Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Uyi Stewart, Chief Scientist, IBM Research - Africa

Uyi Stewart, Chief Scientist, IBM Research – Africa

By Uyi Stewart

In an interview with Wired magazine, the English musician, Brian Eno, complained that there is not enough Africa in computers.

How does one Africanize…or otherwise liberate a computer?” he wanted to know.

Maybe Brian would like to visit us at our new research laboratory in Nairobi, because this is more or less what we are doing. Although our focus is not to build computers, per se, we are building technology solutions for Africa— with uniquely African flavour. Africanized solutions, if you like.

IBM Research—Africa, officially opens its doors next week. It’s our 12th global research laboratory, and the first in Africa. It feels like a pivotal moment. It certainly is for me.

As the lab’s chief scientist, it is my job to develop solutions for what we call Africa’s grand challenges. The grand challenges that we will focus on, across Africa and starting here in Nairobi, are education, water, energy, healthcare, financial inclusion, public safety, human mobility and agriculture.

Although we are just opening the doors on the facility itself, as an organization, over the last year we have been busy addressing a number of these challenges. The first to be launched is a proof-of-concept which we hope will make commuting in Nairobi a bit less painful than it currently is.

Much of Nairobi’s road network is more than half a century old and was developed for a city of just 350,000 inhabitants. Like most African cities, Nairobi has been hit by rapid urbanisation. Let’s just look at cars: today, there are two million cars on Nairobi’s roads and 400 more cars are added to the city’s already congested streets every day. It is estimated that traffic congestion costs the city Sh50 million (USD $600,000) in lost productivity every day.

Last year, our researchers identified human mobility and the related issues of transportation and public safety as one of Nairobi’s most pressing challenges for future growth. It was clear that, as a matter of priority, we needed to develop a system to ease traffic congestion.

With our partner, internet service provider Access Kenya, we have developed a mobile phone service that provides drivers with live updates on traffic jams and suggests alternative, less congested, routes.

How did we do it? We took some existing bits and pieces, collaborated, used our ingenuity, and built an Africanized solution. We started with a transportation model that was developed at our lab in Tokyo. What we lacked in Nairobi, though, were data feeds.

When we noticed that Access Kenya had 36 webcams, streaming live images of traffic in Nairobi’s central business district (CBD), we approached them and asked if we could use their data. They chuckled and said, “What are you talking about? No one has ever come to us.” But they could see our vision and agreed to work with us.

The webcam images are low resolution, so the first thing we did was build image-enhancement software to make the vehicles stand out more. Once we had done that, we were able to work out how fast vehicles were moving and also the levels of congestion. But we were initially stymied by the fact that we only had data feeds from 36 cameras, all located in the CBD.

In order for this data to be meaningful, we needed to be able to generalise the traffic situation across all of Nairobi. So the second thing we did is—and this is the really smart bit—we built an “inference model” that take a sub-set of data from the CBD and generalise it across all of Nairobi.  This is computer science at its best. The stuff I get out of bed for.

Based on these home-grown innovations we are now able to provide motorists with information about traffic congestion in Nairobi through SMS, and for those who have smartphones, a map. The idea is that commuters will check the traffic situation on their phone before heading to their destination.

We deliberately didn’t over-engineer the solution. We just wanted to get it out there because the more people use it, the more the system learns, and the better it gets. Our researchers are currently working to extend the capabilities of the solution to include data on public safety, weather conditions and road works to create a Nairobi-specfic view of human mobility

This is just one example of how we are taking on the grand challenges and how we can build smarter cities in Africa without breaking the bank. Our approach is frugal, pragmatic, collaborative and ambitious. But above all, it is smart. And my goodness! If there’s one thing Africa has in abundance, it is smart people.

Virtual Recruiting Event

Scientists from IBM Research – Africa will be hosting a live virtual job fair in the IBM SmartCloud and Google+ on 05 December to talk about several open positions. For more details, visit IBM JobFair.

Follow IBM Smarter Planet on Google+


Bookmark and Share

Previous post

Next post

October 6, 2016
12:50 am

Great article.. very inspirative blog, success for you and teamwork.

Posted by: obat masalah klep jantung
May 25, 2016
5:21 pm

It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied
that you shared this useful information with us.Please stay us informed like this.
Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: Gilbert
March 19, 2016
9:51 pm

A bigger one can cook huge amount of soups and stews.
If Italian cooking is one of the things you love doing together, then you might like to take some master classes offered with the – Yarra Valley wine tours.
Using your microwave for 100 hours will cost about $7.

