Somewhere on Earth: The Global Tech Podcast

How AI is saving lives and languages in Ghana

May 14, 2024 Somewhere on Earth
How AI is saving lives and languages in Ghana
Somewhere on Earth: The Global Tech Podcast
More Info
Somewhere on Earth: The Global Tech Podcast
How AI is saving lives and languages in Ghana
May 14, 2024
Somewhere on Earth

Send us a Text Message.

 How AI is saving lives and languages in Ghana
In general, people in the developing world are optimistic about the potential of AI. Of course, there are some concerns about job security and fairness, but overall, the positive outlook outweighs the negative. However, this is not the case in countries like Ghana, where suspicion and fear prevail. Interestingly, even with Google's significant presence in the country, the sentiment remains unchanged. That's why we have a special report on the state of AI in Ghana, covering everything from translation apps to healthcare. Our coverage of Ghana is thanks to author and journalist Sophia Smith Galer, who recently travelled across the country and has prepared a series of reports for us.   

The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell and the studio expert is Wairimu Gitahi.  

More on this week's stories

AI: Saving lives and languages in Ghana

Everyday AI: Your daily guide to grown with Generative AI
Can't keep up with AI? We've got you. Everyday AI helps you keep up and get ahead.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

Editor: Ania Lichtarowicz
Production Manager: Liz Tuohy
Recording and audio editing : Lansons | Team Farner

For new episodes, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts or via this link:

Follow us on all the socials:

If you like Somewhere on Earth, please rate and review it on Apple Podcasts

Contact us by email:
Send us a voice note
: via WhatsApp: +44 7486 329 484

Find a Story + Make it News = Change the World

Somewhere on Earth: The Global Tech Podcast EXTRA
Support the show and get exclusive additional subscriber content. THANK YOU!
Starting at $10/month Subscribe
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

 How AI is saving lives and languages in Ghana
In general, people in the developing world are optimistic about the potential of AI. Of course, there are some concerns about job security and fairness, but overall, the positive outlook outweighs the negative. However, this is not the case in countries like Ghana, where suspicion and fear prevail. Interestingly, even with Google's significant presence in the country, the sentiment remains unchanged. That's why we have a special report on the state of AI in Ghana, covering everything from translation apps to healthcare. Our coverage of Ghana is thanks to author and journalist Sophia Smith Galer, who recently travelled across the country and has prepared a series of reports for us.   

The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell and the studio expert is Wairimu Gitahi.  

More on this week's stories

AI: Saving lives and languages in Ghana

Everyday AI: Your daily guide to grown with Generative AI
Can't keep up with AI? We've got you. Everyday AI helps you keep up and get ahead.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

Editor: Ania Lichtarowicz
Production Manager: Liz Tuohy
Recording and audio editing : Lansons | Team Farner

For new episodes, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts or via this link:

Follow us on all the socials:

If you like Somewhere on Earth, please rate and review it on Apple Podcasts

Contact us by email:
Send us a voice note
: via WhatsApp: +44 7486 329 484

Find a Story + Make it News = Change the World

00:00:00 Gareth Mitchell 

Hello, we're back. It's only the Somewhere on Earth podcast and it's Tuesday the 14th of May 2024. Greetings from our studio here in London. 

00:00:18 Gareth Mitchell 

And with us today again is Wairimu Gitahi as I live and breathe. My goodness, Sir. How are things this Wairimu still feeling pragmatic from last time? 

00:00:27 Wairimu Gitahi 

Completely. In fact, I've got more thoughts on AI. I'm an AI girl. 

00:00:32 Wairimu Gitahi 

Now, I've been thinking, Gareth, they, there's this whole talk and many companies and organizations have been using AI for their recruitment process. And I keep on thinking, what about gut feeling, you know, because when you're interviewing someone, when you, when you talk to them, when you connect with them, the tone of their voice, you know they are, you know, facial expressions. There's something more that you learn that you can't learn from paper.  

