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The African Data Scientist

10 EpisodesProduced by Port Harcourt School of AIWebsite

We tell the story of African data science and artificial intelligence (AI) potential. We feature interviews from experts within and outside Africa. We have discussions on topics related to data science, machine learning, statistics, artificial intelligence, all from a perspective of understanding th… read more


#9 - Natural Language Processing for Africans by Africans with Salomon Kabongo

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a hot area of research and application in the field of AI, but why should it matter to us as Africans? In this episode, we had a conversation with Salomon Kabongo KABENAMUALU, an NLP researcher at the African Master’s in Machine Intelligence (AMMI) which is a program under the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).

In this episode, you'll learn (with timestamps);

6:01 - What life is like as an African researcher. 

8:39 - What Natural Language Processing is and why it should matter to us as Africans.

11:49 - Why Salomon chose to make NLP research as opposed to other areas of technology.

14:36 - The current state of NLP technology in Africa.

17:26 - The challenges surrounding the progress of NLP for African problems.

20:45 - Salomon's prediction on how long it would take researchers to overcome the challenges halting the progress of NLP technology in Africa.

23:42 - Steps being taken to make NLP systems "responsible" for Africans.

 28:40 - Specific applications that NLP could be very optimal for that problems-solvers in Africa should be aware of.

32:00 - How these problem-solvers can leverage the *stable* progress in NLP and avoid getting caught up by the hype of the latest advancements.

35:35 - Pitfalls to avoid for African Data Scientists getting started learning and applying NLP to solve African problems.

39:40 - How global improvements in NLP in the coming years will affect how we apply the technology to solve African problems.

45:10 - Resources for Africans looking to learn more about NLP in the context of Africa.



>  LinkedIn

>  Twitter

>  Website


> Learn from one of our guest facilitator’s (Aurélién Geron) workshop on “Natural Language Processing in Action Using Transformers in TensorFlow 2.0” here.



Mashanke NLP

Deep Learning Indaba

Professor Julia's episode Salomon referenced during the podcast here.

Speech and Language Processing (3rd ed. draft) by Dan Jurafsky and James H. Martin here.


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