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#BellaNaijaWCW: Meet Tejumade Afonja, the Engineer Who’s Democratising Artificial Intelligence Knowledge with AI Saturdays (Lagos)

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Artificial Intelligence is already making living easy and has the potential to do more for humans, but for this to happen effectively and efficiently, locations in which AI is done will have to be widened and ambitious goals to democratize AI education will need to be set.

This is why our #BellaNaijaWCW this week, Tejumade Afonja, an AI Engineer founded AI Saturdays (Lagos), also called AI6, “to democratize Artificial Intelligence by creating a community to help enable studying, researching and building AI products for our ecosystem and beyond.”

AI Saturdays is a community-driven, non-profit and global movement across the globe to make Artificial Intelligence education at the quality and rigour of the world’s best universities accessible to anyone for free. The free-to-attend classes offer courses on Data science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning for 16 consecutive Saturdays through structured study groups.

Tejumade is an Intel Software Innovator for Artificial Intelligence in Nigeria was an AI Engineer at InstaDeep Nigeria where she built, tested Machine Learning models and deployed these models.

Tejumade is currently pursuing a a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Saarland University with interest in the intersection of security, privacy, and Machine Learning. She graduated from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in 2015 with a first class in Mechanical Engineering and has worked as a software developer, frontend developer and AI software engineer in different stages of her career.

She was drawn to tech when she saw photos of NASA’s curiosity rover in Mars and thought that was the coolest thing ever. This sparked an interest in Robotics for her. She’d always been fascinate by how machines think and she knew I wanted to be more than a Mechanical Engineer. So, after her undergraduate studies, she started learning how to code.

Tejumade is one of the organizers of Machine Learning for the Developing World (ML4D) – a NeurIPS workshop and has served as the lead organizer.

In 2019, she was featured in Tech Women Lagos‘ AUDACITY which profiled 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

She’s also been honoured globally for her work in AI, being featured on FastCompany, Intel Developer Spotlight and Intel Developer Zone, and Artificial Intelligence for Development. She’s also served as an Intel Software Innovator for Machine Learning in Nigeria since 2017 and has won the Intel Top Innovator award twice in a row (2018 & 2019).

We celebrate Tejumade for her work in democratising AI knowledge in Nigeria and we’re rooting for her!

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