00:01:05 Wairimu Gitahi 

So I'm turning between OK, let's use AI, but I want at what point in the recruitment process should we use it? Should we use it at the very beginning first after we, should we just use it for shortlisting? Is that good enough? Will we miss something still because we only have looked at data? Or should we still you know like 

00:01:24 Wairimu Gitahi 

still use AI for the shortlisting process and then have a final like interview face to face, and that's where we determine, you know, what our gut is telling us. So I've been thinking about, I don't know what you think Gareth. 

00:01:37 Gareth Mitchell 

Oh, it's a really tricky one, isn't it? So that we all know that gut instinct thing and maybe we like to think, well, it's it's a positive thing. Just as human beings, there just be some little resonance there, something we pick up on that is not on paper, that maybe even is beyond the way that the candidate is trying to present  

00:01:56 Gareth Mitchell 

a version of themselves that they think will be acceptable. I guess the flip side to that is that that gut instinct may be based on our own biases, our unconscious biases or prejudices, and could lead us into some 

00:02:10 Gareth Mitchell 

maybe unintended and possibly unintended bad consequences if we're not careful. So the gut instinct could cut both ways. I'm so I'm being a bit on the fence on this one. I'd like to think that just as sensitive human beings, especially if we're aware that as all of us do bring our own biases and our assumptions to things, 

00:02:17 Wairimu Gitahi 


00:02:29 Gareth Mitchell 

that maybe just as responsible and nice people that we can account for that as best we can and use that gut instinct for the very best of what is human. 

00:02:40 Wairimu Gitahi 

Sure, agreed. 

00:02:41 Gareth Mitchell 

There we are agreed. Agreements broken out already. I'm loving it. Thank you. Here we go. Let's see. Let's see what happens next. 

00:02:52 Gareth Mitchell 

And coming up today. 

00:02:57 Gareth Mitchell 

By and large, in the developed world, populations are pretty enthusiastic about the prospects of AI. Not universally, of course, and there's plenty of concern about issues around jobs and fairness. But overall, positive sentiments do outweigh the negative, but that's not the same in countries like Ghana, where there's suspicion and fear, by and large.  

00:03:18 Gareth Mitchell 

And that's despite Google in Ghana establishing a big presence in that country, so from translation apps to healthcare, we have a special report about the state of AI in Ghana. 

00:03:28 Gareth Mitchell 

Meanwhile, across other topics and places we have some of your thoughts and comments. It's all right here on the Somewhere on Earth podcast. 

Right, so our focus on Ghana this week comes courtesy of author and journalist Sophia Smith Galer. 

00:03:48 Gareth Mitchell 

She's just been travelling across Ghana. She's put up an excellent documentary about her tech tour on her YouTube channel and she's put together a mini series of reports for us. First efforts to make sure that Ghana’s languages and culture are no more lost in translation. 

00:04:08 Sophia Smith Galer 

Imagine if the language you spoke wasn't on Google Translate. If you're an English speaker like me, that's pretty unthinkable. In fact, it's unimaginable for any of us that speaks a language used by million around the world. 

00:04:19 Sophia Smith Galer 

But head to a country in sub-Saharan Africa and it could be very different. In Ghana, you'll only find Twi and Ewe on Google Translate out of a smorgasbord of over 80 local languages. 

00:04:32 Felix Akwerh 

This is the translation app. 

00:04:33 Felix Akwerh 

And the good thing about the translation app is. 

00:04:36 Sophia Smith Galer 

This is Felix Akwerh. He's part of a group called Ghana NLP, and in his spare time he's helped build something incredible. His team are building an app that is putting African language translation first, not last. 

00:04:48 Felix Akwerh 

So Ghana NLP is an OpenSource initiative where we work with the local languages in building AI systems and machine learning platforms, and systems to help with real problems that we have with our local languages. Essentially it's about preserving our culture and our languages.  That for me is a driving force. 

00:05:14 Sophia Smith Galer 

The app called Khaya, is the first app to translate Ghanaian languages with machine learning and artificial intelligence. It's working hard to make sure it can offer speech recognition, something that Google Translate doesn't yet do for Twi in Ewe, which is where users can speak into the device and have their text transcribed and translated. 

00:05:32 Felix Akwerh 

If we are able to get our languages on these platforms, we can impart to the ordinary Ghanaian and the ordinary person to improve their lives in some way. So it could be online medical consultation. It could be business, it could be students learning from a teacher. 

