Artificial Intelligence or AI is a word that gets thrown around a lot in recent years, and while some are excited by the fact that it’s getting better by the day some people are more sceptical about its existence.
Before going on, let’s cover what AI is all about. The fact is, there’s a high chance you’ve interacted with it today already. Maybe when you used Siri to set a reminder or when Spotify recommended tracks you might like based on what you’ve listened to before, AI is everywhere these days and it’s hard to go a day without using it.
To put it simply, AI is the ability of a computer to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The major “task” intelligent beings have always been able to perform that gave humans an edge over machines is LEARNING.
Now, AI equips machines with the ability to learn and self improve. This makes machines able to perform tasks that would have been impossible to do by humans.
With the endless possibilities AI has paved way for, its only natural that the business world will be one of the first fields to take advantage of the technology.
When introduced to AI, business people often wonder what benefits it brings and how it could make things better. A few questions AI could answer for Nigerian businesses include;
- How likely a person is to buy your product?
- Who is most likely to buy your products?
- How do your customers feel about your products?
- How much a customer is willing to spend?
- What the habits of your customers are?
Finally having a relatively convenient means of getting answers to the above questions will significantly improve the way businesses handle key areas of their operations like marketing, design and customer service.
Now to the question, is Nigeria ready for AI yet? Well, not really.
Just like any new innovation, stakeholders need a working understanding of how it operates before it could penetrate the market fully. And Nigerian businesses are just not there yet.
We spoke with Dr Niyi Lawal, Co-founder at ekoAnalytics, a data science start-up in Nigeria. Dr Niyi explained that even though AI will improve Nigerian Businesses significantly, it’s still challenging to get people on board with the concept.
Artificial Intelligence still remains a fuzzy concept to a majority in the country. Even, some in the Tech world still equates data analytics and automation with Artificial IntelligenceDr Niyi Lawal
Firstly we need to understand that Artificial Intelligence now makes what seems to be impossible to do some years back now possible and that it has applications in almost all our daily activities.Dr Niyi Lawal
We also spoke with Emmanuel Adesola, the head communications at Dropque, a start-up using AI to help firms employ the best talent. Emmanuel is also of the opinion that Nigerians are still not receptive to AI yet.
Stakeholders in the Nigerian HR industry are yet to be receptive on how artificial intelligence can help to achieve more.Emmanuel Adesola
AI is a phenomenon we’ll all have to adapt to at some point, however, so the world doesn’t leave Nigeria behind its important businesses jump on the AI train, not just for the sake of it but to enjoy all the benefits it brings.