Africa Needs To Get Into The Artificial Intelligence Race

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Africa Needs To Get Into The Artificial Intelligence Race

19th August 2018 – Cape Town, South Africa – AI Expo Africa speaker Darlington A. Akogo, Founder, Director of AI, Deep Learning-Machine Learning Technologist at minoHealth & GUDRA, talks about the need for Africa “To Get Into The Artificial Intelligence Race”

Darlington Ahiale Akogo

Darlington Ahiale Akogo

Several nations have already drawn their plans and reports on Artificial Intelligence(AI), Canada first published its AI plan in March 2017. China later published its detailed AI plan, A Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan in July 2017 where they outlined initiatives and goals to become equal to other AI powerhouses by 2020, lead the world in some aspects of AI by 2025 and entirely dominate as the primary center for AI innovation by 2030. Other nations and bodies have reacted by drawing theirs since then, among them are France, UAE, South Korea, India, EU, Germany, Mexico, Australia and USA. In just 17 months, at least 23 nations and bodies have published some form of plan for AI development. Kenya and Tunisia are the only nations from Africa among them with any attempt towards developing an AI plan.

List of nations with outlined plans for Artificial Intelligence, from March 2017 till date.

The importance of such AI plans lies in the power that AI currently has and would have on the future. AI would add $15.7 trillion to the Global Economy by 2030 and potentially increase labor productivity by up to 40% by 2035. AI also has the potential to double the economy of a nation like the USA (GDP: 18.57 trillion) in just 20 years. This has led to the AI Race among nations. Russian president, Vladimir Putin recently said “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind, It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

It’s important for Africa to start planning now towards an AI future. Developing Economies like ours are the most threatened by such developments when not addressed properly. For example, a report recently showed automation technologies could perform 65% of the jobs in Nigeria, 67% of the jobs in South Africa and 85% of the jobs in Ethiopia by 2030, compared to 35% and 47% of the UK and USA, respectively. Even if we fail to locally develop AI systems, just like Africa consumes softwares and services from America like Facebook or Google, institutions in Africa would end up as consumers for foreign AI systems and we would all just be data points. In the long run, when the world starts approaching the Post-Work era due to high levels of automation and many countries begin implementing systems such as Universal Basic Income (UBI) by heavily taxing AI and Automation companies, we would likely be left even poorer and incapable of implementing such social safety nets since there aren’t enough local AI companies to tax. The recent most complete GDP of the whole Africa (excluding Eritrea and Western Sahara) was $2.74 trillion which was less than that of France in that same year, 2014, which was $2.83 trillion. We could end up with an even larger economic gap when compared to Western and some Eastern nations, too large to ever be realistically closed if we don’t plan towards the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Street in Accra. Credit: ANONYMOUS233

AI, especially Deep Learning has the potential to solve a broad array of problems, which is why a large portion of Industry, Academia and Governments around the world are already investing so much into it. Africa has some of the worst and largest problems in the world. 501 million people, 47 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lived on $1.90 a day or less in 2012 and 233 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were hungry/undernourished in 2014-6. In 2015, 9.2 million deaths were recorded in Africa, majority being caused by communicable and non-communicable diseases, whilst some places like Ghana have close to 11,000 people to 1 doctor ratio and Malawi has close to 60,000 people to 1 doctor ratio. We therefore potentially can benefit the most by focusing on and investing in Artificial Intelligence and its many applications. As my team and I at minoHealth are focusing on, we can solve our lack of Quality and Accessible Healthcare issue with AI and Deep Learning. We can also solve poor Food Production and Distribution issues plaguing us and someday solve our transportation issues and high records of road accidents with Autonomous Vehicles.

There are several things that Africa needs to start doing in order to get into the AI Race. We need to start getting the general public informed about AI and how they can use it to improve their labour productivity and value today in an Augmented Intelligence approach. This is applicable to all Africans, be they small scale farmers using AI apps to ensure their crops are healthy, marketers using predictive models for Market Forecasting or medical doctors using AI to improve their Healthcare Delivery. Additionally, we need to galvanize existing African AI talents into planning towards AI for Africa and deploying AI in Africa. My team and I at minoHealth develop and research AI systems mainly for healthcare in Africa in order to ensure we enjoy some of the benefits of AI. We have also started conversations about AI in the forms of seminars, lectures and interviews in order to get the Ghanaian and African public informed about AI and get the attention of the government so we can start developing national plans. We have to start planning towards developing the right infrastructures and frameworks in Africa in order to enjoy great national and continental developments from AI and curb possible repercussions.

Read the original article here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/africa-needs-get-artificial-intelligence-race-darlington-a-akogo/

About Darlington Ahiale Akogo

Darlington Ahiale Akogo is a Deep Learning/Machine Learning Engineer & Researcher who founded minoHealth in order to democratise Quality Healthcare in Africa. minoHealth develops Artificial Intelligence systems for medical diagnoses and prognoses. They also use Data Science and Cloud Computing to collect, analyse and visualize health data.   Darlington Ahiale Akogo also heads minoHealth AI Labs where he and his team research and apply Artificial Intelligence to fields like Biotechnology, Regenerative Medicine/Tissue Engineering, Optometry, Epidemiology, Dietetics/Nutrition and Agriculture. And with Gudra AI Studio, they explore Artificial Intelligence applied to general domains like Energy, Art, Education and Linguistics.

About minoHealth

minoHealth is a Futuristic Medical Health System seeking to Democratize Quality Healthcare with Artificial Intelligence(A.I) Medical Predictions/Diagnostics Systems, Cloud Medical Records System for Hospitals, Ministry of Health and Patients separately and “Big Data” Analytics. minoHealth uses Artificial intelligence to make Health Predictions and Diagnostics, stores Patient Medical Records online to be available to all physicians within a hospital in Real Time, all the data collected are intelligently organised and with “Big Data” approaches and technologies, they are continually analysed so important health information/stats on general hospital patients are visualised and made available to physicians. And furthermore, on a direct National level, we have the Ministry Portal that collects patient data from all the registered hospitals within the country with their permission and organises and analyses them and makes them visually available to the Ghanaian Ministry of Health. With this portal, we can actually collect national health data at hardly any cost on a repeated timely basis without any human effort.

About AI Expo Africa

Taking place on 9-11 September 2018, Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, AI Expo Africa 2018 is focusing on real world applications & trends driving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Economy in Africa and seeking to build the largest Business focused AI Community across the continent. With 400+ delegates, 50+ speaker programme, 40+ exhibitor Expo Hall, Innovation Cafe and workshops, the event is aimed at CxO / C Suite delegates with the primary goal of educating business leaders about AI applications and opportunities impacting the Enterprise today as well as generating real business and learning opportunities for sponsors, speakers & AI innovators across the region. If you would like to join the event as a delegate or would like take up one of the exhibition, Innovation cafe or speaking opportunities simply visit the links below

  • Register– Save via our Early Bird ticket sale
  • Speak– Submit a paper for one of our speaking opportunities
  • Sponsor– Secure your company a place in the Expo Hall & networking evening

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By | 2018-08-19T11:17:05+00:00 August 19th, 2018|AI Landscape Africa, Press Release|0 Comments

About the Author:

Nick is Co-founder of AI Media Africa, home of AI Expo Africa 2018. He has 20+ years experience in the technology sector working at the interface of client, vendor, partner & investor to provide organizations with enhanced technology based solutions with high ROI.

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