Feature That ‘ll Detect AI-Generated Contents Underway-Zuckerberg

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chief Executive Officer, CEO and Founder of Meta, a parent body of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled plans to introduce features that will help people to discover easily a content or pictures that were generated by Artificial Intelligence.

He disclosed this while unveling advanced features of AI at the 10th anniversary of Connect, an annual products summit by Meta.

He said: “Images created with restyle and backdrop will indicate the use of AI to help reduce the odds of people mistaking them for human-generated content.

“We’re also experimenting with forms of visible and invisible markers to help people distinguish AI-generated content.”

On how the rise of AI and metaverse technologies are reshaping the way people experience physical and digital worlds, Zuckerberg said: “Today, we unveiled our image generation model. Emu (short for Expressive Media Universe) uses your text prompts to generate high-quality, photorealistic images in just seconds. And thanks to Emu and technology from Llama 2, you can create your own custom AI stickers in chat to liven up conversations on the fly.

“We also introduced restyle and backdrop, two new features coming soon to Instagram that use the technology from Emu to let you transform your photos or even co-create AI-generated images with friends.

“Restyle lets you reimagine your images by applying the visual styles you describe (you might type out “watercolor” or “collage from magazines and newspapers, torn edges,” for example), while backdrop leverages learnings from our Segment Anything Model so you can change your image’s scene or background.

“Prompts like “put me in front of a sublime aurora borealis” or “surrounded by puppies” will keep your subject in the foreground while creating the background you have described.”

He also disclosed that Meta smart glasses collection, Ray-Ban, stating that for the first time, people will be able to livestream directly from their smart glasses to friends and followers on Facebook and Instagram.

He said: “These are also the first smart glasses to ship with Meta AI built in. Starting in the US in beta, you’ll get our state-of-the-art AI hands-free, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, in real time.

“And next year we’ll roll out a free update so your smart glasses will be able to understand what you’re looking at and help you out. If you want to know what building you’re standing in front of or get a translation of a sign on the fly, your Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses will have the answer.

“Smart glasses will be an important platform in the future not only because they’re a natural way to see digital holograms in the physical world, but also because soon you’ll be able to let your AI see what you see and hear what you hear, which will make your smart glasses more useful over time,” Zuckerberg added.

Moniepoint, Nithub UNILAG Produce Graduates From HatchDev Programme

Mohammed Shosanya

Nithub University of Lagosi n partnership with Moniepoint Inc,Africa’s digital financial services provider, has announced the graduation of the pioneer cohort from its HatchDev programme.

The nine-month specialized training, sponsored by Moniepoint, is designed to produce hundreds of market-ready software engineers every year.

In Nigeria, where the digital economy is rapidly expanding, there is a pressing need for skilled tech talent. According to estimates,there are only around 115,000 developers in Nigeria,highlighting a significant talent shortage that hampers the growth of the tech sector.

Recognizing this challenge,Moniepoint in partnership with Nithub is taking proactive steps to bridge the gap and empower the youth with valuable skills for a brighter future.

The competitive programme with a strict recruitment policy, which began in October 2022, aspires to yearly shape 300 junior software engineers, 100 intelligent systems developers, and 100 IoT/embedded systems engineers.

These professionals, upon completion of the course, will be readily absorbed into a market eager for their expertise. The programme’s structure is such that it starts with nine months of classroom-based training, culminating in a three-month industry-specific internship.

NItHub envisions a transformative approach to the use and creation of digital technology in Nigeria. This vision encompasses upskilling, startup incubation, product development, all aimed at setting new benchmarks for digital proficiency and innovation in Nigeria.

Besides Moniepoint,with its extensive reach and influence, plays a pivotal role in this digital revolution and financial inclusion. Currently, 1.6 million businesses across Nigeria rely on Moniepoint’s suite of payment, credit, and business management tools to achieve socioeconomic growth and stability.

The platform facilitates an average monthly transaction value of $12 billion, demonstrating its profound impact on businesses and the economy at large.

Speaking on the success of the initiative, Chukwudum Ekwueme, VP Engineering, Moniepoint,said:”Nigeria is a booming economy and with the innovative contributions of tech businesses, like Moniepoint, that are solving some of society’s critical issues, it is very gratifying to be a significant part of those giving local talent the training and tools they need to compete on a global stage. Also, this initiative aligns perfectly with our vision of empowering the next generation of tech leaders. We believe that by investing in talent development, we can accelerate Nigeria’s growth in the digital economy and contribute to the overall prosperity of our great nation.”

