Offline AI Solutions Launched on Feature Phones Across Africa


Meet Kehinde Olutubosun, a visually impaired individual from Nigeria with a passion for geography and animals. Despite his enthusiasm, accessing information has been a challenge due to the lack of a smartphone. However, this is about to change thanks to an innovative solution powered by artificial intelligence. Recently launched by Canada-based Viamo in Nigeria, this service allows individuals, even those without internet access, to utilize AI technology. Operating offline, the service utilizes traditional handsets to connect to local mobile networks, enabling users to send commands or requests for information via SMS or voice calls.

“It functions similarly to other AI chatbots and is accessible to illiterate individuals as it can be activated via voice commands. Moreover, it is more cost-effective. ‘For those who are financially constrained, they now have the chance to utilize it for as little as ₦10 (R0.12) to ask numerous questions that can truly benefit them. I am thrilled,’ remarked Olutubosun.”

Viamo, aimed at the most underserved and remote regions globally, initially introduced its device in Zambia and is now extending its reach to Pakistan, India, and Tanzania. Supported by development agencies in the US and the UK, among others, Viamo collaborates with Unicef to deliver crucial information on HIV, tropical diseases, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene.




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