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Nigeria Introduces its First Multilingual AI Model

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An LLM, short for Large Language Model, has been deployed in Nigeria. Dr Bosun Tijani, communications minister, announced the launch on Friday after a four-day artificial intelligence workshop in Abuja.


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Per Tijani, the AI tool was launched through a collaboration between Awarritech, a Nigerian AI company; DataDotOrg, an international tech firm; NITDA; and NCAIR, the National Centre for AI and Robotics. The workshop was attended by over 120 AI experts who helped develop a draft of the National AI Strategy of Nigeria, according to the minister.

Tijani reported that a total of $3.5 million, coming from various stakeholders such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Meta, Google, Microsoft, Luminate, Lagos Business School, Data Science Nigeria, and Yahoo!, has been pledged to fund the National AI Strategy.

NITDA, a non-profit organization, as well as departments under the Federal Ministry of Technology, Innovation, and Economics. The pilot program from 21st Century Technologies will receive two million dollars, with an additional $1.5 million from the government.

Moreover, Tijani revealed huge strides and alliances to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence in Nigeria. In these initiatives, 21st Century Technologies, Galaxy Backbone, and NCAIR Nigeria have teamed up to support AI projects crucial for the country.

The release of the National AI Strategy and the release of the multilingual language model show the readiness of Nigeria to develop its AI capabilities and to be the African AI research and development leader.

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