The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986


The revolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quietly underway in Africa. This technology is transforming every walk of life.

It is a tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyze data, and use the resulting insights to improve decision-making.

Although AI has been around for many years, it has only recently become popular. For example, one can teach a computer to detect a brain tumour from medical imaging using cancerous images from past data.

As a result, it helps doctors to decide the treatment the patient needs and minimize costs quickly.

For Africa, AI presents many opportunities that can put the continent at the forefront of the digital revolution. Africa cannot and should not be left behind.

New startups are disrupting virtually every economic sector from North to South and East to West. Some ideas are groundbreaking and winning awards in competitive hackathons globally.

Critics, however, say that AI momentum unless the continent rapidly ramps up its capacity.

A recent study, Artificial intelligence-based prediction for cancer-related outcomes in Africa: Status and potential refinements, by Adeoye and others reveals that several systems built using AI algorithms have been demonstrated to increase risk prediction accuracy.

Further, clinical impact when compared to clinical scenarios not using these models.

The researchers primarily evaluated high-income and resource-driven centres.

However, the study noted that oncological AI-based prediction tools are projected to have a more significant impact, especially if the models are used in low-resource and rural locations with a dearth of skilled physicians and specialists.

Scientists in Uganda developed an AI platform PapsAI, which uses AI to speed up cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The digital solution extends survival for many people and saves lives through early diagnosis. In addition, a cervical cancer diagnosis in the country is accessible to many due to affordable diagnostic instruments.

The platform has dramatically improved pap smear screening's ability to detect cervical cancer by eliminating manual analysis. Labour-intensive analyses demand a lot of work and time and are often prone to error.

Nevertheless, health institutions have acknowledged the system's usefulness in lessening the cancer burden in the country.

In Kenya, AI startups like Lima Labs in agriculture are assisting in enhancing the overall quality and accuracy of harvests.

A few other startups use the technology to aid the detection of pests, plant diseases, and undernutrition in farms such that farmers can employ mitigation measures.

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