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ICT4D Week 2018

Friday, June 08, 2018

Data Science Nigeria unveils Artificial Intelligence hub @ UNILAG – ITREALMS

A non-profit foundation, Data Science Nigeria (DSN) has unveiled the phase 1 of its Community Centre and Artificial Intelligence Hub for cross-industry and academic research, at the campus of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), reports ITREALMS.

According to the visioner of Data Science Nigeria, Mr. Bayo Adekanmbi, who is Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) of MTN, a hands-on data scientist and a doctoral researcher who uses data science algorithms to understand low-income customers, DSN is to accelerate applications of artificial intelligence to solve social and business problems through a strategic partnership.
ITREALMS gathered that DSN has organised free bootcamps, industry summits, online free courses and provide internship/direct job placements for the Nigerian data science community.
A press statement made available to ITREALMS indicated that the Hub launched on Friday, June 8 at the university campus with the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe and Dr. Uyi Stewart, Director, Global Development Strategy, Data & Analytics, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA, in attendance.
DSN’s drive, ITREALMS gathered, has strategic partnership between the academic community, industry, and local and international technology hubs similar to the highly successful Stanford University-Silicon Valley model.
DSN is committed to supporting Nigerian students and encouraging them to turn their academic research into innovative start-ups or social enterprises aligned with millennial developmental goals. DSN has a particular interest in solving local problems in the fields of health, education, agriculture and financial inclusion.
In addition, the Hub will serve as the community centre for data science enthusiasts and experts to fraternize, learn, share ideas and participate in local and international projects. DSN also plans to use the Hub for face-to-face masterclasses, industry meet-ups, and dial-in conferences with its over 100+ mentors from across the globe. Data science practitioners can also participate in many industry data projects as interns, freelancers or experts at the Hub.
The Hub features modern data collection tools including biometric readers, an AWS AI DeepLens Camera, Google Clips, Intel Movidius Neural Stick, GPS tracking devices, Bionic Nature Observing Device, Internet-of-Things suite and many others.
The Hub’s unveiling ceremony will also include the announcement of its highly successful learning bootcamp/hackathon, titled, Deep Learning Nigeria, to be held October 10-15, 2018. This will be a fully residential, all-expense-paid learning camp focused on deepening financial inclusion through the use of machine/deep learning for credit risk scoring, identity image/voice authentication, ATM point-of-presence location optimization using geospatial data, and biometrics/voice analytics.
This will be complemented with a first-of-its-kind Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition to recruit the best 75 students for a Data Science bootcamp, with opportunity to win N1 million through participation in Kaggle competitions and bootcamp quizzes.
DSN prides itself of building the largest network of data science mentors worldwide through its through its #MentorAfricanDataScientists programme, through which Nigerian students are mentored by international data scientists. In its eighteen months of operation, DSN has incubated four data science concepts which are being tested for real world applications.
DSN, further claimed its positioned to solve social/business problems and galvanize data science knowledge revolution, which could position Nigeria to become the outsourcing hub for international Data Science/Advanced Analytics/Big Data projects, with opportunity to access at least 1 per cent share of the global big data and analytics market, valued at $150b in 2017 ($203b in 2020).

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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