FUTA Overview

FUTA Don Advocates Adoption of Artificial Intelligence to Tackle Insecurity, Unemployment.

A Professor of Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, AI and ML), at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA Olabode Olatubosun, has strongly recommended the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as potent weapons to tackle the country’s security challenges and unemployment. He gave the recommendation while delivering the 165th inaugural lecture of the University held on Tuesday, 12th March, 2024. The event held at the Obafemi Awolowo auditorium of the Institution.

Olabode who spoke on the title, “Machine Learning: Pattern Matching and Classification Experience with Technology to solve Human Problems” said the use of AI can boost crime detection through facial recognition and object detection thereby improving proactive security measures in the fight against banditry and other forms of insurgency and serious crimes. According to him “implementing AI-driven surveillance systems with facial recognition and object detection capabilities, can enhance monitoring and surveillance activities by security agencies in public spaces. This can aid in the early detection of potential security threats.”

He also said “Machine learning algorithms can be configured to identify abnormal patterns in data, such as unusual behavior or activities. This can be applied to various contexts, including cybersecurity and physical security, to detect potential threats. We can also utilize predictive analytics powered by machine learning to forecast potential crime hotspots.” He added that Law enforcement agencies can allocate resources more effectively based on data-driven predictions, thereby preventing criminal activities.

The don, whose teaching and research activities in his field of study span over 2 decades said the proper use of AI and ML by governments can also help in achieving the goal of creating millions digital jobs per year. According to him, “Government can implement comprehensive skills development programmes to equip the current workforce with the necessary digital skills. This can include training in AI, ML, data analytics and other relevant technologies. They could collaborate with educational institutions such as FUTA to update curricula and introduce programmes that align with the skills needed for the digital job market.” He called on government to invest in digital infrastructures to support the adoption of AI and ML adding that this may include upgrading network capacities, ensuring data security and providing the necessary technological foundation for digital transformation.

Defining Machine Learning as a beacon, a testament to our ability to push the boundaries of what is possible, a dynamic field that empowers machines not only to process information but also to learn, adapt and contribute to the resolution of complex problems that have long challenged our intellect, he said the development and integration of AI, ML, deep learning and biometric systems have the potential to significantly enhance various aspects of economic activities.

He said “intelligent systems can automate routine and repetitive tasks, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. AI and ML excel at analyzing vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. This capability can aid businesses and government agencies in making more informed decisions based on data-driven insights. Automation through intelligent systems can reduce operational costs associated with labour, errors, and inefficiencies. Businesses can benefit from lower costs, which may contribute to increased profitability and economic growth. Embracing intelligent systems fosters innovation, enabling organizations to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. Businesses that leverage advanced technologies are better positioned to adapt to market changes.”

Dwelling on the extended capabilities of AI and ML, the don said “the applications of AI, ML and soft computing can extend across various sectors, contributing to advancements and improvements in agriculture, healthcare, education, industry and entertainment. AI and ML can analyze data from censors, satellites and drones to optimize crop yields by providing insights into soil health, weather patterns, and crop conditions. Machine learning algorithms can analyze images to detect diseases, pests, or nutrient deficiencies in crops, enabling timely interventions. AI can predict crop diseases, weather patterns, and market trends, helping farmers make informed decisions. AI and ML algorithms can assist in medical image analysis, helping diagnose diseases such as cancer through the interpretation of X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. It can accelerate drug discovery by analyzing large datasets to identify potential drug candidates and predict their effectiveness.”

The Chairman at the event and Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji introduced the lecturer as an outstanding scholar who has added value to his field of study over the years. She commended the excellent delivery by Professor Olabode and said his lecture no doubt is loaded with solution to the country’s myriad of problems. She said “no doubt, Nigeria cannot afford not to embrace the adoption of AI and ML to reposition her operations so as to achieve a lot.”