AI Technology in Nigeria

The concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, sometimes called machine intelligence, is the kind of intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Artificial intelligence It is, however, a concept that many Nigerians are not familiar with, even though many countries of the world have already keyed into it in this 21st century, especially developed nations. AI technology is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems such as speech recognition and machine vision. It is an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines such as robots that work and react like humans, as well as perform chores done by humans. However, a number of Nigerians are not sure of what it is, how it works, and how it will affect their daily activities. Mr Sampson Awele, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert, says whenever AI is mentioned, many people tend to imagine science fiction stories about robots taking the jobs and ruling the world. According to him, it is time Nigeria keys into the system and focus on its potential benefits and how it will help citizens to live better lives. Awele says “as a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how to integrate information, analyse data, and use the resulting insights to improve decision making, the society will become better with increased automation and AI.” He says AI is taking the centre stage within the fourth revolution with the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. The ICT expert, who expresses optimism that AI will not be taking over jobs to be performed by humans, explains that “many people are worried that AI robots will take over their jobs, but more humans are still needed in the workforce to do some other chores and functions. “AI will only start doing dull or dangerous jobs. At the very least, humans and machines will work together.” Mr Uzochukwu Okezie, a business man who also believes in the potentialities of AI technology, says the concept has the capacity to give businesses in the country a competitive advantage. Okezie says the concept will enable enterprises to move into other industries and markets. He adds that some corporate institutions deploy AI-backed chats to respond to customer enquiries, noting that the measure has led to increased customer engagements. “AI can be a great tool for managing risks, as well as detect and prevent fraud. “It is very imperative that businesses and governments adopt the technology to tackle issues of governance in the country.”

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