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FG to establish agency for artificial intelligence, robotics – Onu

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Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, says the Federal Government plans to establish an agency that would be in charge of artificial intelligence and robotics.

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He made this disclosure on Monday in Abuja when the Nigeria Science Academy (NSA) visited him in his office, to officially invite the Ministry to their forthcoming programmes to boost the sector.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a general term that implies the use of a computer to model, including: robotics, natural language processing (NLP), computer vision and it is sometimes called machine intelligence .

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Onu disclosed that for a very long time his ministry has been working to establish the agency, and it has passed through a lot of processes.

According to him, the ministry is close to achieving its aim and when it is fully achieved it would be made public to Nigerians.

“We are very committed to ensure that we have at least one research institute, centre or Agency that will concentrate on artificial intelligence and robotics,” he said.

Onu said this has become imperative because with the establishment of artificial intelligence the level and quality of research, universities, and industrial laboratories in the country would increase and could compete favourable with international standard.

He expressed the hope that the private sector would show interest and at the end it would be commercialised, saying that positive ideas could be translated to products and services available in the market place.

According to Onu, it will also help create jobs, grow the economy and boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

“The institute once established would be useful and Academy of Engineers that would work closely with the ministry to attain maturity.

Onu appreciated the Academy’s effort to hold a workshop on Big Data and artificial intelligence.

He said the Ministry had partner with Women in Science group, saying that they need to go to the rural schools to encourage the girl child to be interested in reading Science related courses.

The minister, however, urged the president of the Academy to work with relevant stakeholders for country to attain level of greatness.

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Earlier, the President of NSA, Prof. Mosto Onuoha said the academy will hold an event on ‘Big data and artificial intelligence’ scheduled for Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 in Lagos.

He added that Women in Science and Technology Group is also organising an international programme scheduled for Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 in Abuja.

A fellow from the academy, Dr Kehinde Ladipo said there was need to instill the knowledge of how modern technology works, skills and competencies in the youths.

“Our focus, therefore, is to bring all the stakeholders together to let them think on the level of preparedness for the modern age data analytics and artificial intelligence,” he said.( NAN).

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