Posted by: Soup Recipes Delicious Magazine
March 17, 2016
1:12 pm

I really appreciate your article that you have shared

Posted by: SMS for Good Friday
February 25, 2016
3:45 am

Task based usability tests are a great way to determine how effective the design of your
website is. In general, the purpose of the tasks is to
locate some information or functionality that is buried in your website.
If your website is well designed, the user should have no difficulty
completing the task. On the other hand, if it is not, the task can give you some
insight as to which areas of your website could use improvement.

Posted by:
December 16, 2015
2:47 am

スーパーコピー ヴィトン デニム 財布

Posted by: スーパーコピー ヴィトン デニム 財布
December 16, 2015
2:46 am

スーパーコピー 激安 6畳

Posted by: スーパーコピー 激安 6畳
December 16, 2015
2:38 am

スーパーコピー 財布 激安 6帖

Posted by: スーパーコピー 財布 激安 6帖
August 25, 2015
3:56 am

と思う| | によると信じると思う すべて 掲示 |の束|トン| の多くを作った合理|}実​​際には非常に論理でした。 しかし、検討 何かのあなたは?追加少し情報 つもりはありません情報 ない あなたコンテンツ情報を。 おそらく 取得 ?人々はちょっと つまらない欲望より私が意味%のBLOG_TITLE%は記事 グラブ 人 {興味を取得するタイトル。あなたは関連動画を追加たりする2 取得 人または PIC画像関連画像を | について興味を持って興奮 何を 書かしまって。 私の意見で、それはなる 作るあなた投稿 もう少し面白いです。
セール対象商品 海外お买い特

Posted by: セール対象商品 海外お买い特
August 25, 2015
3:56 am

良い ウェブページ、 仕事|}続行素晴らしい {仕事を続けていくまで。 !。
メール便送料無料 業界最高峰

Posted by: メール便送料無料 業界最高峰
August 25, 2015
3:56 am

素晴らしい | ウェブサイト あなたが持っています右ここに|あり|ここで|ここに行く|あなたがここにました|あなたが持っている|あなたが持っている|あなたが得ている|あなたが持っています。
特典付きキャンペーン 3日間限定

Posted by: 特典付きキャンペーン 3日間限定
August 25, 2015
3:56 am

回答|スパム 好奇心の不思議 こんにちは 時から時折と私は同様のものを所有し、私はちょうどして、私はあなたのブログを読んで?ので、どのようにあなたがしなければ それは、任意のプラグインや、あなたができるもの低減? 私は最近、それが私を駆動するのはそんなにを取得するので、任意の援助非常に高く評価されています。
即日出荷 限定saleお得

Posted by: 即日出荷 限定saleお得
August 25, 2015
3:55 am

マイプログラマは | PHPから.NETに移動するために私を納得させる説得しようとしています。 コスト経費私は常にためのアイデアを嫌っています。しかし、彼は何も少なくtryiongないです。 の様々な数の様々なに| WordPressの可動型を私が使用してきた約一年のためのウェブサイトや午前懸念別のプラットフォームへの切り替えについて。 blogengine.net程度のもの、私は素晴らしい良い素晴らしいを聞いたことがあります。すべての私のワードプレス|そこにコンテンツ投稿 |私はインポート転送することができます方法はありますか? 任意の種類のヘルプは大幅されることになる感謝します!
2015 新品 2015春夏新色追加

Posted by: 2015 新品 2015春夏新色追加
August 20, 2015
12:53 am

読んだ後、この素晴らしい こんにちは 執筆の作品私はあまりに 同僚 友人とここノウハウ |知識| |精通私の経験を共有すること喜ん。
絶対低価格 店内全品ポイント10倍

Posted by: 絶対低価格 店内全品ポイント10倍
August 20, 2015
12:53 am

うわー、この執筆の作品は素晴らしい、私妹は |したがって、|、これらのようなのことをそう分析しています彼女を伝える|お知らせ| |知っているので}私は{伝えるつもりです。
店内全品ポイント10倍 低価格は当店の方針

Posted by: 店内全品ポイント10倍 低価格は当店の方針
August 20, 2015
12:53 am

私は好きそれとき人々 | ビュー 一緒に来て一緒に取得と共有します。グレートサイト、それを維持する!
正規商品 2015春夏新色追加

Posted by: 正規商品 2015春夏新色追加
August 20, 2015
12:52 am

実際には非常に興味深い、これがある|非常に熟練したブロガーあなたがしているあなたにしています。 私が持っている のRSSフィードフィードと素晴らしいのより求めることを楽しみにしてあなたに参加したポストを。また、私がしました私のソーシャルネットワークでサイトあなたを共有しました!
定価品質満点 3日間限定

Posted by: 定価品質満点 3日間限定
August 20, 2015
12:52 am

I 単に できませんでした 出発あなたウェブサイト の前に私は本当にことを示唆している愛さ 標準 情報 個別 電源が あなたののお客様|あなた} {訪問者に? クロスチェックを調査 | するために 定期的に | 再度は| つもりつもりされています新しい投稿
2015春夏新色追加 販促品の力

Posted by: 2015春夏新色追加 販促品の力
November 19, 2014
10:45 pm

If you might be working with teams of people, ham
radio provides more options, more reliability and security than CB or GMRS.
Try Radio Darom, which comes from the Southern of Israel, by having an unique Hebrew tunes assortment.
Baofeng uv-5ra What I loved about it is that you simply could tune in to practically huge aspects
of songs that might go approximately maximum 2 minutes, when you would purchase them.