Africa’s Internet economy is revolutionizing development on the continent by creating job opportunities, stimulating economic growth, and offering innovative solutions to complex challenges, including access to healthcare, education, and finance. This transformation is driven by factors such as increased access to high-quality Internet connectivity, a burgeoning urban population, a growing pool of tech talent, and a vibrant startup ecosystem.

Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa, NitHub Director and HatchDev project lead, said: “Nigeria is at a critical inflection point at the moment as we continue to grow and develop our economy. As a new wave of technology companies emerge, and with increased digitalisation in every aspect of life, it’s vital that we have the local talent available here to ensure homegrown businesses can reach their full potential. That’s why courses like HatchDev are so valuable – we’re training Nigeria’s top future talent. We’re delighted to be working with Moniepoint to help bring this vision to life.`

Some industry analysts said that the initiative between Moniepoint and NitHub, University of Lagos, is poised to be a game-changer in the tech industry. By equipping young Nigerians with cutting-edge skills through the HatchDev programme, they are opening doors to limitless possibilities and helping Nigeria tap into its full potential in the digital era.

AfDB Partners Google On Digital Transformation In Africa

Mohammed Shosanya

The African Development Bank and Google have formalized cooperation aimed at advancing digital transformation in Africa.

The parties signed a Letter of Intent during the Global Africa Business Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in New York,a statement said on Thursday.

The partnership underscores a shared commitment to harness emerging technologies, extend and improve infrastructure, and refine talent and skills in the continent.

Both parties have a history of fostering digital evolution. Over the past decade, the African Development Bank has invested $1.9 billion in projects emphasizing the development of broadband infrastructure, conducive policy and regulatory environments, digital skills, and innovative technology startups.

“Our journey from a 2% telephony penetration in 1998 to today’s era of 4G, 5G, and AI signifies immense progress. With 70% of sub-Saharan Africans under 30, our focus is on catalyzing businesses to create jobs and offer innovative solutions,” said Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

Google has been a longtime partner in Africa’s economic growth and digital transformation. In 2005 Google invested in a major submarine telecommunications cable – the Seacom cable. Since then, Google has been committed to digital transformation by supporting talent development, innovation, infrastructure, and regulatory advancements across the continent.

Dr. James Manyika, Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Technology & Society, said: “With advanced technologies like AI, the most profound transformation is yet to come.

“Collaboration will be essential if Africa is to realize this opportunity, building for everyone and ensuring no-one is left behind. We are excited to collaborate with the African Development Bank to work towards this shared commitment.”

Two Nigerians Unveil Search Engine That Removes Carbon Dioxide From Environment

Mohammed Shosanya

Two Nigerians, Yewande and Fela Akinse, have developed a technology driven search engine called pap.earth that removes carbon fioxide (CO2).

It is a revolutionary concept that enables users to be part of the solution to climate change with every single search conducted online.

The search engine works just like Google or any other search engine,but the key differentiator is that pap.earth is an eco search engine which removes CO2 by investing its profits into funding unknown and underfunded climate impact projects around the world.

Pap. earth is a ground breaking technological solution to environmental challenges that have become the world’s most pressing problem. The app is a search engine that removes C02 from the atmosphere with every search conducted by users.

Pap.earth is a cutting-edge technology with environmental consciousness at the center of its innovation. It enables users globally to make tangible impact in the fight against the negative consequences of climate change.

When users conduct online searches on the app, they positively participate in the removal of carbon dioxide with a single click and take a step towards a cleaner and healthier planet.

Yewande, a co-founder at pap.earth,who explained how the app works,said: “Each search on pap.earth generates a coin. When users accumulate these coins, they can be donated to featured climate impact projects on pap.earth for possible funding or such coins can be redeemed at our partner stores to earn rewards in form of discounts.”

She sad,pap.earth as an eco search engine removes CO2 by investing directly in climate impact projects which have the potential to remove at least 1 ton of CO2 per year.

Shedding light on the gamification aspect of pap.earth, she stated that “every user gets a reward while using the search engine through gamification which is a reward system where users earn rewards from our partner stores where they can receive gift cards or discounts.

