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FG launches local language model for AI development

FG launches local language model for AI development
April 20
11:20 2024

The federal government has launched a Nigerian multilingual large language model (LLM).

LLM is used to handle and respond to queries in multiple languages.

Bosun Tijani, minister of communications, innovation, and digital economy, disclosed this in a series of posts on X on April 19.

Tijani announced a series of initiatives reached at the just concluded National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS) workshop, which hosted over 120 AI experts who gathered to develop a national policy for adopting AI in the country.

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The minister said the LLM would be trained in five low-resource languages, including English to ensure stronger language representation in existing datasets for developing AI solutions.

He also said over 7,000 fellows from the ministry’s three million technical talent (3MTT) programme will also support the project.

“After an exciting week of co-creation with over 120 ArtificiaI Intelligence experts, we not only have an initial draft of our National AI Strategy, we also announced some significant developments and partnerships that will lead us towards accelerating the development of AI in Nigeria,” Tijani said.

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“Also, a partnership between 21st Century Technologies, and National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR)  to accelerate the development of Artificial Intelligence projects of national interest. 

“21st Century Technology is funding the acquisition of an initial set of graphics processing units (GPUs) to kickstart our national computing capacity. 

“The compute which will be available to local researchers, startups, government entities working on critical AI projects, will reside at the GBB data centre in the FCT. 

“Finally, we are also pleased to announce the relaunch of NCAIR with improved capacity with the support of CISCO. 

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“NCAIR, a first of its kind in Africa, special purpose vehicle created to promote research and development on emerging technologies such as AI, Robotics and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Internet of Things (IoT) and their practical application in areas of Nigerian national interest.”

Tijani also said he believes that the improved capacity at NCAIR will help it better fulfil its mandate as a digital innovation and research facility.

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