Eko-Konnect ICT4Girls Virtual Community Day Themed: “Women Scaling Up Innovation in Tech: Meet AI, IoT, Mixed Reality & DataScience” which gathered participants of the ICT4Girls program from the research and education community, was held on the 20th November 2020. The event had women experts from the technology industry presenting real-life applications from trending technology topics ranging from Artificial Intelligence-Natural Language Processing, Mixed Reality (XR) and Data Science. The event was moderated by the ICT4Girls coordinator, Kafayat Adeoye who in her welcome address highlighted the aim of the event to encourage more participation of women in STEM and drive innovation through the application of the technologies to impact society. 

The event began with a mentorship session by Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi, the Founder and Executive  Director of the Women‘s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), her presentation topic “A Roadmap to a Successful Career in technology” defined strategies needed for women to excel in the male-dominated STEM field. Oreoluwa told participants to be curious and keep learning new skills, build their network and never forget to support other women. She ended her presentation by showcasing influential African women in the Technology industry.

Ariana Bray, a developer programs engineer at Google on “Sentiment Analysis with Google Cloud Natural Language API” followed showcasing natural Language Processing, a branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret, and manipulate human language. Ariana demonstrated the use of Natural Language API for sentiment analysis by gathering data of people reactions towards the  #BLACKLIVESMATTERS protest on social networks and online news channels and the result shows about 56% of the reactions were negative. She stated that all it takes is to solve a problem or answer a question with AI and anyone can use this technology without being a genius.

Adora Nwodo, a software engineer at Microsoft, passionate about Extended reality (XR) an immersive combination of Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR) presented a topic she titled “If you can imagine it, You can build it with XR” where she played series of videos and sci-fi movies clips taking us through a wide range of revolutionary experiences of XR which blends a user’s real-world environment and digitally-created content, and how both environments can coexist.  Adora rounded up her talk with a clip showing an XR demo by Julia Schwarz of Microsoft demonstrating the Holocene 2 AR Headset on stage. 

The final presentation on Data Science was by Adeyinka Oresanya, a doctoral researcher at the University of Ibadan, her topic was on  “Data science use case: Dive into Data Insight”. She illustrated Espresso Churn Prediction data analysis with Python from her Jupyter Notebook getting actionable insight from the data in such a manner that it will provide results in making future decisions. She also explained the data science workflow which includes; defining the problem, data collection and cleaning, engineer features, machine learning algorithm model cross-validation model, deployment and prediction.

The final presentation on Data Science was by Adeyinka Oresanya, a doctoral researcher at the University of Ibadan, her topic was on  “Data science use case: Dive into Data Insight”. She illustrated Espresso Churn Prediction data analysis with Python from her Jupyter Notebook getting actionable insight from the data in such a manner that it will provide results in making future decisions. Adeyinka explained the data science workflow which includes; defining the problem, data collection and cleaning, engineer features, machine learning algorithm model cross-validation model, deployment and prediction.

Overall, the participants inspired by the real-world application demo of the big wave technologies presented at the ICT4GIRLS virtual community day gained the courage to unleash their fullest potential in the driving of innovative projects and ideas in their various institutions, and workforce and the society at large in irrespective of the gender imbalance and circumstance and recognising that women are also central to upholding technological capacity.

The full event is available on our Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVEThLWvD98&t=22s