Defining the metaverse is no easy task, with a mix of academics, journalists and tech experts weighing in differently on what it is or will become. The assortment of opinions may be due to the fact that the metaverse is still in its early stages of development – and there is already more than one in existence, not unlike the distributed ledger technologies popularly known as "blockchain." Most current definitions for the metaverse include a long list of technologies and principles. One definition tech experts seem to agree on is "an online 3D virtual world in which real people interact in real time to do an unlimited variety of virtual activities such as work, travel and play, all supported by its own digital economy." The metaverse is expected to become the next big breakthrough in the Internet's evolution, with seemingly endless potential to transform how we live, transact, learn, and even benefit from government services.
The computer algorithm, which was trained using mammography images from almost 29,000 women, was shown to be as effective as human radiologists in spotting cancer. At a time when health services around the world are stretched as they deal with long backlogs of patients following the pandemic, this sort of technology can help ease bottlenecks and improve treatment. For malaria, a handheld lab-on-a-chip molecular diagnostics systems developed with AI could revolutionize how the disease is detected in remote parts of Africa. The project, which is led by the Digital Diagnostics for Africa Network, brings together collaborators such as MinoHealth AI Labs in Ghana and Imperial's Global Development Hub. This technology could help pave the way for universal health coverage and push us towards achieving SDG3.
Charlette Désiré N'Guessan comes from an intriguing family, where all the women share the same name: Charlette. It is confusing, and also a little ironic, since she is a software engineer who has invented a facial recognition app. In The Charlettes, by filmmaker Gauz, we see how this particular Charlette has made an impact in the tech world in Ivory Coast and Ghana, winning prizes and plaudits for her artificial intelligence (AI) identity invention. Gbaka-Brede Armand Patrick, known professionally as Gauz, is a multidisciplinary and self-proclaimed iconoclastic artist, based in Ivory Coast.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, has said the University remains committed to advancing research in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This she said is part of efforts to ensure that the country does not get left behind in the application of AI for national socio-economic development. "We at the KNUST are providing the enabling research environment to our cherished scientists to lead in scientific discoveries, harness innovation and foster scientific collaborations," the Vice-Chancellor said. "This is because Ghana and the sub-Saharan Region cannot be left out of the positive outlook that the application of AI is projected to make on global development and national socio-economic transformation. Mrs. Dickson, who was addressing a workshop in Kumasi on Friday, May 6, 2022, on the theme: "The Role of Responsible AI in Promoting the Sustainable Development Agenda in the sub-Region", said the global market contribution of AI as of 2019, according to the Grand View Research, was about US $39.9 billion.
Dr Chris Kpodar, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Investments Ghana Limited, says artificial intelligence (AI) represents the future and that should be the direction Ghana should be going. It is the pathway to achieving increased efficiency, lower human error rates and improved workflows among other highpoints. AI refers to the use of simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions and may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving. Dr Kpodar, who is also a Chief Technical Advisor for the Centre for Greater Impact Africa (CGIA), said AI had become necessary in all spheres of life and gradually becoming the future. Ghana like all other developing countries must join the technological drive through strategic policies, he stated at a forum organized by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tema.
The AfDB announced last year that it had approved a grant of just over $1m to support the creation of AI-backed systems to process customer complaints for the national banks of Ghana and Rwanda, and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of Zambia. A chatbot, or chatterbot, is a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent. With literally millions of data points being created in a single day at major banks, humans are unable to comb through all the information fast enough. Automated AI systems can flag up potentially fraudulent activity and push this to skilled staff in the form of alerts, allowing personnel to focus on the most important tasks easily. For some banks, the idea of adopting AI solutions can seem like a complex undertaking, especially for those institutions that have legacy infrastructure where data is stored in disparate silos.
As a university student, Abigail Annkah fell in love with mathematics, which soon led to her interest in artificial intelligence. After graduating from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Abigail made it through the competitive process to become an AI resident at Google Research, Accra. After her residency, Google offered her a job and she’s now a research software engineer working on several high-profile projects.As Google grows its presence in Accra, we spoke to Abigail about the mapping project that motivates her, starting a new job while becoming a mother and the importance of inspiring young girls to enter STEM careers.How did your science background lead you to Google?I did my undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science Statistics at the University of Ghana, finishing with a combined major in Mathematics and Statistics. During the second year of study, I stumbled upon Computational Maths, leading to my first taste of coding. I started taking extra credit courses, which really kickstarted my entry into AI. Then I joined the first cohort of the African Masters of Machine Intelligence program at African Institute for Mathematical Sciences with the support of Google and Facebook. The program intends to bridge the AI education gap in Africa and strengthen the growing data science ecosystem in the region — this was my first exposure to the world of Machine Learning.
A new article published last week in the European Heart Journal discusses the use of drones for delivering life-saving automated external defibrillators (AED) to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients. As the study describes, "Early treatment in line with the'chain-of-survival' concept such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation by an automated external defibrillator (AED) prior to ambulance arrival is associated with increased survival. Use of AEDs in the early-cardiac-arrest electrical phase can increase survival rates to up to 50–70%. Although hundreds of thousands of AEDs are available in high-income countries, their accessibility and use are still low." Thus, the investigators of the study designed a system to deploy drones to real-life suspected OHCA patients in order to determine whether this was a viable solution to the accessibility problem.
It's a question that Diana Akrong found herself asking last year. Diana is a UX researcher based in Accra, Ghana, and the founding member of Google's Accra UX team. Across the world, her manager Dr. Courtney Heldreth, was equally interested in answering this question. Courtney is a social psychologist and a staff UX researcher based in Seattle, and both women work as part of Google's People Artificial Intelligence Research (PAIR) group. "Looking back on history, we can see how the industrial revolution played a significant role in creating global inequality," she says.
Our team of data scientists, ex-bankers, engineers and mathematicians have rich industry experience from IBM Research, Banking, Technology Companies and globally renowned consulting companies and financial institutions across Africa. The team has successfully built several credit risk scoring engines from financial data, mobile money data, transactions data and several other alternative data sets for over five industries. Timothy Kotin is the Co-Founder and CEO of Superfluid Labs a pioneering data analytics firm serving emerging market financial institutions, fintech firms and startups with offices in Kenya, Ghana and Germany. Through both Superfluid and his prior professional experience, Timothy has extensive experience, including holding proprietary patents and inventions related to developing digital financial products (credit, savings, asset finance, etc.) and credit scoring models that leverage both traditional financial data as well as new alternative data sources such as call data records or mobile money transactions from MNOs and social media. He is a recognized thought-leader at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and international development and served on the USAID Advisory Panel on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in 2019.