African Lecturer Receives $30K Research Grant For His AI Work

The mathematics lecturer has made history by being the first person to receive a grant from Google for his AI and NLP processing research, with the generous award greatly assisting in his investigations.

This research, which commenced in 2020, explores how computers interpret human language.

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Cape Coast has awarded a Google research grant of $30,000 to one of its lecturers for their work in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Dr. Stephen Moore was awarded the award for helping to further natural language processing research in low-resource languages, notably those spoken in Ghana and across Africa, as a co-founder of Ghana Natural Language Processing (Ghana NLP).

Since 2020, Dr. Moore and his colleagues at Ghana NLP have been researching ways computers can understand languages like humans do. This work falls under Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically Natural Language Processing. They are developing tools to translate text and speech in low-resource languages, including Twi, Dagbani, Ewe, Ga, Guruni, and Igbo.

At the 2022 re-opening of Google’s new office in Accra, Ghana, Dr. Moore presented about the state of Natural Language Processing (NLP) development in the country and the benefits that training and nurturing young people will provide for its future.

In collaboration with Algorine (a partner company of Ghana NLP), Ghana NLP) presented Khaya, the first-ever Ghanaian Language translator.

The app employs the most advanced natural language processing (NLP) models to develop a single translator that covers various languages spoken in Africa.

Google presented an award in acknowledgment of the hard work conducted by Ghana NLP to build such essential instruments and to train their volunteers.

Ghana NLP is a social enterprise aiming to provide Ghanaians access to NLP through educational events such as training, workshops, and seminars. It has become the first recipient of Google’s grants given to any Ghanaian researcher.

The recognition and grant received by the African lecturer for his work in artificial intelligence is a significant achievement and a milestone in his country’s academic and technological development. This accomplishment highlights AI’s potential to drive innovation and progress and demonstrates the importance of supporting and investing in research in developing countries.

The lecturer’s work can improve people’s lives and contribute to economic growth and sustainability by solving local challenges.

Source: Allschool

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