Philip Apodo Oyier from Jomo Kenyatta, University of Agriculture and Technology on AI and common problems in Africa

April 3, 2020
Philip Apodo Oyier, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology at the workshop “Toward a Network of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) in sub-Saharan Africa”, Nairobi, Kenya, April 2019

What are you working on at the moment?

My name is Philip Apodo Oyier from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. From the school of computing and information technology. I teach computer science and I run a coordinator centre called Kenyan Centre for data analytics, where we run a masters program in data analytics. The idea is soon as they are done with the thesis, they can now solve industry-based problems in applied Artificial Intelligence.

How do you perceive development and Artificial Intelligence?

The workshop in Nairobi has been interesting because we have interacted with people from different fields, but with a common theme of AI and its applications. So far so good, because every learning experience proves what you know and especially for me the what has been most interesting, the use cases across Africa because we have common problems and AI has a potential to provide solutions. Of course, AI contributes a lot for development because the AI techniques can be applied to make more decisions that are automated and intelligent.

That relives man of some of the tasks that we do. And then the decision can be used for man to better improve on our environment and our problem-solving capabilities.

What would be your blue sky project in Africa?

If given a limited resource because of our centre that I’m managing, I’d wish to get more industry players to give us problem sets or data sets that students can use for their thesis work.

Because that’s currently where the challenge is, you find that students are done with their masters, with their thesis, but now practical problems from indexing that can solve become a challenge. So if we get a limit that would be really my concentration, get industry players, link them with the students, then the problems that come from the industry, the students solve those problems.