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HomeArtificial Intelligence NewsShs11.1m Awarded to Artificial Intelligence Students at ISBAT University

Shs11.1m Awarded to Artificial Intelligence Students at ISBAT University


Artificial Intelligence students from International Business, Science and Technology (ISBAT) University, ISBAT, have received Shs11.1 million cash prize in a three months long Revolution Hackathon Uganda competition. 

Amidst stiff competition of 400 applications, 16 teams were selected as finalists, each with four students from different universities and companies. The team underwent coaching and mentorship to develop their ideas from July to September 2023.  

Total Energies Uganda, through OutBox Uganda, the implementer of the challenge, tasked the teams to propose “innovative ideas using the data provided on Kampala city’s road, electricity, and traffic networks” with solutions to assist in identifying optimal locations for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points throughout Kampala.  This is in preparation for and embracing of electric vehicle technology that’s slowly taking shape in Uganda and Africa.

TBKN Team emerged winners and received a cash prize of Shs8,500,000, while first runners-up ISBAT University received Shs11,100,000. Data Knight and Shalom teams tied in the third place and received Shs3,700,000 each.

The third year semester five students, Martin Kenyi, Eric Mathew Luse, Joshua Bwengye and Jonathan Lokpatchu, studying Bachelors of Science in Artificial Intelligence (AI) were excited to try out their knowledge outside class. 

“We used artificial intelligence to help us optimise and find the best locations Total can set up charging points. Artificial intelligence uses a genetic automatic algorithm that is based on the theory of natural selection and generates random points across all major roads in Kampala. We pass it in constraints because we wanted points that are next to power line distribution and fuel stations,” Kenyi explains.

Joshua Bwengye, a team member explains that the hackathon was challenging because it only lasted three days, all of which came with no time to rest. The competition helped the team gain knowledge and experience from class into a practical field to benefit Ugandans.

“The artificial intelligence algorithm adjusts automatically because most fuel stations have parking spots. Some fuel stations have restaurants and supermarkets that clients can use because charging an electric vehicle takes between one to five hours for the battery to fill up,” Bwengye says, adding that the system will be scalable in other places outside Kampala in the future.

Mr Jimmy Obira, a lecturer of Internet of things (IOT) and Embedded Systems at the university says modern day education especially in artificial intelligence and internet looks at challenges and opportunities being introduced by the forth industrial revolution that is powering industries where there’s convergence of many cutting edge technologies.

“Artificial intelligence will do a lot of automations of industrial processes and even change how labour is hired. With these challenges, when tasks are automated, some of the jobs will go away. One would rather hire a robot than hire someone to remind them of their work on their itinerary or to-do list. If some of life’s responsibilities are automated, you are sure of productivity of individuals in companies or institutions,” Obira explains.

Some of the new opportunities being introduced by the industrial revolution include data science. This means there will be different data sources or even sensors where the data must be made sense of in quick times when looking for insights within huge data sets, something that the team tried to do with artificial intelligence algorithms.

Pradeep Kumar, the Academic Registrar of the university says artificial intelligence education as a stand-alone course empowers Ugandan youth by instilling in them a sense of pan Africanism.

“This vision of the team is realised through unique infrastructure that supports an advanced curriculum. As a university and country, the ability to reinforce the science technology engineering and mathematics education model across all programs, regardless of nomenclature, sets our students on a path to transformation in the global employment and entrepreneurial market to shaping the future of Uganda and Africa,” Kumar explains.

The university’s success at the Total Energies Uganda hackathon underscores the bright future that awaits Uganda as it embraces the power of artificial intelligence and innovation.

Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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