Artificial intelligence and Nigeria dearth system

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By Bukola Olanrewaju.

The revolving roles of technology disposition globally are becoming interesting and making significant impact in human endeavors.

Technology, through Artificial Intelligence (AI) has no doubt brought huge development to the attainment of developed nations through its technological base unlike the developing countries. Through AI, some developed countries such as Germany, China are seriously working towards the attainment of ease and convenience in transportation and even security across their various countries.

Although AI has been on for decade but recognition have been recent. Nigeria on its own has not gone far in its use of the innovation.

It is not surprising why technology experts and enthusiast in Nigeria have generally agreed that in order to solve most fundamental problems hovering across the country, AI should be adopted.

According to the Chairman of Publicity Committee, Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), Lagos Chapter, Engr. Femi-Bola Oluwaniyi; AI is an area of computing that focuses on making machines mimic human traits such as reasoning, reaction, learning and perception, with an objective of achieving goals and objectives.

It is good thing a lot of people in Nigeria are now embracing and leveraging the power of AI to boost their service discharges.

Artificial Intelligence solving Security Challenge

Developed nations maximum security base is against the role of AI, which their governments have embodied in their policies. It has guaranteed safety of properties and lives and also paving easy way for security expert to track down any security breach.

On his part, the Ambassador of AI Saturday, Mr. Oluwafemi Azeez, stated that, “many problems encountered in Nigeria could have been easily cracked, if our level of AI adoption is high. This is because AI’s ability to help detect and solve problem in the economy at large is limitless and it largely depends on how well the economy is defined.”

AI was partly utilised recently after a deadly bank robbery incident that claimed many lives in Offa, Kwara State. This led to the capturing of the armed robbers faces through the CCTV camera circuit. This is no doubt one of the efficient advantages of AI in every nation, even though its full potential are yet to be exploited in Nigeria.

Azeez however believed that the Offa bank robbery incident is a far cry, due to the fact that the police officers’ asked for help from the citizens in fetching the criminals out.

He posited that with the help of AI, the criminal locations and movement would have been easily gotten with fewer difficulties.

Bringing to notice, “In China, AI is being used to detect peoples’ identity and faces even while walking on the street. This could have helped to send signal or alert police officers of unusual movement in the area even before the robbery took place”, Azeez pointed out.

Speaking of Security, Oluwaniyi on his part explained that  AI can add image and face recognition capabilities to security systems; it also has questions and answer capabilities that describe data, create captions and headlines, or call out interesting patterns and insights in data

However, Oluwaniyi further stated that this is only possible in Nigeria, if AI is rightly deployed to translate the volume of our people to large volume of data.

“AI tools can therefore be used to analyze this “big data” to reveal trends and patterns in the data to aid predictions and planning,” he stated.

Speculation

Findings showed that it will take Nigeria a minimum of Eleven years to catch up with the global AI standard.

With this, local industries and individuals have started the initiatives already and also investing in it. Which is as a result of the demand they have started getting but much of its development still lies on how fast government will help it to grow and how fast we can skill the effort.

Even though industries have started investing more in it than the government in Nigeria, AI tech development is basically a governmental project.

“In this part of the world, things tend to move slowly because we are used to waiting up for other nations to rise before we do. We tend to play the catch up game”, Azeez said

Furthermore, Oluwaniyi added that with the proper commitment from the industry leaders and government, Nigeria will definitely catch up with the global standard as regard AI. Though bare life essentials must be sorted first, housing, feeding and learning.

The Impediment to AI Growth

Nigeria has always been known with playing “the catch up game” with the global world. Nigeria tends to wait for other to act before learning the skills, which of course have its disadvantages. This is because no nation will willingly transfer its technological knowledge and capability required for national development to another nation.

It is high time for Nigeria to develop our own technology that will fit our environment accurately and not just leverage on other country’s technology because they are majorly develop to fit their environment, Asaolu stressed out.

In order to adopt AI in the country, database must be created and well managed.

Lack of access to the available data and governmental effort to get accurate data is another. Sometimes the data might be available but not accessible or in any kind of digital format.

Government needs to ensure that data are available in digital format by providing a good framework to its access so that people who need it can make use of it easily.

“Power is the most important prerequisite in developing AI. As a matter of fact, it is the number one factor for its development and expansion, unfortunately Nigeria still have a major problem in this”, Oluwaniyi stressed.

Fear in Adoption

As against the belief once adopted that AI tech will soon replace human jobs, the President of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Mr Ojikutu Adeniyi explicated that AI changes jobs and not to destroy jobs.

Technology has come to stay. AI tech will grow but human efforts should improve on adaptability, According to him.

Addressing the issue Oluwaniyi said that Artificial intelligence is not here to replace us.

“It only augments our abilities and makes us better at what we do.  This is because AI algorithms learn differently than humans, they look at things differently. They can see relationships and patterns that escape us.

Speaking of the benefit, Oluwaniyi mentioned that “this Human- AI partnership offers many opportunities.

“It can bring analytics to industries and domains where it’s currently underutilized. It can also improve the performance of existing analytic technologies, like computer vision and time series analysis.

“It will break down economic barriers, including language and translation barriers.

“AI will augment existing abilities and make us better at what we do, by giving us better vision, better understanding, better memory and much more.

Even though there is a global awareness to the fear issue, Azeez posited that we have not really gotten there.

According to him, with its present stage of adoption in Nigeria, AI tech will not replace human jobs but it will help to enhance its effectiveness.

“At worst, what is likely to happen be that there might be a shift of skills. People also panicked during the software revolution days but with the huge adoption of software there are still a lot of jobs available for humans to do.

Azeez therefore urged the government that Nigeria to move when other nations are moving.

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