Robotics an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and science that deals with design, construction, operation and use of robots as well as computer systems for control, sensory feedback and information processing. This is paving way for artificial intelligence and looking to be the fore front upon which the future of next generation of business would be powered.
The word artificial intelligence(AI)was first coined by the scientist- John McCarthy in 1956 at Dartmouth college. AI represent an intelligence displayed by machines / robots in contrast with natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. Though the scope of AI Is still being disputed, AI is seen as the fourth industrial revolution of the world with an enormous impact on business globally.
Today the hype around AI is at its peak and many acknowledge we are standing on the edge of an industrial revolution that will change the face of business’s, just as electricity and internet impacted the world. Blue Chip Organizations Like Hanson Robotics in Partnership with Singularity.Net(A platform for decentralized AI economy) is already succeeding in bringing robots to life with the successful creation of its chief humanoid – Sophia Hanson. China also recently unveiled an AI development plan designed to make itself the world leader in the technology by 2025, with huge investment being targeted at manufacturing, aviation, power e.t.c.
Even though many of her member states and economies are still grappling with issues related to previous industrial revolution , The African continent and her businesses is stepping up and opening her doors to opportunities AI brings. In Nigeria, Start-ups like KudiMoney is already offering a seamless online payment and transfer portal not linked to commercial banks with its rooting in AI technology, in 2017 Kudi made global top 50 digital bank, Aeroview built by Cape-town start-up already has users in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and a couple of other African states. Aeroview uses drones to assist farmers and help prevent 20% of crop failures via system analytics. While NGOs like Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon also have embraced Artificial intelligence for early detection of cervical cancer in women.
UBA (united Bank of Africa) also recently lunched its own artificial intelligence assistance name LEO that would help customers transact on their accounts. At the official launch of Leo, which took place in Lagos, customers of the bank were given a step by step demonstration on the novel way of delivering lifestyle and quality banking through the Facebook Messenger chat platform.
Africa might not seem all into AI but it is making inroads in adopting this technology to improve lives around the continent. As earlier stated, africa would need to do more to start tapping into the new world order. Public companies and private institution should invest more resources into training their current staff strength, opening AI research Lab and forming partnership with global business that are already deep into AI. Partnership would help companies understand the rudiments, the skill and have access to more data that would bring AI to live. Government should also increase their investment in School & University, invest in tech hubs, research and technology.
The future in business is Artificial Intelligence and Africa presence should not limited by Legacy system but open to innovation and entrepreneurship.