KNUST creates an environment for artificial intelligence research

The Vice-Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Ms. Rita Akosua Dickson, said the university remains committed to advancing research on artificial intelligence (AI) for the purposes of development.

“We at KNUST provide a conducive research environment for our dear scientists to lead scientific discoveries, harness innovation and foster scientific collaborations.

“It is because Ghana and the sub-Saharan region cannot be excluded from the positive outlook that the application of AI is expected to have on global development and national socio-economic transformation,” the Vice Chancellor observed.

Workshop

Professor Dickson, who was speaking at a workshop in Kumasi on the topic: “The role of responsible AI in advancing the sustainable development agenda of the sub-region”, said the contribution of the AI to the global market as of 2019, according to Grand View Research, was around US$39.9 billion.

The workshop coincided with the launch of the “Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lab (RAIL)” project, which is sponsored by the German Development Organization (GIZ), the International Development Research Center (IDRC)-Canada and SIDA, an international development organization.

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

Explaining the rationale for the project, Professor Dickson said it aimed to deepen understanding of how to develop and apply responsible AI tools for the advancement of computational, social, biomedical, agricultural sciences and ecological.

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

Transforming Economies

The Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the RAIL project, Professor Jerry John Kponyo, said there was no denying that artificial intelligence had become the driving force behind the transformation of economies.

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