1st April, 2021

The New AGE (AI-led Global Economy)

It is no longer news that the world has changed in dramatic and adapting to these changes is the only viable option for forward-looking individuals. And it doesn't matter whether you are a student or professional or whether you work for a stockbroking firm or a charity organisation, necessary adjustments must be made.


Without doubt, artificial intelligence is one of the major discipline that is causing sweeping changes all around us and it would certainly be a key driver of the global economy in the near future. Therefore, as a twenty-first century compliant organisation, we highly recommend acquiring skills and expertise in artificial intelligence because they will most definitely guarantee huge returns even in the present.

Artificial intelligence is no longer a distant proposition, it's already in full force here and now. Needless to say, it would be play an increasingly important role in our individual and collective lives in the near future. Artificial intelligence (or AI for short) has always been considered by some to be limited to robotics but the latter is only a subset of the former and they are by no means interchangeable.


AI is essentially an imitation or duplication of human intelligence by sophisticated machines otherwise known as intelligent agents. An intelligent agent is a system that perceives signals in its environment and responds accordingly while taking actions that will improve its chances of success. The capabilities of AI include but are not limited to the following -

  • Decision-making by generating rules from general data and applying those rules to specific scenarios. An AI system can be useful for adjusting supply quantity and price depending on the stock level with little or no human intervention.
  • Pattern detection by identifying both regular and irregular patterns in data. An AI system may help to recognise the climatic factors that may to natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes.
  • Interaction by communicating with humans through various means. An AI can be used to attend to customer enquiries via telephone, face-to-face or online means.
  • Predictions by extrapolating learned patterns in the presence of uncertainty. An AI system could forecast the next economic recession and enable organisations and nations to prepare for it.
  • Customisation by generating rules from specific profiles and applying those rules to similar profiles. An AI system can be used to provide tailor-made solutions that suit any particular problem it is presented with.


Let's examine a scenario whereby a medical facility like a hospital or clinic is understaffed with hundreds of patients that require medical attention. A possible solution might be to develop and install an AI system to assist the medical staff.


Therefore, junior medical staff can consult the AI system for minor cases while the senior staff can concentrate their efforts on complex medical cases. If a patient comes in sick, his or her medical history, symptoms and medical bio data can be


imputed into the AI system which will then recommend the kind of treatment that should be administered on the patient. 


The Success of The IBM Watson 

The IBM Watson is one of the most popular and commercially-relevant AI systems in the world and has been in active use for more than a decade. It was first developed to assist in providing answers on a quiz show and eventually beat other strong human competitors when it participated as a competitor.


Watson is an advanced computer system that is capable of answering queries presented in human language and was named after the founder of International Business Machines (IBM) Thomas J. Watson.

 In 2013, IBM Watson was first deployed for commercial purpose in a New York hospital where it was being used for lung cancer treatment.

The IBM Watson can do more than just search for information - and this is what makes it very different from a conventional search engine like Google -  it is capable of customising the response in line with the peculiarity of the problem.


While a search engine may give you options (whether relevant or not), an AI system will tell you what needs to be done and how to go about it. The IBM Watson was developed as an advanced  computer system that can apply natural language information retrieval, natural language processing, machine learning, knowledge representation and automated reasoning technologies to the field of open domain question answering. 


According to IBM, Watson is capable of processing 500 gigabytes of data (which is an equivalent of searching and pulling out relevant information from a million books) per second. Also, it can apply more than a 100 different techniques to analyse natural (or human) language, identify information sources, generate hypotheses, score evidence and also rank hypotheses.


The highest ranked are usually the solutions that are presented to the users. The main sources of information for the IBM Watson are dictionaries (both general and subject-based), articles, encyclopaedia, literary works, thesauri, news items, databases, taxonomies, ontologies and other reference materials. 

Even though it cost IBM about 3 millions dollars to build the  Watson AI system, it has already won 1 million dollars as prize money in a quiz competition against other humans. Thinking about the potential of an AI system is literally mind-blowing. At the moment, the prohibitive cost of AI systems may restrict its use to commercial applications in large organisations but as time goes on, development and deployment costs will most likely fall and make AI systems available to individuals and small businesses alike.


The personal computer (PC) that is in widespread use today also followed the same trajectory from the 1940s (when electronic computers were first developed) to the present where micro-computers are now available in various forms - desktop, laptop, tablet, palmtop and wearable PCs.


Many courses that are being studied today in tertiary education would most likely become irrelevant or extinct in a decade or two but artificial intelligence will certainly not be one of them. So if you desire to pursue a STEM career, then you may seriously consider taking one of the many opportunities that artificial intelligence presents you with.

Ebi Benjamin is the human resource and administrative manager at Across Atlantic.

You can reach him through the following means -

Phone number - (+234) 090-1755-1758

Email address -

Social media - @iamebibenjamin

Ebi Benjamin