Yewande saud that even though, she studied Law at the university, her profound concern and interest in creating innovative solutions to combat the challenges of climate change has been the driving force for her unwavering dedication, advocacy and leading the way to a sustainable environment awareness.

“My educational background in law could have made me tow a traditional legal career path but my passion for the environment and innovative solutions to the global challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability, have transformed me to an environmental advocate and social entrepreneur, who always thinks proactively on how to solve our planet’s challenges.

“Therefore, as the planet grapples with the devastating impacts of climate change, Pap.earth leads the battle to combat these negative impacts. The app tackles the urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and transforms every search query into a potent act of carbon removal” Yewande said.

Fela Akinse, Cofounder and Chief Scientist of pap.earth added that he developed the Pap.earth search engine with a noble mission – to remove CO2 from the planet. As someone with a solid academic background in Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management, up to masters level, an inventive genius, award winning entrepreneur and environmental advocate.

He stated that “we have to use our unique ability to bridge the gap between scientific expertise and public understanding, to empower countless individuals to take meaningful actions towards a greener and sustainable environment for humanity. This is exactly what the AI-driven Pap.earth is all about”

Glo Unveils Green Lotto Services

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria’s telecommunications services provider, Globacom, has announced the introduction of Glo Green Lotto service on the network.

It allows Glo subscribers to buy their favourite lottery tickets through the use of their Glo lines and pay through airtime.

The telecommunications introduces the Glo Green Lotto services to enable subscriber to win instant cash in the process.

A statement from the company,said subscribers can buy tickets to play the Glo Green Lotto right from the comfort of their homes or anywhere and at any time.

“To play, Glo subscribers need to dial *73342# from their mobile phones. Then they are to choose 1 to play their favourite game and buy a ticket using airtime ranging from N10, N20, N50, N100, N200, N500 up to N1000.

To view results, subscribers have to dial the same code *73342# and this time round, choose option 2 or visit https://greenlotto.com/Home/ResultHistory, where they can also have more details about the unique service that can bring them to win big from their mobile phones”

The statement explained that no subscriber is at a disadvantage as the Glo Green Lotto is available to both prepaid and postpaid customers on the Glo network.

It said,Green Lotto has 8 draws from Mondays to Saturdays and 4 draws on Sundays. The draws are held in-house in Globacom’s office. Subscribers who win in Glo Green Lotto have the opportunity of adding their bank account numbers to transfer their winning to their accounts.

NCC Clears Air On MAFAB’s 5G Services

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),says MABAB launched its 5G services early in the year

The Commission’s position was sequel to trending social media reports that MAFAB Communications, one of the companies granted Fifth Generation (5G) licences by the Commission is yet to roll out the service, nearly two years after obtaining a licence, and one year after the roll-out date.

MAFAB publicly launched its services in Abuja on January 24, and in Lagos on January 26, 2023,a statement by Reuben Muoka, Director Public Affairs, NCC, said.

It added:“MAFAB Communications is one of the two successful companies that won a 5G Licence during the globally-acclaimed transparent 5G Auction conducted by the Commission on December 13, 2021.

“Upon fulfilling the condition of payment for the fee of $273.6 million in February 2022, the company formally received the licence on February 22, 2022.

“Consequent upon the issuance of the 5G licence, and in line with the rollout conditions, MAFAB publicly launched its services in Abuja on January 24, 2023, and in Lagos on January 26, 2023. At launch, the services were targeted at six cities – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna.

‘“The Commission has continued to monitor the progress of rollout by MAFAB and has been regularly briefed about the status of infrastructure deployment for service offerings as conditioned in its operating licence.“The public and all stakeholders should ignore the false and misleading information concerning the 5G rollout by MAFAB.”

MTN Nigeria Blames 29% Profit Decline On Inflation, Naira Devaluation

Mohammed Shosanya

MTN Nigeria’s profits shed weight in the half year ended June 30, 2023,its financial statement said

The statement which was published on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), MTN Nigeria reported a drop in its H1 result in 2023— January 1 to June 30, 2023.

The company reported a 29.14% decline in its profit for the period under review of ₦128 billion, compared to ₦181 billion during the same period in 2022. Conversely, the telco’s revenue grew by 21.96% to ₦1.15 trillion in H1 2023, compared to ₦950 billion in the same period in 2022.

