Current computing systems are rigid, that’s what Dr. Uyi Stewart, Chief Scientist at IMB Research – Africa says, and he is of the opinion that when developing systems for e-government in the 21st Century, we need to think further. We need to look into cognitive computing, computing that will not be stuck in the same machine language but also adapt to location scenarios and situations to give intelligent results.
“Cognitive systems are systems that can think, that can process human language and yield surprises,” says Dr. Uyi. Dr. Uyi was speaking at the session discussing Cognitive computing and it’s implications to the future of e-government at the AITEC East Africa ICT Summit. “In the 30s and 40s we had huge computers that could only add and subtract and we have made numerous strides.” Uyi added.
We are currently in a transition where governments are going online, this includes strides in open government. We need to have an open approach to the value that we want to achieve out of these systems at design stage.
“You have it in your hands to change the model of how things work, Africa is the future,” says Kai Wulff, Access Field Development Director, Google USA. Kai gave a case where even here in Nairobi, a friend died of Malaria after a misdiagnosis where doctors told him he had Typhoid. Cognitive computing has the ability to adapt faster and with things like Tele-medicine, you don’t need to travel miles to an overseas hospital to get the right diagnosis done to you.
Kai says that trained people don’t need to travel all the way to the US to make an impact in humanity, you can do all that even while here. Infact this is where your skills and value is needed more.