A professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Professor Oludele Awodele said the future of African continent lies in continuous research and investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In his paper: Sensing the future: From Common Sense to Intelligent Systems, Professor Awodele noted that though Africa was quite behind in terms of research and development of AI, governments in Africa should invest in its research because it is cost intensive, adding that the moment “we begin to invest in that area the better for the continent.”
He also called on universities to promote and fund inter-disciplinary research because artificial intelligence as a multi-disciplinary field has demonstrated the immense promise across disciplines such as Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, Philosophy, Psychology and Linguistics.
He was of the view that industrialists and non-governmental organizations should also give their support to AI as something meaningful is to come out of it in the nearest future.
Dwelling on some of the benefits of AI, Professor Awodele said AI could be deployed in security matters, electricity, detection of crimes and corruption, among others.
In terms of security, he said there were lots of data through which the concept of AI could be used to bring about an informed decision.
According to him, when our data is intelligent, governments and institutions would be able to make an informed decision which would lead to good decision that would better the lives of the citizens.
On how AI could be deployed to fight corruption, Professor Awodele said AI can be used to develop a system for Police to detect crime, explaining that the system would trigger and create an awareness when there is a kind of forceful alarm or an unauthorized access, so that human agent can come and address the situation.
He agreed that the deployment of AI might lead to loss of jobs if people folded their hands and did not advance technologically.
According to him, anybody who did not want machine to replace him in his or her place of work must be ready to grow technologically otherwise he or she would be replaced by machine or become redundant
To prevent unethical efforts by desperate scientists from crossing redlines of regulatory bodies, he said both national and international regulatory insights on AI activities would not be out of place.