Speaking on the financial performance, MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, cites the challenging environment, inflation and naira devaluation as the reason for a slump in its results.

He stated that operating conditions in the first half of 2023 remained challenging with energy, food, and general inflation at elevated levels.

This was due to the ongoing adverse global macroeconomic and geopolitical environment, the cash shortages experienced in Q1, forex volatility and supply chain uncertainties witnessed during the period,he added

“Following the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in May 2023, swift reforms were implemented to remove the fuel subsidy and liberalise foreign exchange management, to bolster investor confidence and drive growth and investment in Nigeria.

“These policy reforms are expected to be positive for the economy in the medium to long term. However, in the short term, they have created additional financial burdens on consumers and businesses, and these will be fully reflected in the pressures on our margins in H2,” Toriola said.

Toriola explained that MTN had robust commercial and financial performances in H1 and would continue to invest in the business to further improve the quality of their delivery. The MTN boss said H1 helped the telco gain 1.5 million new subscribers, taking its total tally to over 77 million subscribers.

According to its CEO, 4G traffic constituted 82.5% of its total data traffic while 5G constituted 21% on all 5G-colocated clusters. In all of the wins, higher energy prices and rising costs impacted growth.

“Our margins were impacted by higher energy prices and rising costs, but the impact was moderated by provisions in our tower contracts and the timing of the forex harmonisation.

“Notwithstanding, we will continue to execute our commercial strategy with a focus on unlocking efficiencies and driving operating leverage to support growth in earnings, cash flow, and returns over the medium term,” the report read.

It emphasized that unrealised forex losses included in its net finance charges affected the telco, adding that there was no impact on EBITDA due to the quarterly nature of its tower contracts. However, it expects full impact by the end of second half.

FG, Google Plan 1million Digital Jobs For Nigerians

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Tinubu has expressed the willingness of the Federal Government of Nigeria to support global tech giant, Google Incorporated, to create one million digital jobs in Nigeria.

He gave the assurance at the State House, Friday evening during the visit of Google Global Vice President, Richard Gingras, to his office.

President Tinubu told the visiting Google executive that Nigeria had creative and talented young people who are ready and motivated to learn especially at this age of Artificial Intelligence, stressing that the tech giant has the capabilities and tools that the young people need to excel.

“I am glad that Google is ready to partner with us. You have answered our call on digital innovation and to help our youths. You are supporting our efforts to promote digital economy. We are ready to work with you on your commitment to create 1 million digital jobs in Nigeria.

“We will give you all the support you need to have a beneficial corporate responsibility. We have started our economic reforms, even though tortuous.”

On Google’s promotion of free speech, freedom of the press and democracy through its platforms, President Tinubu said that it is in public interest that free speech and press freedom should not be impeded.

“It is in public interest to continue to defend free press and free speech. We are committed to supporting a free society,” the president said.

Speaking,the Google Vice President had earlier told President Tinubu that he was in Nigeria for West Africa Journalism Innovation Conference.

He said he had been inspired by the creativity and talent of young people in Nigeria who are embracing technology and digital tools to expand access to information and promote democracy.

Mr. Gingras briefed President Tinubu that his organisation has deep interest in Nigeria and stands ready to support the Federal Government.

He listed the many capabilities of Google to include areas of Artificial Intelligence and other digital innovations that are empowering young people to become digital entrepreneurs, adding that Google subsea cable, Equiano, named after Nigerian slave abolitionist that will significantly impact future internet connectivity demands, landed in Nigeria in April 2022.

He also promised that Google would help to secure Nigeria in the age of disinformation and fake news, saying that his organisation seeks to continue its partnership with the Nigerian government.

“Google has deep interest in Nigeria. We want to support the government’s efforts to create 1 million digital jobs. We have all the tools and capabilities to make this happen. We will also help ro secure Nigeria and we have discussed that with your National Security Adviser.

“I came to Nigeria to learn. I am going back home very impressed with what I saw. You have very vibrant, creative and talented young people who are embracing innovation.We will continue to support your programmes to expand your digital economy,” Mr Gingras said.

NIPOST Acquires 100 Motorcycles,More Trucks To  Cushion Pains Of Fuel Subsidy Removal

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has commissioned 100 motorcycles and 10 mail trucks to lower the logistics delivery price for Nigerians.

