Microsoft Assisted Bootcamp improves the skills of local developers

By Bennett Oghifo

THEThe ocal developers have evolved their skills in the use of deep learning concepts to drive financial inclusion in a Bootcamp Artificial Intelligence (AI), hosted by Data Science Nigeria and recently sponsored by Microsoft.

This is contained in a statement by Data Science Nigeria, which also stated that "Throughout the Middle East and Africa, $ 28.3 million will be spent on developing AI solutions in the financial sector – and organizations are increasing efforts to ensure that young developers are well equipped for the task.

"Developing this kind of artificial intelligence capability in Africa is essential, not just to ensure that our 200-million youth population is equipped for future jobs, but also to ensure that local AI systems are impartial and inclusive. "

The statement stated that it was important to develop the right skills and data sets, and that "without the skills to build native applications, organizations probably import machine learning algorithms developed elsewhere, which are trained on distorted data sets that lack local context. This could have serious consequences in areas such as health care.

"What Africa needs is a richer set of local data, along with IA applications created by competent local teams with different demographic, gender, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds." To achieve this goal, obsolete processes need to be digitized, education systems need to adapt quickly and digital literacy programs need to be broader. "

According to them, "local organizations are making progress." The Center for Proteomics and Genomics Research (CPGR) in South Africa has recently partnered with Microsoft to build a technology platform for Africa's first Azure, which is improving storage and 39. elaboration of African genomic data sets: With these data and computing power, the CPGR is conducting more innovative biomedical research into the development and prevention of local diseases. "

In Malawi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has opened a Microsoft AppFactory in the field of Dzaleka, which is bringing expertise in coding and data analysis to young refugees and asylum seekers. Applications that have already been created include Smart Mapokezi, which manages food allocation schedules in refugee camps.

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) dominated the discussions of the World Economic Forum this year in Davos – with delegates dealing with everything from ethics to democratization and retraining workforce.

While AI is ready to be the driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution, its widespread acceptance and adoption among companies is still in its early stages. The year 2018 was important in changing the current perceptions around the IA, demonstrating it as a technology that is here to increase human capabilities, not replace them, and to benefit from the speed and size of any organization, large or small.

These conversations have had weight. In just four years, the number of global organizations implementing artificial intelligence has increased by 270%.

In Africa, momentum is similar and continues to grow as access to high-quality broadband and cloud computing improves. Organizations are recognizing IA's ability to help in some of the continent's most pervasive problems, from poverty reduction to improved health care and improved crops to feed a growing population.

Microsoft, through initiatives like 4Afrika, has the goal of making artificial intelligence available to everyone on the continent, in line with our global mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. We collaborate with forward-thinking policymakers, innovative startups, technology partners, civil society groups and stakeholders to promote the growth of a vibrant artificial intelligence ecosystem in Africa, enabling inclusive growth and providing a clear and trusted path to digital transformation.

Promote innovation with artificial intelligence

Many of our local partners, including SMEs and start-ups, have already started their artificial intelligence trips. The Nigerian startup, MyMusic, has experimented with chatbots to help users discover new local music. The fintech startup, MoVAS Group, which we met for the first time in 2016, is now building artificial intelligence into their credit-scoring algorithms, allowing more farmers and small business owners who do not have access to loans first time.

In the financial sector, 66% of the sub-Saharan Africa population is classified as unassigned. The proliferation of mobile banking across the continent has increased financial inclusion and intelligent applications based on artificial intelligence are now taking this approach forward. Artificial intelligence can capture and crunch large volumes of non-traditional data, such as mobile wallet transactions, which enable service providers to make automated loan decisions for new customers, with no previous financial records, in seconds.

Policies for an AI-enabled future

While IA opens up new frontiers for economic and social transformation, policy makers will need to ensure that this new data-driven ecosystem is governed by a strong code of ethics. We must ensure that ethical AI systems are reliable, secure, private, transparent, accountable and beneficial to all.

Throughout Africa, Microsoft supports government agencies in developing the necessary policy frameworks. Initiatives such as the Microsoft Policy Innovation Center at Strathmore University in Kenya are providing forums to discuss policy issues related to the digital transformation of industries and countries. Together with Access Partnership, we recently commissioned a white paper on the implications of AI in Africa, which will be presented to delegates from the South African government in March, during an event dedicated to addressing the progress of AI policies.

Put humans at the center

Through Microsoft's various programs, from skills development initiatives to the growth of the startup ecosystem, we are working to help make a future compatible with AI in Africa. In every effort of artificial intelligence, our goal is to increase and amplify human ingenuity, accelerate economic and social prosperity. The African innovators have revolutionized the way mobile technology is used and we can not wait to see what they will do next with artificial intelligence.