Nigeria’s first multilingual language model

Shruti Govil
Shruti Govil April 24, 2024
Updated 2024/04/24 at 7:59 AM

In an effort to establish Nigeria as a pioneer in the continent’s artificial intelligence (AI) development, the government of that nation has introduced Nigeria’s first multilingual large language model (LLM) through the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.

Friday, April 19, saw the announcement of the LLM by Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Dr. Bosun Tijani, stating that the four-day AI workshop earlier in the week in Abuja, the country’s capital, served as inspiration for the initiative.

The National Centre for AI and Robotics (NCAIR), the International IT company DataDotOrg, the Nigerian AI company Awarritech, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and other organizations worked together to enable the debut of the AI tool, according to Tijani.

Aims and Objectives

After four days of intensive collaboration among more than 120 specialists in the field of artificial intelligence, Tijani continued, Nigeria created a preliminary version of its National AI Strategy and revealed significant partnerships and breakthroughs meant to enhance the nation’s AI development.

He said that 21st Century Technologies, Galaxy Backbone, and NCAIR Nigeria had announced a partnership to accelerate the development of AI projects that are important to the country.

GPU purchases to increase the country’s processing capability will be financed by 21st Century Technology. AI initiatives located at the FCT’s GBB Data Centre will benefit from the assistance of these resources for local researchers, startups, and government agencies.

The Minister announced during the workshop the reopening of NCAIR, a specialized organization established to support research and development in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their useful applications in Nigeria’s important industries. He said that NCAIR would be better able to fulfill its mission as a hub for digital innovation and research because to its expanded capabilities.

Tijani disclosed that interested parties had contributed $3.5 million in seed money to the National AI Strategy. The financing is provided by UNDP, UNESCO, Meta, Google, Microsoft, Luminate, Lagos Business School, Data Science Nigeria, NITDA, and other organizations within the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, among other international and local partners.

In addition to $2 million contributed by 21st Century Technologies to the pilot program, it contains $1.5 million in direct funding.

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