Speaking at the unveiling on Friday, the Postmaster General (PMG) of the federation and CEO of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Adeyemi Sunday Adepoju, explained that the equipment was purchased to reduce the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

He disclosed that the organisation is being repositioned to provide effective and efficient mail delivery at an affordable cost to mitigate the challenges associated with logistics.

He added:“We commissioned 100 motorcycles. Since we have this equipment on our own, the price of rendering logistics will be cheaper than that of others.

“The unveiling is part of the government’s efforts to cushion the effect of challenges faced by small businesses, especially the effect of fuel subsidy removal and other challenges faced by small businesses within the logistics sector.

“Effective and efficient national mail routes system will help put Nigeria on a proper pedestal within global postal administrations. The unveiling of new motorcycles and additional trucks is a practical demonstration of the management’s commitment to improving logistics, e-commerce, courier, and mail delivery services.”

According to him, the logistics industry is experiencing a transformation like never before, and the demand for fast deliveries has skyrocketed.

“Most businesses depend on transportation of their goods across local and international locations to fulfil their values and supply chains and stay connected to their customers,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr William Alo, in his remarks while commissioning the motorcycles, said the infrastructure would herald drastic development in Nigeria’s logistic industry.

“I am pleased with the development trend in NIPOST; the steps taken so far indicate that the future of the service is bright. In fact, NIPOST is almost extinct, but the coming of Sunday Adepoju has changed the narrative,” he said.

Google’s First W/A Director, Juliet Ehimuan,Resigns

Mohammed Shosanya

Dr. Juliet Ehimuan, one of the most prominent African women in technology and an instrumental leader in Google’s regional growth, has announced her exit from the company.

A respected figure in the tech industry and key player in Google’s African initiatives, Ehimuan announced her departure via LinkedIn, stating her intent to take on a broader role within the regional tech landscape.

She disclosed plans to collaborate with corporate executives, global investors, African governments and startup founders to drive growth, excellence and digital transformation within the African tech ecosystem and the broader business landscape.

Her departure marks a significant transition for Google in Africa. During her tenure – first as Country Director for Nigeria and then Director for West Africa – Ehimuan led her team in driving transformative digital initiatives,a statement said.

From the successful Get Nigeria Businesses Online project, to strategic partnerships and deployment & localisation of key products like Google Maps, Streetview, and YouTube.ng; her leadership has enabled a profound and far-reaching impact on the region’s tech ecosystem.

One of the pivotal moments under her stewardship was the inaugural Google for Africa event in Lagos in 2012, where Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the landmark commitment to train 10 million Africans in digital skills, 100,000 developers in-depth web and mobile development skills, and a Google for Startups accelerator for Africa to support African tech entrepreneurs.

These initiatives underline Ehimuan’s dedication to nurturing the next generation of technology leaders in Africa.

Over the last 12 years, the continent has become increasingly important to Google’s global strategy and a destination for significant investment. Google has committed increasing sums to growing Africa’s tech ecosystem – including $50 million for growth-stage start ups through the Africa investment Fund in early 2020 and $1 billion toward Africa’s digital transformation in 2021.

Her tenure also saw the execution of high-priority access projects such as the expansion of the Google Station program in Nigeria and the landing of Google’s Equiano fibre cable in Lagos. These initiatives have played a significant role in making the internet more accessible and affordable for millions of people in Nigeria and beyond.

Ehimuan joined the employ ofGoogle with a strong background in strategy and technology and her contributions to ICT policy and strategy have been critical. She has been a key player in the development of policies that have fostered investment and infrastructure growth in the Nigerian tech ecosystem.

Her leadership in high-profile committees like the National Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Presidential Committee that created the national broadband plan in 2019 has been instrumental in shaping the ICT strategy of the region.

She is set to leverage her wealth of experience and network to drive digital transformation across the continent in a broader role.

Ehimuan’s passion for leadership development and personal excellence coaching will continue to have a global impact through her 30 Days of Excellence program.

Based on her book ’30 Days of Excellence’ published in 2020, this program, which rolled out within Google over the last 18 months, is set to continue its global expansion.

Juliet Ehimuan is widely recognized for her transformational leadership in the African technology sector. She was Director of Google based in Lagos and is a thought leader in technology, innovation, and enhancing business development by leveraging technology.

Ehimuan is also the founder of Beyond Limits, a leadership development and personal excellence initiative.