January 13, 2016

‘How Nigeria can leverage on ICT’

By Laju Iren

SOUTH Korea based artificial intelligence researcher, Ms. Mira Kwak has said that Nigeria has the capacity to become a leading country in Information and Communication Technology. Kwak said this at the premiere edition of the Nigeria ICT fest held in Lagos recently.

According to her, technology could be used as a tool to portray the Nigerian culture positively to the international community.  Her words: “Technology offers peculiar advantages to latecomers; those in the developing world can grow faster than developed countries, avoid trial and error, achieve technological and industrial upgrading and redesign current technologies and solve current ICT problems.”

Other speakers  who also pointed out pathways for Nigeria to move forward in ICT, included Dr. Ben Goertzel, also an expert in artificial intelligence. He emphasized on the need to differentiate from Artificial General intelligence and Artificial Intelligence which is narrowly focused to solve problems. In his presentation, he showed robots playing football and how iCog labs is helping to redefine education in Ethiopia – a developing country, by giving children a machine that teach them.

Mr. Micah Redding who spoke on “Christianity, Emerging Technologies, and the developing world: Nigeria’s role in humanity’s future,” challenged the view that Christians are not supposed to be actively involved in society. He spoke about vertical and horizontal development. In his words, vertical development refers to developments that are revolutionary while horizontal developments refer to improvements on existing technologies. “Both are necessary for true development to take place,” he said.

The organizers of Nigeria ICT Fest are a team of young people including Agbolade Omowole, Imolode Michael and Ayemhere Aidaghese. Agbolade, speaking on behalf of the team said:”We are about to witness a technology explosion and it is important for countries of the world to grow together to ensure that these technologies are affordable and available to everyone regardless of geographical regions or economic status.”