Slow Internet to affect AI adoption in Nigeria

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development stated that the low percentage of skilled workers and slow download speed will affect the adoption of AI in low- and middle-income countries such as Nigeria.

Developing economies are generally lagging behind in adopting digital technologies, says UNCTAD’s latest report, “How AI chatbots could affect jobs,” by the agency’s Director of Technology and Logistics Shamika Siriman.

It revealed that based on the UNCTAD Readiness Index which assesses countries’ capacities to use, adopt and adapt leading technologies, developing countries are still struggling with issues such as digital skills, infrastructure, research and development.

The report follows the recent launch of ChatGPT, a chatbot built by Open AI for public use.

ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool, allows users to interact with a GPT-3 model using natural language. It is trained on a large amount of data, allowing it to generate human-like responses to a wide variety of inputs.

UNCTAD noted that this underscores the growing reach of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence in everyday practical life.

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In parts, the report states, “Despite limitations, this type of AI can greatly benefit the productivity of skilled workers.

“Chatbots offer the ability to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks, such as writing standardized reports, meeting minutes and emails. So workers can be freed up to focus on more important and creative tasks. A chatbot virtual personal assistant can guide skilled workers through different projects or production processes.

“They can also generate original content and ideas, and potentially help research and develop new products and services. Moreover, tools like ChatGPT are an attractive and cost-effective option for businesses and individuals looking to harness the potential of AI without the need for expensive additional equipment.”

According to the report, most companies and workers in developing countries may not be able to benefit from the personal use of AI to increase productivity.

He noted that “most high-income countries and some upper-middle-income countries have the highest potential to benefit from these AI technologies, given that they are above average in availability of highly skilled labor and Internet download speed, as a substitute for quality digital infrastructure.” .

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“On the other end of the spectrum, low-income and most lower-middle-income countries are in the worst position to benefit from these technologies, given their low share of skilled workers and relatively slow download speeds.”

The report also stated that developing countries need to be prepared to benefit from artificial intelligence by promoting the use, adoption, adaptation and development of the technology.

Accordingly, the workforce in these countries needs to prepare for work in the 21st century by developing digital skills and building and enhancing complementary skills such as complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity.

The report concluded: “Second, we need to take care of those who stand to lose out in the transition to new forms of work.

Reskilling programs should be part of government policies and programs to address job losses due to new technologies. Lifelong learning initiatives, involving the training and retraining of workers, are increasingly becoming a shared responsibility of governments, employers and workers.

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Third, we need to promote inclusivity and widely share the benefits of this powerful technology. For this, we need to promote an open innovation approach to AI, where the inputs, methods and results of innovation are shared openly with different people who can use them for further innovation.

He also stated that the impact of leading technologies will be felt by all, “but not everyone is equally involved in determining the path that leading technologies such as artificial intelligence will follow. It is critical to establish ethical frameworks and regulations for these technologies.”

Meanwhile, in 2022, Nigeria is ranked 150th among the world’s countries in the internet speed ranking. Titled ‘2022 Speedtest Global Index’ published by Ookla, the ranking said Nigeria had a recorded download speed of 9.70Mbps for fixed broadband.

South Africa ranked 96th with an average mobile internet download speed of 36.11 Mbps, and Egypt ranked 83rd at 45.46 Mbps.

According to the report, the world record broadband download speed was 69.14 Mbps.

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