00:05:55 Felix Akwerh 

Essentially, the fact that our platforms could be used to help people in that way also drives me, aside we keeping our language in a digital form. Our sources, I mean our platform being able to help people also drives me. 

00:06:12 Sophia Smith Galer 

As well as trying to offer a better tool for Twi and Ewe, the team behind Khaya is also working hard to platform languages that have never been translated by an app before. But getting the text together is hard. Just for Twi for example, a huge data set was required. 

00:06:27 Felix Akwerh 

So in terms of how much we need, we need at the very least one terabyte data source in Twi and if you are translating that into numbers, I'll say for each person we need about 1,000,000 sentences just to begin with. 

00:06:44 Sophia Smith Galer 

So how do you build out enough training data for, say, Dagbani, a language spoken by over a million people in northern Ghana? 

00:06:51 Sophia Smith Galer 

So where are we going now? 

00:06:52 Sadik Shahadu 

So we are going to the office of the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, an affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation and also a registered nonprofit organization based in Tamale, right here in [Sanara Coco?]. And we will be having, like, a Wikipedia chit chat with Sophia  

00:07:07 Sadik Shahadu 

from UK and she will be meeting a lot of Wikimedians from the northern region, like especially Dagbani contributors Moore, Gurene and Kusaal contributors, so.  

00:07:18 Sophia Smith Galer 

Sadik Shahadu is the executive director of the Dagbani Wikimedians user group. Normally, his group gets together to write articles in Dagbani on Wikipedia to make sure the language has a presence on the Internet. So they are used to generating a lot of text in Dagbani. They've got a passion for making sure their language is represented online. All of that is perfect for building out training data for artificial intelligence. 

00:07:44 Sadik Shahadu 

Even though AI is a technology platform that anybody at all can build a tool that would work well, we still need the people who understand the language, especially for natural language processing and also like automatic speech recognition. To produce the files you need to be original. You need to be able to produce the words in their original format, not somebody with other accent or that who doesn't understand the ways their pronunciations at all. Even though machine works with all kinds of voices, you still need the community that understands the language better. 

00:08:17 Sophia Smith Galer 

In Kumasi, where Felix lives. I watched him introduce the Khaya app to a language professor who had never heard of AI translation before. I'll leave you with her reaction. 

00:08:27 Professor (female) 

So, so interesting. This is the first time I'm seeing this. I know of translation from English to French, from French to Spanish, and other international languages, but this is the first time I'm seeing translation for our local languages, and I think it's very, very superb. Congratulations, you've done well. 

00:08:51 Gareth Mitchell 

That excited sounding language professor, ending that report from Sofia. So lots to unpack on all that Wairimu and a sign, really, that these translation technologies can take automated translation beyond, you know, I suppose, the two  

00:09:11 Gareth Mitchell 

Principal languages or the the the two languages most often kind of catered for by translation apps like Twi and Ewe. What do you think? As you heard all that? 

00:09:22 Wairimu Gitahi 

I'm I'm I'm quite excited. I mean, when I was listening to it, I'm always keen on apps that actually help to translate local African languages because 

00:09:36 Wairimu Gitahi 

we generally in one African country, there are so many, many, many languages. You know, 10s of, you know, of languages. And so when I hear that I I feel like it's going to be really useful for the people, particularly in rural areas or even if you don't lose. I mean, you don't live in rural areas, 

00:09:56 Wairimu Gitahi 

if you speak one of the languages and most likely you do, because like you mentioned, those are the two most popular languages in Ghana, you are most likely to feel much more comfortable to use it. So I think it's a great idea. 

00:10:10 Gareth Mitchell 

Yeah, I I felt that as well, you know, hearing about, you know, as I say, going beyond Twi and Ewe and I I suppose there's also a lot of there about preserving culture, isn't there because that's the thing, you talk, languages and culture. They're inextricably linked. 

00:10:24 Wairimu Gitahi 

That struck me very much because most of the time, let me give an example of where I come from, Kenya. 