Gear employed for communication in a duplex system can solely perform the spot there’s certain core
infrastructure reminiscent of a repeater along with a base station. Baofeng uv-5ra With each of the negativity present all
round the world, positive thinking has grown to be somewhat rare inside thoughts of several.

So the chances of people buying HAM radios in the last minute is not going to happen.

Posted by: baofeng marine
November 19, 2014
10:40 pm

ぶっちゃけ飯だけで15000円くらいかかってるんだよな そういうときはものすごく残念だけど、その人がうまくいくといいなと思うし、
今日から、2本目の白髪染めトリートメントを使用中。 カルティエ マリッジリング

だから、結婚する人は式なんかに金かけなくていい。みんなで集まってワイワイ騒げたらそれでいいと思いなさい。 友達 結婚祝い
例えば後継者や人手が不足している町工場や職人、料理人、トビ職などになった方が良いんじゃないでしょうか。 無視してたのですが、先日しつこい人がいたので子供ができたらほしいので・・と断りました。

Posted by: 結婚式 ゲストカード メッセージ
October 24, 2014
4:18 am

Supprimez-en une pour en créer une nouvelle.

Posted by: meteo a coxyde pour 15 jours
October 21, 2014
12:32 pm

As a accountable adult, you will never ever go overboard or get adrdicted to adult material.

Posted by:
October 19, 2014
12:53 pm

My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was entirely right. This submit truly made my day. You cann’t consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

Posted by: Quick
October 14, 2014
12:38 pm

Young ϲhildren are the most vulnerablе memƄеrs of the viewing ƿublic.

Posted by: Maddison
October 7, 2014
5:31 am

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity concerning unexpected feelings.

Posted by: Métamorphoses Télécharger
September 22, 2014
4:43 am

Good post however I was wanting to know if you could
write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful
if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

Posted by: Kami
September 11, 2014
9:32 pm

15 MP digital camera is also built into the handset, which is perfect for taking spontaneous snapshots, and results in high quality
digital photos thanks to its pixel resolution of 2048×1536 pixels.
If you truly believe so, then please comment on this article.
Some scammers even sell stolen beats, and even rip artists
off by not even sending you your instrumental Hip Hop beat.

Posted by: Perangkat spesial audio
August 29, 2014
3:30 pm

My partner and I stumbled over here different web page and thought I might check
things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.

Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

Posted by: Penis Enlargement Bible
August 25, 2014
2:43 am

An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker
who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch because I stumbled
upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword
this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss
this issue here on your internet site.

Posted by: recording studios in Phoenix
August 23, 2014
8:41 am

com dan iringi berita bola yang lain, dan anda mesti bisa
dengan apik mengestimasikan nilai yang anda pasang, supaya
tidak merugikan diri anda. Yahoo Australian News did report on March
10 that Malaysia’s transport ministry was looking at four suspect passengers.
Dalam jaman dunia Sport book Online perjudian
Main Sepak bola terdapat sebagian jenis Nama game yang
sudah hampir member kenal nyaman untuk bermain bet betting di internet bola
sekarang,salah satunya adalah SBOBET Sportsbook di internet global terkemuka yang sudah Di daftarkan
oleh pemerintah, , melakukan aktifitasnya ke Philipina.

Posted by: Rudy
August 23, 2014
2:20 am

Joɦnson’s eledction campaign.

Posted by: punch tv studios
August 21, 2014
11:56 am

An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this.
And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him…
lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending
time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.

Posted by: Brock
August 2, 2014
11:32 pm

Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your
site. Im really impressed by your blog.
Hello there, You have performed a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and individually suggest to my
friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited
from tuis web site.

Posted by: checking account bonus
July 17, 2014
2:44 am

Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll
just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.
Do you have any tips for rookie blog writers?
I’d definitely appreciate it.

Posted by: Micheline
July 14, 2014
10:21 pm

Very good article. I absolutely appreciate this website.

Posted by: Lawyer Referral Service In Peoria Il
February 9, 2014
10:03 am

great stuff Uyi, you are creating a whole new spirit of science-based innovation across the continent!

