Artificial Intelligence Hub (AI Hub) and Data
If you are looking for support in the use and development of open and responsible artificial intelligence solutions for the benefit of all, the AI Hub Rwanda is the right place for you. At the AI Hub, we provide a wide range of tailored services, spaces and opportunities to co-create a vibrant and inclusive AI ecosystem in Rwanda. Through advisory services, capacity development and networking opportunities we aim to improve access to training data and open AI technologies for local innovation. We build local technical know-how and support our partners in developing policy frameworks for ethical AI, data protection and privacy.
- Locally developed or adapted SDG-related AI applications available
- Partners develop business or funding models for the operation of open AI applications.
- People and particularly women have improved technical know how to use and develop AI technologies
- Data protection and ethical standards are taken into consideration in strategies, policies, and guidelines for the responsible development of AI applications.
Projects and Their Impact:
Together with the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) and the German Aerospace Agency (DLR), the AI Hub implement training programs for open machine learning for earth observation (ML4EO). The programs aim at providing the necessary skills for young professionals to make use of machine learning techniques to leverage the ever-growing amounts of available earth observation data for the sustainable development of Rwanda. Participants are enabled to build their own ML4EO solutions and business models.
So far, forty young Rwandan professionals had the opportunity to be trained at the intersection of machine learning and earth observation and to present their solutions and business ideas at a final pitch event, where they competed for initial seed funding in front of an international jury. The curriculum and training material was developed in cooperation with the University of Rwanda and the Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU) and is now openly accessible for local universities to offer courses in ML4EO. Furthermore, a network for professionals in machine learning and earth observation has been launched to facilitate exchange and bring together relevant factors such as challenge owners, industry professionals, and young talents.
In cooperation with the Ministry in charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA) and the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA), the AI Hub piloted an optical system to monitor landslides in endangered areas. The project focused on a site in Nyabihu District aiming to develop a computer vision algorithm to detect landslides based on image and other sensor data. To ensure sustainability, local capacities, and skills to operate the system as well as recommendation for an integration into Rwanda’s early warning system were developed.
The data collected throughout the project was made openly available via the Geospatial Hub of RSA. Together with the developed open-source computer vision algorithms it benefits research on landslide disasters in Rwanda and strengthens the AI and data competencies of relevant institutions. Simulation exercises that were held as part of the project generated firsthand experiences on how to best deploy alert-generating technologies and integrate them into existing disaster risk reduction management procedures. A scaling strategy ensures the potential rollout of the system in more areas and locations all over Rwanda.
In cooperation with the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), the AI Hub implemented a natural language processing fellowship (NLP Fellowship), which aimed at strengthening local technical know-how in AI in Rwanda. The participants of the fellowship were trained in NLP techniques used in machine translation and conversational AI chatbots. They were also sensitized regarding the importance of ethical principles, human rights, accountability, and transparency when dealing with AI technologies. As part of the practice-oriented program, the participants worked on a range of exciting projects tackling real life challenges from different sectors, including government, private and academia.
Beside developing their technical skills and capacities, the participants came up with a number of promising solutions that ranged from NLP models for analyzing social media sentiment and detecting fake news to AI enabled tools to analyze feedback from citizens in multiple languages to help ministries to make data-driven decisions and improve their service delivery.
With the support of the AI Hub, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) and the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) developed the National AI Policy for Rwanda. The policy provides a roadmap, clear objectives and ethical principles for harnessing the potential of AI for sustainable and inclusive growth. By mobilizing local, regional, and international stakeholders, it positions Rwanda as a leading AI innovation hub in Africa.
The Office of the Prime Minister announced the Policy’s approval in a Cabinet resolution communiqué in April 2023.
Experiences, Resources, Technologies, or Touch Points:
- Organization of innovation challenges
- Identification of AI use cases
- Development of AI policies
- Development of ethical guidelines
- Machine Learning for Earth Observation
- Computer Vision
- Natural Language Processing, Speech Processing
- Local, regional and global networks including academia, communities, NGOs, comap
Communities bring stakeholders from both public and private institutions together and encourage Rwandans interested in the above topics to innovate solutions to the existing problems.
Got a challenge?
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