00:10:33 Wairimu Gitahi 

When you grow up, but the fact that you go to school, you go to university most of the time you will speak in English because and and maybe Kiswahili, which is the one of the national languages. But that means that slowly, by slowly some other languages or your own like maternal language, 

00:10:52 Wairimu Gitahi 

you tend not to know it as well as these other languages, so I feel like the effort that is being made to preserve culture and of course language has a lot to do with it is is a really good way forward. 

00:11:05 Gareth Mitchell 

So I mentioned that Sophia has been putting together this mini-series for us and we're actually going to run all three of our mini series in this edition. So Sophia has also been focusing on health in Ghana and now this is a country with a serious lack of radiologists. And now there are innovations in new health technology to diagnose cancer. And indeed, other diseases. So in this report we hear from an inventor and a doctor. 

00:11:33 Stephen Awortwe 

So there’s the X-ray machine. 

00:11:35 Sophia Smith Galer 

In Raj Clinic in Ghana's Cape Coast, Stephen Awortwe has a busy job. He's a radiographer, one of only 300 in a country with more than 33 million people. 

00:11:46 Stephen Awortwe 

The common pathologies that we encounter here, the commonest are usually pneumonia, chest infections. Here we do scans, diagnostic procedures, so we do X-rays, CT scans and then ultrasound scans. 

00:12:04 Sophia Smith Galer 

Once he helps perform the medical imaging, he passes the scan or X-ray to a radiologist. The statistics here are even more dire. There are fewer than 100 radiologists in Ghana, and to put that into perspective, there are about 4000 in the UK, a country with only double Ghana’s population. 

00:12:21 Stephen Awortwe 

So the radiologist looks at the X-ray and then identifies the pathologogies, facing pathologies as any abnormality. 

00:12:28 Stephen Awortwe 

And once he identifies the pathology, he makes a report. So it's based on the report that the the doctor, that's the referring Dr, the one I requested for the procedure will be used only to do the treatment. 

00:12:42 Sophia Smith Galer 

But over the last year, a new tool has disrupted this traditional process. This clinic is pioneering an AI tool from MINO Health, which reads all of the scans and flags any abnormalities it may spot. 

00:12:54 Dr Bashiru Jimah 

It makes my work very easy. 

00:12:56 Sophia Smith Galer 

Dr Jima Bashirul is the radiologist who runs this clinic alongside two other diagnostic centres. 

00:13:02 Dr Bashiru Jimah 

The AI actually screens. That's why we call screening. So the confidence level for picking up normal X-rays or normal chest X-rays is very high, so the AI tells you this X-ray is normal, in most cases it's normal. But if the AI is able to pick up the slightest abnormality, then it comes to me to do a formal report. So the AI is not taking away my work, so I have no fear that AI is coming to take my work. 

00:13:36 Sophia Smith Galer 

Dr Bashiru not only helped MINO Health develop this tool, he has been keeping an eye on AI developments for a long time and is confident about the difference it can make in his country. 

00:13:46 Dr Bashiru Jimah  

We are getting to the stage where AI will make the work easier. It makes the work faster. It would use the workload and it actually sharpening the kind of results that we churn out. You know, I mean I think four or five years ago I was involved in a huge study in Ghana where we use AI to diagnose tuberculosis in Ghana. Tuberculosis the biggest study in Ghana, we use AI, and when we compare the results of AI and the X-rays that my colleagues and I read the results were incredible. 

00:14:28 Dr Bashiru Jimah 

And that too has been deployed in the whole of Ghana and the seven Ghanaians that don't even know they are being, their X-rays are read by AI. They have no idea. 

00:14:38 Sophia Smith Galer 

Back in Ghana's capital, I was eager to meet the innovator behind the incredible tool that is already saving lives, especially as Raj Clinics say 100 people so far have been screened by it. 

00:14:48 Darlington Akogo 

In actuality, what we are doing is we are building the first AI digital doctor, and let’s just say  a digital doctor. 

00:14:58 Sophia Smith Galer 

Darlington Akogo says AI can help save lives far more quickly than other healthcare reforms. 

