NITDA, group to improve digital literacy with human-like robot

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The National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA has partnered a Nigerian Technology Start-up, Unicorn Group, in its drive to improve digital literacy in the country.

The agency said it would be using a locally made robot called Omeife to deepen the ability of Nigerians to use IT and digital technology.

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Omeife is a human-like robot skilled in language, movement, navigation, and behavioural intelligence using artificial intelligence and computer vision capabilities.

Speaking during the signing of the memorandum of understanding on Friday in Abuja, the National Director, National Center for Artificial Intelligence Robotics, NITDA, Yau Garba, said the robot could be controlled using any of the four languages in Nigeria.

He said, “We are thrilled this is coming from homegrown engineers. We believe this would help deepen the digital literacy campaign of NITDA and, by extension, the ministry. The whole idea of the collaboration is how to leverage Omeife to improve digital literacy in Nigeria. The plan is to use a robot called Omeife, just like ChatGPT. You can talk to it and ask for guidance.

“The good thing is that we are leveraging four languages that are majorly spoken in Nigeria. We are talking of pidgin, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba. We want to show that there is absolute inclusion. No Nigerian would be left behind. We plan to have applications any Nigeria can use to take advantage of Omeife .

At NITDA, we have our Learning Management Systems, and we are looking to integrate it with Omeife. “

The Chief Executive Officer of the Start-up, Chuks Ekwueme, said that with the partnership, the government had demonstrated its resolve to ensure locally made products thrive.

He added that the project would help Nigeria achieve the benchmark set for digital literacy by 2023.

Ekueme stated that the DG said he would do everything to support the commercialization of Omeife and that they were proud that he has, and are also glad to be part of the project.

Speaking on, he said, “Gone are the days patronising locally made products were a political statement. We are sure that with this project; we will achieve 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030. Though it is a locally made product, it is very advanced and can compete in the global tech ecosystem. “

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