On Friday, the academia alongside experts from different sectors in Nigeria, including the tech community gathered at the University of Lagos to mark the launching of the first-ever Artificial Intelligence Hub in Nigeria.
Artificial Intelligence Hub, as it is so called, will serve as an avenue for developing the Artificial Intelligence cycle in the country by focusing on deep learning and encouraging young talent discovery within the innovation and data analytics space.
The hub is located inside the Human Resources Development Centre of the University of Lagos and would supposedly run classes for young students who are interested in building solutions using Artificial Intelligence. Mentors and lecturers from both the academic and tech community would then be invited to support these students.
Founder of Data Science Nigeria (DSN) as well as the pioneer of Artificial Intelligence Hub, Mr Bayo Adekanmbi explains that the focus of the hub is to impact on the student, bringing the best of the industry knowledge that is available to support them.
He also noted during his speech that the hub will be heavily focused on tools that can help to collect data massively.
To corroborate his claims, we spotted tools on the ground that are geared towards capturing facial, image and sound recognition.
It is instructive that no African country is among the list of top countries adopting the smart technology and the reason for this is the absence of structured data which Artificial Intelligence feeds on.
As such, it will be interesting to see how the tools are put to use by the students as the future of Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria could depend on their exploits.
For Nigeria to truly be a force to reckon with in the area of Artificial Intelligence, there has to be emphasis on Analytics, Research and Data-Driven solutions. Whether or not the hub will play an out sized role in the areas remains to be seen.
With its current space and capacity, Artificial Intelligence Hub is able to house a maximum of 50 students. However, the plan according to Adebayo is to grow to three times that size before the end of the year.
Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.
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