Gen AI Has Capacity to Develop Africa, Suitable for Businesses, other Sectors Globally- Dr Isimeto

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Dr Roseline Isimeto, Lecturer,Computer Science Department , UNILAG.

A Computer Science Lecturer with the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Nigeria, Dr Roseline Isimeto ,  has said  that Generative  AI is the technology, with capacity to help Africans build the continent they want.

She made the disclosure    while speaking on, “Building Innovative Large Language Models for a Digital Economy”, at the Deep Learning IndabaX   Nigeria 2024 Conference, hosted by Miva Open University, Abuja , recently.

The Data Scientist said, Gen AI  is an emerging technology which drives profitability and innovation, adding that, because it is   transforming industries worldwide, Africa should not  be an  exception to reaping from its  numerous benefits.

The  IndabaX ,  is an annual gathering of the African machine learning community , that was initiated in 2017 in South Africa. It is an event that aims to foster the advancement of knowledge and skills in machine learning and artificial intelligence within individual countries across Africa.

Dr Isimeto, likewise  described the benefits of Gen AI as closely linked to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that, SDGs were adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) since 2015 with the aim of fostering “peace and prosperity for people and the planet”, among others.

“Gen AI has the potential to help us achieve the SDGs,” according to the Don. She advocated for the adoption of Gen AI, so as to close the existing gap, assuring that, its benefits will manifest , since it could be deployed in almost all facets of life and businesses.

She attributed the current low adoption of Gen AI in Africa ,  despite the  tremendous benefits of the technology,  to the fact that most companies in Africa do not know how to use it  to solve their business problems.

According to her, business sectors where this technology could be used include  “marketing and advertising” : in tasks involving content creation, generation of personalized marketing copy; “customer service”-as in conversational agents, sentiment analysis, text summarization tasks; “finance and banking”: in document generation, fraud detection.

She stated that the technology can also be adopted in   “healthcare and medicine”- medical diagnostics and treatment planning, drug discovery and development,  enhanced patient care and support; “media and entertainment” – in  music generation, video generation, image enhancement; “Education”: as in personalized learning experiences, empowering educators.

Other sectors  , where the Gen AI is useful, she stated ,are  agriculture, legal, real estate, manufacturing, retail, energy, human resources, fashion, and so on.

Dr Isimeto equally cited an instance with a case study of building a Large Language Model (LLM) application, pointing out that it involves several steps, “from understanding your requirements to deploying the application.”  By following the steps, the data scientist pointed out, you can build a robust LLM application tailored to your specific needs.

While speaking , she also  did a practical demo to help participants learn how to start building Gen AI applications.

To close the adoption gap, Isimeto advises organizations to consider product innovation, process innovation, business model innovation, service innovation, organizational innovation, marketing innovation, disruptive innovation, incremental innovation, and radical innovation.

The lecturer disclosed that lack of adequate Gen AI skill-sets and  local data sets remain a challenge, stressing that building these data-driven applications require data, because it is the fuel that drives the innovations. “No data, no innovation,” she declared.