How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Algeria and 3rd World Countries

The ARDD Team
The ARDD team during the Disrupt Constantine conference. In the picture: Yacine El Mahdi Walid, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister in Charge of the Knowledge Economy and Startups and the ARDD team

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making a global impact. The technology is being used by third-world countries to solve real-world problems and young entrepreneurs are making the most out of it. For instance, the Automated Road Defect Detection (ARDD) team from Algeria has developed technology that might solve Algeria and Africa’s road problems.

In an interview with USA Herald, Narimane Hennouni and her team have shared with us how AI can solve one of her country’s major problems. The young entrepreneur and her team were able to develop a device that relies on AI to detect road potholes and then saves the information for later use.

The technology was developed in a challenge called the “Algeria AI Challenge”. During the contest, 25 teams received developer kits that included a Jetson Nano by Nvidia among other developer materials. The ARDD team was able to leverage the technology and have made their prototype during the year.

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“There was a challenge called ‘Algeria AI Challenge’ and we started brainstorming ideas. We noticed that Algerian roads are in a catastrophic situation with lots of cracks, etc… which causes lots of damages to vehicles, so we thought about using AI to solve that problem by collecting data about roads using image recognition.” Narimane told USA Herald.

The challenging part

Narimane and her team members faced several challenges along the road. First, Algeria is one of the 3rd world countries. Therefore, data in several industries isn’t available, and if it is, then it will be hard to reach by the public. With that, the ARDD team had to get on-site each time. Furthermore, the four-team members of the ARDD are university students at the Higher School for Computer Science. It wasn’t only time-consuming to concentrate on both the project and their studies, but the funding was from their own pockets.

“We had challenges along the road. From a technical perspective, we had problems with data collection since we needed to be on-site to collect the data. We had to find an equipped car or at least any vehicle that would help us on site. Also, we didn’t have a lot of time since the ARDD team consists of four university students.” She said.

“As it is well-known, artificial intelligence is becoming a fundamental part of every field. Because it provides a lot of help and many benefits and fastens researches. Therefore, since most industries in Algeria are too manual and don’t rely heavily on technology; artificial intelligence can fill the gap.” She added.

However, the ARDD team was able to defy all the difficulties and have won the challenge held during the largest National Conference Startups in Algeria “Disrupt Algeria”. The ARDD team secured 2nd place in the event organized by the country’s ministry of startups “Disrupt Constantine”.

The ARDD team consisted of Mohamed Habi – Nassim Aouadj  – Hadjer Ishak Boushaki – Narimane Hennouni and their mentor: Hadjer Benmeziane.

Narimane concluded: “Algeria has talented people and they need support”. African and 3rd world countries with the proper support can prosper using the help of the latest artificial intelligence technologies.