A retired professor of Data and Information Science at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Mutawakilu Tiamiyu, has warned that emerging Artificial Intelligence applications might appear exciting but likely to upset societies.
He spoke on Saturday while delivering a lecture titled, “Odyssey of an economist in information science,” to mark his 70th birthday and retirement from the institution.
The event held at the institution’s Trenchard Hall.
Tiamiyu said, “The world is now at the threshold of Artificial Intelligence mega-revolution, nature and impact on human societies which no one can currently predict correctly. Robots driven by computer software to perform repetitive tasks are too boring, dangerous or error-prone for humans to do have been in human societies for about a century now, particularly in manufacturing and later in military applications.
“Today, AI software applications have progressed very fast to the extent that there is hardly any natural human activities that cannot or have been mimicked and tested to be performed by created machines. Increasingly many are actually now being used in real life activities that affect humans and their environments. Al software are now also being used for big data analytic, and for decision making and actions based on the analytics findings, often bereft of any human real time intermediation in diverse contexts.”
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The professor said that his researches and publications had contributed to information science theory building, information use by decision-makers in the public sector, information technology use and evaluation in the public sector and curriculum development for education for information science.
In his speech, the varsity Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, wondered how the institution would maintain policy and international prestige it made over the years as its competent hands were leaving.
Adebowale, whose message was delivered by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Olusola Ayoola, said, “As you are retiring, and as a result of our experience in administration at the university in the past few years that you have come on board, our erudite professors are leaving us one by one and we recognise the fact that whatever the university is able to attain in terms of ranking and international recognition cannot be divorced from the efforts of our erudite professors that are leaving us.
He added that the fact that it was a time the institution was struggling with many things that would influence its administration, the varsity could only wish and hope for the best.
Ayoola stated, “There was a time we were discussing how we can reclaim all the professors? How can we maintain the policy and international prestige we have made over the years? This year, we are going to be 75 years and you will agree with me that 75 years in an institution is not a joke.
“It is becoming difficult to recruit staff now without the kind of things we used to do in the past when the university did not need any permission from Abuja or elsewhere but it is different these days. We hope that in the next 10 years or more, we will be able to maintain our position among the committees of academics.’’
In his opening remarks, a professor, Saka Bada, said, “I really don’t have much to say but to rejoice and congratulate Tiamiyu on this great achievement. He remains as he is but he attained the age of three scores even those who came strong as babies and youths, many didn’t make it up to three scores at all.”
Bada also urged those in authority to always remember the transient nature of power.
He stated, “ Where you are, somebody was there yesterday, so if you are still in service, whatever position you occupy, run the post, don’t let the post run you because if it does it will ruin you.”
In his keynote address, Tunde Adegbola, said, “We are gathered here to celebrate a great professor, Tiamiyu. A man whose destiny was appointed to help the world to formalise development of capacity to manage information society in West Africa origins.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Organising Committee, Akintunde Makinde, said the committee in collaboration with other stakeholders, friends and families of the guests of honour, painstakingly put together a variety of activities to inform and educate people from far and near.
Among the dignitaries at the occasion were the Head of Department, Data and Information Science, formerly Africa Regional Centre for Information Science, UI, Williams Nwagwu; Abdul-Ramon Oloyede, retired profs Olatokunbo Aina and Rotimi Oderinde; Dean, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, Olawale Albert, Iyabo Mabawonku, Rasheed Aderinoye, Akinbule Lukman, Yunus Raji, among others.
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