00:15:03 Darlington Akogo 

The natural thing might be why don't you train more doctors? Because medical school takes forever. It's about 6 years and there's a specialisation, and then we have issues even retaining the ones that we've trained. So Ghana, for example, loses a lot of medical doctors to other parts of the world they actually go to the UK, they go to South America because they are paid there more. 

00:15:23 Darlington Akogo 

And so our angle is that build AI solutions that can automate some of the tasks that doctors do, and this AI solutions can empower the few assistant doctors that we have, so that they provide care to people. So we actually have AI solutions that already do this within Ghana. 

00:15:42 Sophia Smith Galer 

But it wasn't easy convincing doctors that his tool was a good idea. 

00:15:46 Darlington Akogo 

So no, it was in the beginning it was, it was quite, you know, a heavy pushback that we got, right? So I can vividly remember as far back as 2017 going to hospitals and then talking about, hey, we have this AI solutions that, you know you could use, and they were,  

00:16:10 Darlington Akogo 

Just, they found the idea outrageous that you want to give some digital to the ability to influence something that connects to human health, right? I can vividly remember engaging some group that literally asked me is it legal to use an AI system in healthcare, I was like, well, it's not illegal. 

00:16:29 Darlington Akogo 

There's no law against using AI, so you know, going from that to now where the reception is much more, it makes sense to everyone to be honest. There's no one that we have to explain to why there's a need for AI in healthcare. It's more of how do we do it the right way? How does it not, you know, eventually lead to job loss for clinicians, but yeah, we've seen the reception change quite a lot. 

00:16:54 Gareth Mitchell 

Right, so that report from Sophia and let's get a few little thoughts here from you Wairimu  because that is a big problem in any country, when you have that lack of X-ray specialists and radiologists and then a technology comes along that shows great promise in being able to go through thousands of scans very quickly and based on its training data, do screening and diagnostics. 

00:17:19 Wairimu Gitahi 

Yeah, I mean, I would just like to emphasize something she said or we heard from that report, like 50 radiologists in the whole of Ghana, so that means one radiologist for every 600,000 people. 

00:17:32 Wairimu Gitahi 

So if you're going to reduce that number by using artificial intelligence, you're going to save a lot of lives as well, you know? So I think, and this is a problem that is across Africa and we we are seeing in many countries, even in Kenya, the use of AI in the medical space. 

00:17:43 Gareth Mitchell 

You sure are and. 

00:17:54 Wairimu Gitahi 

For example, I know that recently we have this health insurance app called M-Tiba. 

00:17:59 Wairimu Gitahi 

And it's using the app to make the claim process much faster. And of course this is reducing the waiting time and so on and so forth. So I think because there's a very big problem of doctors, of infrastructure, medical-wise in Africa, of course it's a very welcome tool. 

00:18:19 Gareth Mitchell 

And I suppose it it's a flip side to that worry around jobs, isn't it? People worried about these tools taking people's jobs, and that is a completely legitimate worry, by the way. But if the those jobs didn't exist in the first place you know, it's not as if, like, say, 20,000 radiologists are going to go out of business in Ghana because they're not there in the first place. So this is a flip side to that worry. 

00:18:40 Wairimu Gitahi 

Yeah, sure. And also, I think when people, when something new comes into society and you don't understand it, I think mostly because of the fear it makes you have all these assumptions. And it's true, maybe in some cases it will take away some jobs. 

00:18:57 Wairimu Gitahi 

But I also believe that as it takes away, it also, we come up with new job opportunities as well. So I think that, of course there's one thing that worries me more than the creation or the taking away of jobs yeah. I'm wondering, still there's a problem. You know, all these apps, all these AI tools that we are having only benefit you if you have access to them. 

00:19:20 Wairimu Gitahi 

And still we have a very big problem with infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas in Africa. So some of these things still cannot function without a proper infrastructure system that the company that is is coming up with these solutions perhaps cannot do by themselves, or they can't. We can just assume that or or or think that. 

00:19:41 Wairimu Gitahi 

And so there are many players that have to come into place for such tools to be as effective as they were intended to be. 

00:19:49 Gareth Mitchell 

All right. OK. So let's go for the third and final of Sophia's report. 

