‘Artificial intelligence is the future, data is the new oil’

‘Artificial intelligence is the future, data is the new oil’

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Bayo Adekanmbi, the chief transformation officer, has reiterated that the days when oil was the dominant global economic trading commodity is coming to an end, postulating instead that data is the new oil.

“We need to start seeing data as a productivity catalyst, because data can save lives. Data is the new oil, therefore, the data economy must be powered by data governance. The whole conversation around data economy is the fact that the things that appear seemingly difficult can be made simpler through the application of data,” he said while speaking at a forum organised by the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law to examine the legal issues and challenges in the Nigerian Information Technology and Communications industry in the age of globalisation.

Adekanbi who is a seasoned expert in Data Science, Advanced Analytics, Business Transformation, Marketing and Strategy with 19 years of cognate industry experience from Africa’s two largest economies (Nigeria and South Africa), and is also the convener of Data Science Nigeria, which has a vision to build an Artificial Intelligence-first society where Artificial Intelligence is effectively deployed to solve local problems, said the world is moving to an industrial revolution phase where “data is becoming the driver of economy, in the sense that data is now the new money.”

The forum which held in Lagos on Tuesday 11, June, was made up of five sessions, with the fifth being a panel discussion on the challenges and solutions of emerging technologies and services regulation in Nigeria.

Painting a graphic picture of the role that the use of data in Artificial Intelligence now plays in our daily lives, ranging from fighting cybercrime to education, shopping and even down to routine things like body grooming, Adekanmbi said, “the future is here”.

“Essentially, the whole idea of data being the new money is the fact that if all the various data that sits in certain conglomerates exclusively, become more available to everyday people, they can better plan, deliver services more efficiently and in doing that add more value. So if we liberalise data to catalyse productivity, it will drive up consumption,” Adekanmbi said.

Recently, in recognising this pivotal role of data in artificial intelligence, the MTN Group launched the first artificial intelligence powered mobile money payments system in Africa to allow customers get information, engage with the services and make payments through social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.


Jumoke Akiyode Lawanson

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