As the year 2022 drew to a close, the world was thrown into a frenzy after a US-based AI company, OpenAI, released an innovative solution called “chatGPT” that could chat, reply to messages text sent by humans and answer almost any question as exactly as if he were human himself and omniscient. This solution even proves to have the ability to write news articles, public speeches, academic papers, and computer codes and can even discuss matters related to their local traditional recipes.
Today, unlike a decade ago, countries are now fiercely competing to achieve AI supremacy.
This is not surprising as recent events have shown that AI, robotics, blockchain, and cybersecurity have a major impact on national security, intelligence, healthcare, and food security. With rapid advances in technology, there is no doubt that the next decade presents an opportunity for countries to redefine their future and improve the quality of life, health care, and job availability through the necessary training of their workforce. and the remodeling. of their industries.
Departing from a long Nigerian tradition of simply waiting to import and consume whatever latest technology in the world rather than contribute to its development, the nation is lucky to have some leaders who are aware of global developments and are watching the coast. .
For example, in 2019, a young Nigerian, Olusola Ayoola, after earning his Ph.D. in the area of nuclear robotics and working extensively with the UK government, he decided to return home to establish Nigeria’s first fully functional robotics and artificial intelligence facility for training, research and product development.
Since its establishment, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Nigeria (RAIN) has proven to be world-class and has even attracted international students and accolades from United Nations Under-Secretary-General Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Program United Nations for Development (UNDP). ), the US and Canadian Missions in Nigeria, as well as First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), National Institution of Electrical Engineers and Electronics (NIEEE), the Federation Surveyor General’s Office, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the National Agency for Space Research and Development (NASRDA).
Some of the innovative research conducted at RAIN includes unattended baggage detection, a mini weather station, an AI-based traffic light system, a ground robot vehicle, and a VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle (IMORP), CETHED, and RAINSC75/76.
RAIN Executive Director Dr Ayoola has confirmed that lofty plans are in place which include building a Center of Excellence in Drones and Unmanned Vehicles for Geospatial Intelligence, providing training scholarships for Nigerian youth, in particular those of Ibarapa East/ Ido Federal Circumscription, and the improvement of AI Robotics product prototypes up to the required military standards.
Aminat Akinyemi writes from Ibadan, Oyo State