The Federal government of Nigeria has made history by creating the first human-like robots in Nigeria and Africa
The robot named Omeife is expected to open up new research developments on Artificial Intelligence
The robot according to reports can speak five Nigerian languages and respond to instructions
The Nigerian Government has launched Africa’s first humanoid ‘Omeife’ to boost Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technological development in Nigeria and Africa.
Director General National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA Kashifu Inuwa who represented the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, who was to serve as proxy for the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, unveiled Omeife in Abuja.
The Vice President noted that the federal government would ensure the project’s success and urged other stakeholders to support the Omeife project and develop new ones.
“We are living in an exciting time of advanced technological advancement, where the science fiction of yesterday are becoming the reality in products and services of today,”
The brain behind the first human robot in Nigeria
Vanguard reports that Omeife, the first African humanoid robot was developed by the Uniccon Group led by Chucks Ekwueme.
Explaining the features, Ekwueme said the humanoid has a real-time understanding of its surroundings, including active listening and the ability to focus on a specific conversation thread as it occurs.
He also noted that Omeife can speak eight languages besides English, including Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, French, Arabic, Kiswahili, Pidgin and Afrikaans, TechCabal reports.
Speaking on whether Omeife can frown or show expressions of sadness.
Ekwueme added: “No, I don’t think we want it to do that even it is possible”
But he explained that what really underscores the Africanness built into Omeife is its ability to speak each language with a native accent, pitch and vocabulary, with detailed pronunciations of words, sentences and even phrases.
” African politeness values are also entrenched in their social interaction functions.
” Ekwueme also stated that Omeife pays attention to a specific person to keep the conversation alive and chooses its words carefully—sieves out words, phrases, sentences and expressions that are not polite in African cultures.
“This particular attribute makes it safe to interact with kids”
What the future holds for Omeife
Uniccon Group CEO added that Omeife’s learning pipeline helps it improve and understand new things from conversations, and it can also recall and understand old concepts better with new information.
“Omeife also has terrain intelligence in that it knows its own ground level and stability on the floor, which helps it navigate on non-flat surfaces and maintain good balance. It also has a position awareness feature and a grip sensor that allows it to size, understand shape, and how to hold things with its hands.”