fbpx

KNUST creates environment for research into artificial intelligence

BY: Emmanuel Baah
Prof. Akosua Dickson (4th from right), Prof. Jerry John Kponyo (2nd from right), Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the RAIL Project, and other resource persons and dignitaries after the workshop in Kumasi. Picture: EMMANUEL BAAH
Prof. Akosua Dickson (4th from right), Prof. Jerry John Kponyo (2nd from right), Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the RAIL Project, and other resource persons and dignitaries after the workshop in Kumasi. Picture: EMMANUEL BAAH

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) for development purposes.

“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.

“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,” the Vice-Chancellor observed.

Workshop

Prof. Dickson, who was addressing a workshop in Kumasi on the theme: “The role of responsible AI in promoting the sustainable development agenda of 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.

The workshop coincided with the inception of the ‘Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lab (RAIL)’ project, which is being sponsored by the German Development Organisation (GIZ), International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-Canada, and SIDA, an international development organisation.

Some partners in the project implementation include Université Alioune Diop de Bambey, Senegal (UADB), University of Cape Verde, (UniCV) and the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).

Explaining the rationale behind the project, Prof. Dickson said it was meant to deepen understanding of how to develop and apply responsible AI tools for the advancement of computer, social, biomedical, agricultural, and ecological sciences.

“There is the constant intersection of AI application with different environments, contexts, societal and structural arrangements in addition to the ethical and legal ethos that are required to be overcome,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Transforming economies

The Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the RAIL Project, Prof. Jerry John Kponyo, said it was an undeniable fact that artificial intelligence had become the driver in transforming economies.

The Provost of the College of Engineering, KNUST, Prof. Mark Adom-Asamoah, said the scientists working on the project were determined to build the capacities of the participants to help Ghana achieve a breakthrough in AI research and development.