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Tech Experts Demand National Policy On AI

Stakeholders in the tech world, the Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye; a Professor of Statistics at the University of Ibadan, Olusanya Olubusoye; an international business analyst and tech expert, Afolabi Andu has stated that it had become imperative for Nigeria to embrace the reality of Artificial Intelligence (AI) else they are left behind in today’s digital world.

They made the call when over 600 persons converged on the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, for the inaugural Nigerian Millennials Tech Ignited Conference (NMTIC).

Oyeleye, who spoke on the theme: ‘The Role of Technology on Growing Nigeria’s Economy,’ described AI as transformative and the game changer that if applied efficiently, could revitalize the nation’s economy and help in the economic diversification drive.

If the nation is to favourably compete in the global space, Oyeleye said AI is a tool that must be mastered.

He tasked the government on being more intentional about the application of AI, especially through the institution of relevant policies on AI.

Oyeleye said: ‘’The fourth industrial revolution is upon us and that is the age of AI. Nigeria can’t afford to be left behind. Things are now done cheaper, faster and better with little human interference, thus achieving greater productivity.

“As a nation that wants to compete on the global stage, this is where we must be and AI is that tool we must master and make it a national policy to learn.
“Thankfully, all I have said does not need much money, the Internet indeed has made it cheaper, what we need is strategic policies that will make it easily accessible and pronto the country with her huge resources will compete favourably.”

The conference saw discussions on networking and innovations in today’s digital world, software principles for millennials, robotics and AI’s potential impact, global outsourcing of Nigerian tech talent, cybersecurity for startups, developing data tech careers, and legal perspectives on Internet Protocol.

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Also speaking at the event, brain behind the event, Mr Afolabi Andu, explained that the conference was organised to provide a platform to empower and inspire the next generation of tech leaders in Nigeria.

He tasked Nigerian youths to be unrelenting in pursuing entrepreneurial goals in tech, explore emerging trends, foster meaningful connections, share insights and drive innovation in Nigeria using technology.

He explained: “There is a need for them to skill up. The most vital skill that will be of benefit to anyone today is technology. The world is driven by technology. Our objective is to ignite technology among our youths.”

Several of the speakers spoke on the need for collaboration and mentorship to drive innovation, the role of education in fostering an entrepreneurial culture, while giving insights into emerging tech trends like AI, automation, sustainability, cybersecurity, and data science.

Speaking, the Technical Director, Wavepalm Technology Solutions, the United Kingdom, Mrs Georgina Ayoola stressed that anyone that failed to embrace artificial intelligence would be left behind.

“So, you need to follow the trend of technology , upgrade your skills, and acquire more knowledge. Artificial Intelligence is the way to go. It is in everything we do. Without electronics, no AI. Get on it now so that you become marketable and employable,” she said.

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Speaking on the topic, ‘Developing a Career in Data Technology’, a professor of Statistics at the University of Ibadan, Olubusoye Olusanya remarked: ‘’The truth is that the modern world is ruled by those in digital tech and data space. This is the direction the world is going. If anyone is not skilful in any of these areas, it is not likely the person will fit properly in the current age of Artificial Intelligence.”

On his part, another tech expert, Dr Babajide Adelekan, said, “It is in your interest to learn AI now. We want everyone in Nigeria to know AI. That is what will push the Nigerian economy forward.”

Source: Tribune

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