My AI Saturdays (Lagos) Journey — The Final Chapter

One big family

Yes! I made it to end of the cohort. I can’t believe I survived 15 weeks of AI with zero knowledge. I still remember the first time I heard cost function and gradient descent. As a multi - potentiate, it is easy for me to start stuff but I hardly see them through to the end. So, this was a very big win for me.

At the first meetup we had at Cisco office, I recall when Adetunji Adetola said “Even if you don’t understand, still come” that statement resonated with me. ‘Tayo Jabar also spoke about the AI Saturdays blog and I thought it was an excuse to improve on my writing. It will also make me commit as I plan to write about my journey every week. Before that day, I had only written one medium post called can you ever beat impostor syndrome?”.

Some people now refer to me as “the medium guy”, it’s funny some even call me a great writer, fantastic writer etc. If only they know the stress ‘Tayo Jabar goes through editing my typos and grammatical errors, I am sure they will roast me. 😁

It was the last Saturday of the cohort and The AI6 Lagos team made sure we had a fully packed day.

The day started with a session with Azeez Oluwafemi, co-founder of AI Saturdays Lagos , who is currently doing his masters in CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) Africa. He spoke about CMU-Africa and how interested candidates can apply .

CMU-Africa is located in Kigali, Rwanda. It was established in 2011 and is the only U.S research university offering its Master’s degrees with full-time faculty, staff and operations in Africa. It was borne out of a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and the Government of Rwanda.

According to Azeez Oluwafemi, even though CMU-Africa is located in Rwanda, they still enjoy the same privileges — like same assignments, same professors etc.

Lawrence Francis followed with a codelab session on Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

Codelab session with Lawrence

We also had John Olafenwa , CTO and Co-founder of DeepQuest AI (Formerly AI Commons) and creator of TorchFusion (A Deep Learning framework). He spoke about Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN or Convnets).

John explaining Convnets.

We had guests like Professor Andrey Rzhetsky from The University of Chicago and simpa dania, Chief Happiness Officer at APMIS(All Purpose Medical Information System).

Simpa Dania & Professor Andrey Rzhetsky

George Igwegbe then took us through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) .

George explaining OCR

OCR Optical character recognition (also optical character reader, OCR) is the mechanical or electronic conversion of images of typed, handwritten or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document, a photo of a document, a scene-photo (for example the text on signs and billboards in a landscape photo) or from subtitle text superimposed on an image (for example from a television broadcast). — wiki

Lekan Wahab also graced us with his knowledge Machine Learning problems. He took a session on “Debugging Machine Learning Classifiers”.

Professor Elaine O. Nsoesie, Assistant Professor at University of Washington gave a surprise visit as she spoke about Data Visualization and its importance. She was at the just concluded Data Science Africa bootcamp that held at Abuja, Nigeria and decided to stopover to give us this talk.

Professor Elaine

It has been an insightful 15 weeks. Even though there are gaps in my knowledge, now I know the resources to follow to help bridge the gap and there is also an awesome community to support when I get a block. I made a lot of noise and it is time to go back to the drawing board and be more than just “the medium guy”.

As I end this series, I would like to thank the guys that made my journey worthwhile, George Igwegbe, Lawrence Francis and not forgetting the amazing Tejumade Afonja, ‘Tayo Jabar , Adetunji Adetola , Orevaoghene Ahia and everybody in the community.

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