Artificial Intelligence, vital tech tool for rapid development

The Executive Director of minoHealth AI Labs, Mr. Darlington Ahiale Akogo, has rallied governments and the private sector to invest and build the infrastructure to derive maximum benefits from Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology.

AI, he said, had become a vital tool for rapid socio-economic transformation and everything should be done to take advantage of it for accelerated progress.

Developing needed to do more to catch up with the developed countries, who had made giant strides in the use of the technology to make life easier and comfortable.

Mr. Akogo, whose team applies AI in the fields of biotechnology, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, optometry, epidemiology, nutrition and agriculture said “AI, especially deep learning has the potential to solve a broad array of problems, and that is why a large portion of industry, academia and governments around the world are already investing so much into it”.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that AI was here to revolutionalise systems using data-science and cloud computing to collect, analyze and visualize data, adding that, journalism was no exception.

Africa, he noted, had some of the worst and biggest problems in the world.

About 501 million people, 47 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lived on $1.90 a day or less in 2012, and 233 million people were hungry and undernourished in 2014-16. In 2015, 9.2 million deaths were recorded in Africa, majority being caused by communicable and non-communicable diseases, whilst the doctor to patients’ ratio in a place like Ghana was one to 15, 289. That of Malawi was close to 60,000 people to a doctor, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 statistics.

The Executive Director said AI could be of tremendous benefit by focusing and investing in its many applications to solve those crucial problems.

AI, had become the driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) with global economic returns from this revolution anticipated to be in the region of USS$16 trillion.

He pointed out that data collection and sequencing still remained a colossal problem in the country and AI could be the way forward to tackle that.

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Mr. Jacques Ludik, Founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cortex Logic and President of Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) said Africa needed a private-public sector multi-stakeholder approaches and national strategies to unlock the tremendous value and potential of AI and other exponential technologies to help the society to thrive in the smart technology era.

According to Gartner, the world’s leading IT Research and Digital Advisory Company, AI is expected to create 2.3 million new jobs by 2020.

Canada had in March 2017, published its AI development strategy, followed by China, whose quest is to become equal to other AI powerhouses by 2020, lead the world in some aspects of AI by 2025 and entirely dominate as the primary centre for AI innovation by 2030.

At least 23 countries including South Korea, India, Germany and Australia have joined the fray, planning strategies into the future of AI.

Kenya and Tunisia are the only countries in Africa that are attempting to craft an AI plan.

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