Enikomehin Jedidah works from the Data Science Nigeria AI hub, the young developer spoke to Justice Godfrey Okamgba about how he and a team member are developing Natural Language Processing (NLP) for financial inclusion
What’s driving you as a young AI researcher and software developer?
I enjoy the complexities of mathematics and computer science. My first encounter was when I was assigned to work on a project that has a connection with NLP search engines. I found it interesting and ever since then I had developed so much interest. I prefer doing things that are complex than solving simple problems.
What major project are you working on presently?
We are working on the NLP for financial inclusion. This is a problem in the financial sector we are working on. So, the whole idea for the financial inclusion project is to get a large number of data from different sources especially the major social media. We analyze the complaints by Nigerian customers on the nature of banking services. Then, we use the NLP to analyze the data gathered and identify the various aspects of concern; for instance, the banks that record the highest number of complaints and others.
Aside from the major project, which is being currently worked, we are also developing some applications for data gathering. We are structuring these data to analyze them for training our models. Without these data, it becomes practically impossible for anything to happen. Data is what makes AI work.
Will someone have to study mathematics to be able to develop an AI?
You have to know that AI involves mathematics and which you must have the knowledge from a standpoint of an AI developer. AI is just there to imitate human mind and much more progress would be achieved if someone understands the logic of mathematics.
What projects have you worked on?
I have worked on six projects, at least the ones I can remember. I have built games, search engine, electrical compiler, system analyzing, chess etc. I am working on an idea, which I wouldn’t want to disclose now but once I am done the world would be aware of it.
Is there any challenge affecting your work?
One of the biggest challenges is the Internet. It is very expensive in Nigeria and not even a reliable one. Another challenge is the accessibility of the tools we need to do some of our work; they are also not easy to get e.g. the laptops.
For the basic coding you can the conventional laptops, but to run the codes you would require the use of a powerful laptop, which costs lots of money.
The environment is also another challenge, finding people who have the same idea and are willing to run with it is a difficult one. Everybody is just focused on making the money rather than solving certain problems that would eventually bring the money.