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Centenary bank to deploy artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has started to spread its wings in the innovation ecosystem.

It is now said to be important in the usage of technology and the development of software applications in Uganda. It is against this background that Centenary Technology Services (Cente-Tech) - the technology company of the Centenary group - recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the artificial intelligence firm, Sunbird AI. 

Under this arrangement, Sunbird AI has built a text-to-text machine translation system for translating to and from English, the five top local languages in Uganda including Luganda, Ateso, Lugbara, Runyankore and Acholi.

Artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.

The innovation fits into the purpose of the strategic partnership, which is aligned towards addressing challenges to equality and inclusion, through the adoption of artificial intelligence technology.

Grace Ssekakubo, the chief executive Officer at Cente-Tech, while speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, said the agreement intends to create a structure through which Sunbird AI and Cente-Tech can work together to successfully create sustainable, scalable projects and initiatives.

She believes this “will leverage the deep expertise of Sunbird AI to support Cente-Tech’s strategic ambitions to utilize modern ICT innovations for socio-economic development among the rural poor.”

Ssekakubo also added that Centenary’s wide network of customers will help in casting a wide net for a large number
of Ugandans to access the services that will be provided by Sunbird AI under the agreement.

“With the reach, we have more than 20 million Ugandans within the Centenary brand. We will help alleviate exclusion through the various artificial intelligence applications that Sunbird AI has developed and will develop through this collaboration,” she said.

According to Ernest Mwebaze, the executive director at Sunbird AI, a partnership with a company with a large reach like Cente-Tech will help provide a platform to Sunbird to lend its artificial intelligence services to come up with social solutions to various problems that are faced by Ugandans.

“Our partnership with Centenary Technology Services aims to leverage the considerable reach of Cente-Tech to hospitals and schools by building AI for social good solutions that will positively influence the lives of not only people consuming the vast services of the Centenary group but all Ugandans,” he said.

Recently, the state minister of ICT, Joyce Ssebugwawo applauded the role that is being played by technology in revolutionalising financial services, calling it pivotal. Ssebugwawo emphasized the role that fintechs are playing in disaggregating the financial services value chain in making it more customer-centric and efficient.

aaronorena@gmail.com

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