Artificial Intelligence Simplified For An Average Nigerian

When many of us hear the term Artificial Intelligence, we still get confused and then probably associate it with sci-fi movies. Think about Star Wars, Terminator, 2001: The Space Odyssey, The Jetsons and a couple of other sci-fi movies. This makes Artificial Intelligence seem to us as fictitious as the robots and the storylines of the sci-fi movies.

The truth is, Artificial Intelligence(AI) isn’t fictitious and AI isn’t robots. AI is broad. AI refers to things as simplistic as your phone calculator, and then as somewhat complicated as a self-driven car. AI could still be some future innovation that the mind is yet to conceive.

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We use AI in our daily lives that we sometimes don’t even notice or realise it. In 1956, John McCarthy(who coined the word Artificial Intelligence) says, “as soon as it works, no one calls it AI anymore”. This could make some of us consider AI as an impossible future that would never be reached. In this thought lies the confusion about AI.

Like I stated earlier, AI isn’t robots. Robots are just containers for AI. Think of robots as the body and AI as the brain (the working mechanism). Besides, AI can work with or without robots. Think about the Google Assistant Siri, it is no robot. You don’t need a robot to use Google Translate or the translation available on Facebook and several other social networks.

Let’s talk about your smartphone for a while. What exactly do you do with the phone? Do you use some map app? Do you use reading apps? Your phone calculator nkor, the thing dey work abi? You no dey use MusicMatch and Shazam? That fingerprint lock or the face recognition. That’s AI uncle, aunty your phone won’t be called Smart if not for AI.

Have you ever wondered how your email gets to sort itself? Primary, Social, Promotion, Spam and all the rest. It’s AI at work. You remember buying or just window shopping on Jumia, Konga, Aliexpress, Amazon or any other e-commerce platform? You remember having products ‘recommended for you’? Ehe, that’s AI. I won’t ever forget the annoying part, when you have ‘People who bought this, also bought…’ Like seriously, how is that my business? It’s AI.

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Let’s talk Facebook, ‘People you may know‘. Oh, now you are thinking. Yes, it is AI. Matter of fact, your Facebook Newsfeed is a possibility because of AI, same as your Google search.

AI Isn’t some confusing phenomenon. AI isn’t some threat to your job. AI isn’t some fiction and some complications. AI is part of our daily life. AI is what you make out of it.

What is AI to you?


Victor Ugoo Njoku

I am human. I love life. I learn as much as I can every day and share the knowledge on my blog.

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