Stories by Olabisi Olaleye [email protected] 08094000013, 08111813040
In spite of the tough times and harsh economic situation for most Nigerians and organisations, the third season of Airtel Touching Lives, the popular philanthropy programme, sponsored by Airtel Nigeria, telecommunications services provider, brought relief and smiles to many beneficiaries recently.
One of such beneficiaries was the Aina family, which lost three children in an inferno recently and only one other child was saved.
It was an emotional night in Lagos as many dignitaries, captains of industries and even the media could not hide their tears as Mr. and Mrs. Aina and their only surviving son, Korede, came up to the podium with their scars to tell the story.
Airtel said it paid their hospital bills and has started to rebuid their burnt house.
Other recipients of the Airtel Touching Lives initiative were Mr. Essien Obong, a mathematician and software engineer, who had become blind from injuries inflicted on him by armed robbers.
Speaking to guests at the event, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, said , “Airtel Touching Lives has continued to record tremendous success since it was launched in 2015.”
Over the years, these accomplishments, he added, became the impetus the telecommunication company needed to keep the show coming back every year.
“We are inspired to continue to touch the lives of underprivileged Nigerians through this platform and to also motivate other privileged Nigerians to contribute their quota in making our society better,” the Airtel chief said.
Ogunsanya called on like-minded Nigerians to “join this noble cause of giving back to the society because we believe that there are many kind-hearted, empathetic and selfless Nigerians that are willing to render succour to underprivileged people.”
Airtel Touching Lives is a reality television show broadcast on satellite and terrestrial networks across the continent. Each season, the programme follows the journey of subjects who are nominated by email, SMS, or letters, and documents Airtel’s process of providing tailor-made assistance to each of them.
Reasons artificial intelligence ’ll shape businesses in 2017
Against the fear of job loss in several sectors of the economy owing to artificial intelligence (AI), a new trend has unveiled the need to disrupt businesses via augmenting technology to amplify human capabilities.
With the recent report released by Accenture, a global professional services company, stating its technology vision 2017 forecast, which is centred around enhancing human capabilities for greater productivity, there are five significant technology trends that people must apply to disrupt businesses over the next three years. They include AI as a new user interface, design for humans, ecosystem as macrocosms, workforce marketplace and the uncharted.
Analysing the five new technology trends for 2017, Managing Director, Accenture Technology Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Tayo, said the report would enable business executives align with the new trends and adopt technologies that would empower humans and boost productivity across board.
According to him, AI is coming of age, tackling challenges both big and small by making interactions simple and smart.
“Artificial intelligence is becoming a new user interface, underpinning the way we transact and interact with systems, as 79 per cent of respondents agree that it will revolutionise the way people gain information from and interact with customers.”
He was, however, quick to point out that technology does not have to be necessarily disruptive and can be used to transform the way people live. While the younger generation would know how to use technology better.
Speaking on design for humans, Managing Director, Financial Services, Accenture Nigeria, Toluleke Adenmosun, said technology design decisions are being made by humans, for humans, and must therefore be able to empower humans to become more efficient and productive. She argued that technologies are supposed to develop humans and make them live above poverty level.
She maintained that a shift in technology trend will see artificial intelligence do the work better, leaving the user to do value added service(VAS), thereby creating a bigger economy.
The report disclosed that the world is beginning to see the emergence of technology for people, by people, drawing a conclusion that what the globe needs in 2017 is technology that seamlessly anticipates the needs of people and delivers hyper-personalised experiences, using AI.
As part of the technology vision, Accenture surveyed more than 5,400 business and information technology executives worldwide. About nine out of 10 respondents, which is about 86 per cent, said that while individual technologies are rapidly advancing, it is the multiplier effect of these technologies that is creating innovation breakthroughs.
The technology vision details how with advances in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics, humans can now design technology that is capable of learning to think more like people and to constantly align to and help advance their wants and needs. The human-centered technology approach pays off for businesses, as leading companies will transform relationships from provider to partner and simultaneously transforming internally.
The technology vision identified five emerging technology trends that are essential to business success in today’s digital economy.