Forget AI and big data [for now], those would happen. But many things would need to be in place before we delve deep into them in Africa, at scale. Yes, we need to start keeping records before we can make real progress on AI. Our participation would remain rudimentary and peripheral. It is hopeless to think you can deploy AI in any serious sector in Nigeria when even the government does not know all the people it pays monthly salaries. Simply, there is no data to power your AI because no one keeps data. The same problem is repeated across sectors and markets. Where the gold-opportunities would emerge in the next 3-5 years would be blockchain/cryptocurrency.
Sure, you can connect AI and big data to blockchain/cryptocurrency [they are cousins and the same]. The difference, though, is that blockchain/cryptocurrency would move at the speed of a cheetah while AI/big data would be at the speed of a tortoise, in Africa. I expect banks in three years to start hiring like crazy people with skills in blockchain/cryptocurrency. Kenya will prove blockchain by 2020 and once that is done, other countries will pick the trend [remember mobile money!]
You cannot be wrong for having the capabilities. Take it from me: blockchain/cryptocurrency would be the hottest field in Nigeria in five years. Our technology adoption typically lags global average in Nigeria. By five years, many things would be in sync.
The Capabilities You Need:
- Knowledge of cryptocurrency/blockchain and up-to-date market
- Mining bitcoins [that skill can be extended to other coins]
- Coding on languages: Go, C, C++ , JAVA, Python.
- Understanding of algorithms, data structures, cryptography and data security, and decentralized technologies.
- Understanding of ledgers, consensus methods, threat analytics, anomaly detection, and performance management.
- Understanding of distributed storage & dB like RDBMS, NoSQL, and Hadoop
- Blockchain frameworks and applications
Call yourself Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Developer, it would be all glory.
[OO] Odigie your point is well understood but we’re looking at the bigger picture here. Definitely Telcos has data, Banking sector as data. It would be difficult for a startup to have a benchmark algorithms for implememting AI related solutions due to unavailability of data. The point from Ndubuisi Ekekwe post where I made my comments is that AI solutions can be much feasible in large technology companies because vast majority of businesses don’t keep data. So he’s much of predicting that the focus in 3 years in human resources would be skewed to Blockchain technologies. Definitely AI solutions would be available but we’re not yet at that position for AI. Moreso, large companies with data can’t fully utilize the power of AI if its not to a minimum, publicly available. Go through lots of Hackathon related to AI or competition, companies sponsors such to better their algorithms and understand the data they have. Example is Yelp, spotify, Amazon, Netflix. So in Nigeria, we’ve got no data to power AI for social good.