Dr Leonard Iheme, Lead Data Scientist with Turkish EPAM Systems delivering his paper.
By Abubakar Baba Ahmad.
A Turkish-based Data Scientist has advised the Nigerian government to engage indigenous Artificial Intelligence AI experts within and outside the country to formulate and execute ideas that would combat the insecurity bedevilling the country.
Dr Leonard Iheme, a Lead Data Scientist with the EPAM Systems in Turkey gave the advice shortly after presenting a paper at a Public lecture titled “Empowering the AI Revolution: A Guide for Modern Educators, organised by the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU Bauchi.
Dr Iheme said over the years, Nigeria spent huge sums of money in taming the tide of insecurity-a situation that still lingers in most parts of the country, hence the need for policy makers and implementors to brainstorm and leverage on the Artificial Intelligence digital database towards solving the dilemma.
“One way Nigeria can benefit very quickly from AI in combating the insecurities is really inviting the experts who are Nigerian, who may be based maybe abroad, some of them are within the country, and bring these people together for them to brainstorm. So involve both Nigerians who are in Nigeria, experts, and Nigerians who are experts in the diaspora”, Dr Iheme advises.
The Data Scientist who holds his first, second and third degrees in Electrical Electronics Engineer, said AI technology was not created to replace or takeover human jobs but to assist them to become more productive and efficient in aspects of human endeavour such as smart irrigation, Cancer detection, academic researches among others.
On the need to integrate AI into the educational system, Dr Leonard charged lecturers, students and researchers to take advantage of the Open Source such as Coursera, Kaggle, Python, Pytorch, Azure and Jupiter notebook which offers free data to develop their AI skills.
“What AI will do is; it will assist humans. The fact that you have a car doesn’t mean it’s going to replace your legs, the fact that you have a car means that you can get from Yelwa to Gubi faster. If you trek, it will take you maybe three days but if you take a car, 30 minutes. So that’s what AI will do, it will assist human beings in doing their job, not replace it. But we need to apply it responsibly”, he explains.
He further advised authorities concerned to always be cautious in the planning and execution of initiatives by making good risk assessments and appointing the right individuals to implement them.
The Public Lecture which was viewed live via Zoom from across the world, had in attendance the entire Management of ATBU, students, AI experts and enthusiasts among others.
With less than forty percent of the population in Africa having access to the internet, the International Monetary Fund IMF has recommended total digitalisation in developing countries to improve productivity, owing to the fact that Artificial Intelligence is projected to affect forty percent of jobs across the world.