function, or are even being developed to improve their own functions. This is where the biggest opportunities for the development of AI lie. Currently, companies and organizations are working on cognitive computing, natural language processing, and automation and the ability to automate decision making, among others.
The type of AI that will become widely adopted in Nigeria will be machine-learning and computer vision.
Why Nigeria needs AI?
The potentials that Nigeria has in the AI sector can be attributed to the country's rich history of producing AI pioneers. It is noteworthy to mention names like Dr. Tayo Ogunbiyi, the founder of ALi AI; Oyinlola Ogunsanya who is the founder of PictureTel (the developer of PhotoGATE; Olaoluwa Osuntokun who is the co-founder of Neutrino Vision and Mujid Suleiman who is the founder of Brandview.
AI will soon become the biggest technological innovation to take place in Nigeria. These individuals made it possible for AI to happen in Nigeria. In order for AI to continue to impact Nigeria, it needs to be equipped with infrastructure that is designed to promote human and economic development.
The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria
Artificial intelligence is an emerging technology that's transforming our world by performing tasks that were previously considered beyond the capabilities of machines. According to Dan Gibson, Director of Investment Strategy at Microsoft Accelerate, AI is already being used to diagnose diseases, deliver lifesaving medications, and improve city management and public safety. In 2015, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that AI is the new electricity. And it's up to us to determine the ethical implications and potential of the new technology. According to the Future of Life Institute, AI threatens the global economy and security, and it will create as many jobs as it eliminates. It will also be devastating to us if we do not find ways to ensure that AI can be used for good.
India has been tipped as the "AI Unicorn" of the world in 2017 due to the increasing adoption of machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics. The rapid growth of the world's largest democracy in Artificial Intelligence is why it is a leading destination for the world's most exciting companies and investors.
With over 22% population and 7.3% GDP, Nigeria is not far behind India in the development of Artificial Intelligence. With appropriate focus on creating awareness and innovation, Nigeria can lead the world in Artificial Intelligence.