February 07th,2017
AgriGO apps, developed by GO (www.go.rw) is primarily assisting a farmer to improve the current yield, by availing the right, modern and personalized best practices in farming through personalized SMS in local languages.

What is a personalized SMS for farmer?

The personalized SMS is the one customized and sent individually to the farmer who use AgriGO to help him applying the modern farming and follow the proven crops growing schedule, depending on planted seed. Like other mobile phone users, a farmer has both right and ability to send and receive SMS when communicating, regardless the expected interest of sending or receiving SMS. The farmer who uses AgriGO, is able to record his farming activities from day one of preparing land to the day of harvest. His recording includes quantity and cost per unit for all inputs, to mean seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and the human resources involved, then from there based on his record, AgriGO is able to assist him to maintain his plantation schedule through SMS, and provide him with proven scientific best practices to apply and result in tremendous increasing of yield.

a. Best practices content to increase yield, growth of revenue!

The research has indicated that the application of right best practices increase the yield up to five times even more vis a vis to traditional way of farming applied by our parents. AgriGO avail right and best practices to the farmer considering the quantity of seed sowed, plus his location. The advisory services provided to the farmer are customized from the available researches and best practices recommended by Rwanda Agriculture Board, plus the results of Farmer Field Schools program at district level, as well other content collected from different stakeholders.

b. Negotiate the profitable price!

Not all the time market is fair or at least be transparent from the point of view of a farmer. Most of the farmer sell their harvest in a non-regulated market, to mean it is all about who can negotiate well, price transparency is not there simply because there’s no existing tool to prove the cost of production. A farmer who uses AgriGO, has ability to check the fair price based on the cost of production so that all his negotiation will be supported by recorded activities.

In Rwanda, the agriculture sector occupies approximately 72% of the active population, most of them women, and contributes around 33% of the national GDP, 70% of the country’s export revenue and about 90% of national food needed. The review of the PSTA II and the first Rwanda Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program Compact (CAADP) shows that the agriculture sector has been responsible for almost 50% of the total poverty reduction of 12% points from 2008 to 2012. This resulted from increased production (productivity gains), increased sales of production and increased interventions which drove productivity gains (yield increases up to 7 times and an average of 4 times across many crops (Austin, 2015)).

AgriGO's comprehensive approach

The idea behind AgriGO is not only to empower local smallholder farmers but also to create a digital agriculture ecosystem bringing together different stakeholders in agriculture. On the one hand farmers can create an AgriGO account to get information about basically all topics directly concerning their daily business, like explained above. On the other hand AgriGO provides accounts for different stakeholders in agriculture. For instance, AgriGO can provide a management platform for agricultural cooperatives that have to manage thousands of farmers or can provide an account for financial institutions that want to inform farmers about credit possibilities. So AgriGO supports farmers directly in their daily business but also acts as a communication interface between farmers and their stakeholders.

Data transmission

In general, the information for the farmers is provided through USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology that means farmers do not need a smartphone or an internet connection to receive data. They only need access to GSM network (same network as for voice calls or SMS) to create an account with their mobile phone number and receive requested data. Push content provided for example by a bank advertising financial opportunities or reminders of best farming practices will be sent per SMS to the farmers.
February 03rd,2017
With now different opinions from different people around the globe some now believe that Internet should be a Human Right, this was one of the take away that was shared among several ideas that was discussed.

The issue of the 100% Internet content access was raised alongside supportive points where it was clear from that side that all should be free to the user and let one decide what to do with it, however the issue of 100% free Internet was perceived and addressed in a different way by people that operate at a country level, meaning ISP (Internet Service Provider) where the example of family restrictions "Parental control" was given and that the same should be applied for the sake of protecting the population. Users expressed their understanding about the issue and their concern about it, however they were keen and urged the ISPs to make it clear while they are making deals with customers; something that was referred to as the "Terms and Conditions agreement" between clients and ISPs where they (users) know in the first place that there are some content that they won't be able to access once they purchase services from the ISP.

The subject is being discussed on in 4 different corners of planet Earth and situations may vary from region to region and one might wonder if instead of putting more effort in this it wouldn't be a good idea to educate people ways they could get around the issue of being denied access to information according to certain places -Technically.

Do you think Internet is free in Rwanda? Is there something that should be improved in that regard, please share your thoughts with us @klabrw
January 27th,2017
Robots, machines, computers are becoming increasingly capable in terms of information processing and therefor advancing rapidly "at an exponential pace" that now one would be merely hard for her/him to distinguish the difference between the machines that perform routine tasks like Optical character recognition that belong to Machine learning to the actual Artificial Intelligence like human speech recognition and the capability of playing strategic games like Chess and Go including self-car driving and interpreting complex data.

Joshua has been involved in AI and its different aspects, studied and steered the personal data paradigm in which we’re now living and has been involved in the design and ethical implications of systems that know more, and can control more, about humans and has shed more light on AI through a discussion that took place at kLab alongside the audience that span from people who has been working on AI to people who simply have interest in AI.

The issue of all jobs being taken over by machines is now a major one from the global perspective, some say that this will be the same as the industrial revolution when people massively lost their jobs and evolved altogether with them afterwards to reach the industrial technology peak as we now have it. Raising this issue no happens to know what will really happen once at the peak of AI, some are optimistic about this and some pessimistic about it. However, what we know for sure is that some the great minds that planet Earth has like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Niel DeGrasse Tysona and others are not quite optimistic about how far AI could go (if it is for better or worse) and apparently which is moving at an impressive pace never recorded in technology history before.

Joshua mentioning his chat with a top executive of General Electric (GE) about who will buy their products if all the jobs are done by machines and people are jobless and can not afford to pay the cars, would the machines buy the cars? Or more conveniently would machines buy machines?

With China investing heavily in the making of robots (using human labor in most cases) and selling those to developed countries like the US to finally pump out their money and making the replaced human labor by machines while on the other end its human labor is increasing more and more. Should other countries adopt Chinese model, maybe yes - then who is going to purchase those if everyone is making it, this will become obsolete due to low purchase demand; maybe no - then you become the victim of this revolution that is already happening in developed countries.

When you take a closer look or rather an overall look to this you realize that it all comes to the disappearance of human labor therefor no money, however some ideas has been introduced and under experimental processes like the UBI (Universal Basic Income) that is taking place in California, lets suppose that this succeeds and everyone has the necessary to live for free, then the question becomes; what will motivate people to innovate and create.

Please do share with us what is your take on Artificial Intelligence @klabrw