Posted by: Robert Morris
December 1, 2013
1:29 am

I was just browsing for important blog posts for my job research and I happened to stumble upon yours. Thanks for the helpful advice!|

Posted by: get more
November 8, 2013
8:39 pm

Uyi, it has been the great pleasure to work on this project with you. I believe this “frugal” solution can be applied not only to other African countries but also in developed countries, where traffic infrastructure aging.

Posted by: Sachiko Yoshihama
November 7, 2013
8:30 pm

Great job Uyi and well said “The stuff I get out of bed for”.

Posted by: Tsegga
November 4, 2013
4:25 am

Great Article Uyi.

Posted by: Pauline Siteyi
November 4, 2013
2:11 am

I’m really excited by the opportunities presented to us by the Research Lab. Clearly we now have the tools to solve our grand challenges. Great job Uyi and Team.

Posted by: Shadrack Kioko
November 2, 2013
2:16 pm

This is a great story, Uyi. Your point about deliberately not over-engineering the traffic solution so that you could get it out to the public and iterate on the solution is an important lesson to all of us. We need to be first with new solutions.

Posted by: Susan M. Puglia
November 1, 2013
6:52 am

Great article Uyi.

Posted by: Carolyn Lanzillotti
October 30, 2013
3:21 pm

One could take the example from WAZE and enhance the mobile traffic status information, especially outside the CBD using the social media. WAZE uses reports from customers to continuously update the traffic situation and alert of traffic congestions.

Posted by: Alfred Grill
16 Trackbacks
March 3, 2015
2:40 am

[…] $600,000 per day is lost in Nairobi due to congestion on roads. The city is the fourth-most congested city in the world, […]

Posted by: Fixing Traffic Congestion In Kenya: Twende Twende « Malaysia Daily News
November 19, 2014
9:57 pm


Inventions Archives « Page 2 of 14 « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: nuhijab
October 7, 2014
5:20 am

uses for turmeric

Smarter Utilities Archives « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: uses for turmeric
October 5, 2014
3:14 am

relationship advice break

Smarter Utilities Archives « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: relationship advice break
September 24, 2014
6:42 am

fitness Pal Breastfeeding

Smarter Utilities Archives « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: fitness Pal Breastfeeding
September 22, 2014
11:05 am

In Capitol Roofing

Smarter Utilities Archives « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: In Capitol Roofing
September 18, 2014
3:29 pm

Fort Collins in colorado

Smarter Utilities Archives « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: Fort Collins in colorado
July 3, 2014
5:10 am

companies with call centers Glendale CA

Smarter Utilities Archives « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog

Posted by: companies with call centers Glendale CA
March 2, 2014
5:37 pm

[…] there is private sector and national government interest in investing in those nations – IBM’s new Research centre in Nairobi being an example – many “smart” initiatives are carried out at small scale by […]

Posted by: Creating successful Smart Cities in 2014 will be an economic, financial and political challenge, not an engineering accomplishment | The Urban Technologist
February 2, 2014
5:11 pm

[…] IBM Research – Africa, Set to Solve Real-World Problems […]

Posted by: Charging Ahead in Africa – IT ‘Pacesetters’ Lead the Way | Everything Natural Blog
January 29, 2014
12:03 am

[…] IBM Research – Africa, Set to Solve Real-World Problems […]

Posted by: Charging Ahead in Africa – IT ‘Pacesetters’ Lead the Way A Smarter Planet Blog
December 13, 2013
8:00 am

[…] IBM Research – Africa, Set to Solve Real-World Problems […]

Posted by: Entrepreneurs Playing Key Role in Africa's Growth A Smarter Planet Blog
November 20, 2013
11:44 am

[…] IBM Research – Africa, Set to Solve Real-World Problems […]

Posted by: IBM Research - Africa Helps Get Nairobi Moving « A Smarter Planet Blog A Smarter Planet Blog
November 8, 2013
5:07 am

[…] Nairobi’s downtown doesn’t provide enough information for over three million residents. Traffic costs the city USD $600,000 a […]

Posted by: No more traffic for Nairobians, IBM Nairobi Lab launches a traffic dodging app | Kenya Car Bazaar Ltd. - Kenya Car Bazaar Ltd.
November 7, 2013
8:53 am

[…] IBM Research – Africa, Set to Solve Real-World Problems […]

Posted by: Innovation for a Continent: IBM Research - Africa Opens A Smarter Planet Blog
November 5, 2013
7:48 pm

[…] information for a city of over three million people. Traffic costs the city US $600 000 a day, by one estimate. IBM’s Nairobi lab, in beta since a year ago, tackled traffic early on and today launched a […]

Posted by: IBM Nairobi Lab's First Offering is a Traffic-Dodging Mobile App | Electrical Cables Assemblies
Post a Comment