As technology across the globe advances, Artificial Intelligence has become an identity that defines its pace and its applications across various industries. By all means, we shall need these intelligent systems capable of learning, reasoning, adapting, and performing tasks similar to humans.
In Uganda, this level of tech is on the rise and we have a number of experts to look up to when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. Recently, African Shapers – a site that covers individuals rapidly changing the African continent – profiled 80 women advancing AI. Among these are Ugandans, Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa and Dr. Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende.
Shamim Nabuuma’s works in AI
We’ve profiled Shamim on several occasions, but we’ll do so yet again! Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa is the founder and executive director of “Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab”. This is an artificial intelligence oncology company that provides medically proven, reliable, and easy-to-use automated cervical and breast cancer e-oncology services to its female clients.
Services include consultation, interpretation of lab results, patient referral – in case of positive lab results, as well as patient follow-up using a mobile application powered by artificial intelligence. The Chil AI Lab was selected by Google as one of the top 10 artificial intelligence start-ups founded in Africa.
Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, Shamim and her team developed a chatbot to automate community counseling in Uganda, South Sudan, and the DRC. She recently got inducted into the inaugural class of Bloomberg New Economy Catalysts. The group is a community of public and private sector innovators and entrepreneurs accelerating solutions to today’s greatest problems.
Shamim is a recipient of the 2018 Takeda Young Entrepreneur Award, the 2018 Young African Entrepreneur Award, and a finalist in the 2018 AWIEF Social Impact Awards. She as well received an honorable mention in the 2019 Maathai Impact Award for her success in using machine learning and artificial intelligence to eradicate cancer in women.
Dr. Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende’s works in AI
Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende is a lecturer at Makerere University, the chief scientist of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and a senior researcher at the University’s Software Systems Center. She leads a team of researchers conducting research on the application of machine learning techniques in agriculture and health to solve problems in developing countries.
Her research interests are in the areas of machine learning, process mining, data science, and software engineering and their applications in agriculture and health. Much of her work in previous years has focused on natural language processing, creating data resources for underfunded Ugandan languages, and computer vision for disease diagnosis.