Nigeria not ripe for Artificial Intelligence, says expert

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Dr Jimson Olufuye, the former President of African Information Communication Technology Alliance (AfICTA) on Monday said Nigeria was not ripe for deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

Olufuye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that the AI would require huge investment; as well as stable and functional institutions for the technology to be efficient.

AI is the theory and development of computer systems to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

“The core of AI is programing, algorithm, machine language; and we have a lot of skillful people that can do machine works.

“When it comes to the hardware part of it and the machines that can use AI, it requires a huge investment and the need has to be there.

“Right now the real need is not there yet, we are still struggling with the basic needs, majority of our population is still trying to make ends meet,’’ Olufuye said.

According to him, embracing such technology requires a critical mass that is obtainable in countries like Japan, China and the U.S., and which Nigeria lacks.

He said the country’s development index was still low, adding that Nigeria needed to tackle the basic things first such as improving on its seamless internet connectivity.

“Right now there is little or no connectivity and there are still some blind spots across the country,’’ he said.

Olufuye said that though the ICT sector had the capacity to create massive job opportunities for the unemployed, the government still needed to unlock the opportunities.

He reiterated that government processes needed to be transparent and it should approve more executive orders and enforce existing ones to ensure the sector grew.

“If the government does not move, nothing moves in Nigeria, Africa and across the world because government policies are helping economies to grow.

“For Nigeria, we need to get our policies right, we need to get drivers of policies right, ensure there is more transparency and proper auditing.

“Government should curb bureaucracies, ensure the ease of doing business is sustained; and enforce regulations for Ministries, Department and Agencies.’’

According to him, Nigerians were hardworking people who use every opportunity to create wealth and therefore urged the government to create the enabling environment for citizens to realise their potential. (NAN)

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