By Emma Okonji
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Data Science Nigeria (DNS) has trained 835,000 students on Artificial Intelligence (AI) through online courses. Out of the number, the NGO had face-to-face interview with about 25,000 and selected the few that made it to the AI boot camp held in Lagos recently.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the boot camp, the Founder, DNS, Dr. Bayo Adekanmbi said there were amazing talents across the country, but in need of right platforms for support, hence the rationale behind the boot camp.
Adekanmbi noted that collaboration between the academia and the business world was very imperative for better preparation.
“We have amazing talents across the country. Everyone you see here has gone through six months of intensive selection process that requires them to go through about 100 days of learning online, quiz competition facilitated by expatriates in Canada and they went through cargo competition, which is to test the quality of their AI code.
“They all survived and made their way here. I think our joy in Nigeria regardless of the challenges, the biggest asset that define the future of a nation is the quality of the skill. The next question is building the right platform, tolls and right ecosystem that can support how these talents can become global champions.
“There is also the need to continue to find the interception to academic community and the business world. If you notice what happened today you would see a lot of industry experts across all sectors. This is because if the students are not trained with an industry mindsets, there is no way they would come into an industry they are not prepared for.
“We have seen the need to blend our curriculum such that both academic and industry have forged a balance” Adekanmbi said.
He noted the indispensability of global best practices, and explained that the boot camp had 26 international and 13 local experts who shared best practices.
Kazeem Hakeem, a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University and Obinna Onuoha, a graduate of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, won scholarship for their Master of Science (M.Sc) programmes at Stellenbosch University, South Africa courtesy of DSN intercampus Machine Learning Boot Camp 2019 prize.
Rising Odegua won Retina-AI’s Best Postal Award; University of Lagos emerged AI School of the Year; Rising Odegua and Adeola Lawal won Terragon Group’s Mr. and Miss Algorithm Awards.