Nigeria Champions Integration of Local Languages in Artificial Intelligence Revolution

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Nigeria is taking bold steps to ensure that local languages play a pivotal role in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution, with the recent announcement of the launch of a Nigerian Multilingual Large Language Model (LLM).

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This milestone was achieved as part of the outcomes from the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS) Workshop, where over 120 AI experts convened to shape a national policy for AI adoption in the country.

Dr. Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, revealed that the LLM will be trained in five low-resource languages and accented English, enhancing language representation in existing datasets crucial for developing AI solutions. Additionally, over 7,000 fellows from the ministry’s Three Million Technical Talent program will provide support for the project, further bolstering Nigeria’s AI capabilities.

Tijani emphasized the significance of the partnership between key stakeholders, including @awarritech, @DataDotOrg, @NITDANigeria, and @NCAIRNigeria, in spearheading Nigeria’s first Multilingual Large Language Model. This initiative reflects Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing AI to address local challenges and promote inclusive development.

The NAIS Workshop marked a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s quest to become a key player in shaping the global narrative of AI adoption. Tijani announced the development of an initial draft of the National AI Strategy, signaling the country’s strategic direction in AI advancement.

Among the key outcomes of the workshop was the establishment of the Nigeria AI Collective, a collaborative community dedicated to accelerating collective prosperity through an inclusive AI ecosystem. Additionally, a Nigerian computing infrastructure pilot was launched, with 21st Century Technologies, @Galaxybackbone, and @NCAIRNigeria partnering to accelerate AI projects of national interest.

21st Century Technologies’ funding of GPU acquisition will kickstart Nigeria’s national computing capacity, enabling local researchers, startups, and government entities to work on critical AI projects. The computing resources will be housed at the GBB Data center in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), facilitating access to advanced AI technology.

Furthermore, the relaunch of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) underscores Nigeria’s commitment to research and development in emerging technologies. NCAIR will focus on AI, Robotics, UAVs, and the Internet of Things (IoT), driving practical applications to address societal challenges and drive innovation.

As Nigeria positions itself as a key player in AI development and regulation, Tijani stressed the importance of a comprehensive strategy to ensure the country’s participation in the global AI landscape. With a concerted effort and strategic partnerships, Nigeria aims to harness the transformative potential of AI for the benefit of its citizens and beyond.


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Peter Okafor
Peter Okaforhttp://Naija247news.com
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