00:19:54 Gareth Mitchell 

Because Google now has a big presence in Ghana, and Sophie's interested in how that's affecting the tech scene in the country and maybe people's attitudes to technology and AI specifically. And first though, we go back to Sophia's original reason to visit Ghana. 

00:20:12 Sophia Smith Galer 

Will AI mostly help or mostly harm us in the next 20 years? 

00:20:16 Sophia Smith Galer 

That's a question that the Lloyds Register Foundations World Risk Poll in 2021 asked around the world, and the findings were fascinating. If you live in Europe or Eastern Asia, you're likely to think that AI will help, but go to where populations are classed as low or lower middle income, and the picture dramatically changes. 

00:20:36 Sophia Smith Galer 

In central and Western Africa, Northern Africa, Eastern Africa and southern Asia, there are the highest levels of worry about harm from AI. Curious to understand why this was, I applied for a grant to investigate what was going on in a country I was surprised to see so pessimistic about AI – Ghana - why? 

00:20:55 Sophia Smith Galer 

Because I know that's where there is such a vibrant tech scene. One so vibrant it attracted  Google to set up their first AI research centre in Africa, in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. 

00:21:06 Sophia Smith Galer 

My first step was to ask locals about what they thought about AI. (vox pops) 

00:21:10 Ghanaian male 

In every situation there is positive and negative. 

00:21:13  Ghanaian Female 

I'm not a fan of AI, especially when I got to know that you can use someone's voice on a different song and it it is not something that should be encouraged. 

00:21:24  Ghanaian Male 

But it's gonna be faster but it may cause unemployment too. 

00:21:26  Ghanaian female student 

As a student then it makes my life easier because I take a long time to go through books before getting to know certain things, but also, it makes me a little lazy. 

00:21:38 Ghanaian male 

Well, I think AI is great. I'm one person who admires innovation. I believe that the the world is supposed to go forward and we are not supposed to go backwards. It means I have to upgrade myself to learn how to use it, because while that is taking job away from someone else, someone else is getting a job. So I need to be that person getting a new job. 

00:22:02 Ghanaian young woman 

It’s quite scary. 

00:22:04 Sophia Smith Galer 

I thought some of their answers were fascinating. Not a single person mentioned the Google Research Centre, nor did they mention any local AI innovation that I had been hearing about. I took these responses to Darlington Akogo, an Accra based AI innovator and pioneer. 

00:22:20 Darlington Akogo 

I would say yes. Let's acknowledge the fears that people have about AI. Some of it might be just the mere fact that they don't understand it. So let's do a better job of explaining it, what AI means and letting them know the realistic dangers and the dangers that are not realistic as of 2023. 

00:22:40 Darlington Akogo 

You're not going to have like Terminator walking down the street attacking you. It's not realistic, but you can have AI bias. You can have all of those things and then let them understand what is being done,  

00:22:54 Darlington Akogo 

and what could be done to cap those dangers? But yes, we need we need to have honest conversations about it. 

00:23:01 Sophia Smith Galer 

While I was in Accra, I got to attend a media day at Google where they were showcasing a few of the artificial intelligence projects they have been working on, alongside interventions to better predict weather and flash flooding. One of the projects is open buildings. This is Abigail Annkah, research software engineer. 

00:23:19 Abigail Annkah 

This project is called the open buildings data set.  It is full cost or market build up environment in the developing world and we using satellite imagery and we have managed to successfully train an AI model that is able to predict the presence or absence of building from satellite imagery and transform the data  

00:23:43 Abigail Annkah 

we obtained into a max data and shared with the external community through the website you would see on the screen. 

00:23:52 Sophia Smith Galer 

The UN has already been using this data for survey sampling and the International Energy Agency has been using it to estimate energy needs. 

00:24:00 Sophia Smith Galer 

But what was clear from my time in Ghana and the interviews that you are about to hear, is that most people have no idea these interventions are taking place. Could it be that one of the reasons people think AI will mostly cause harm over the next 20 years rather than good is because we aren't talking enough about the good that it can do? 

00:24:22 Gareth Mitchell 

Well, thank you very much to Sophia Smith Galer for those three reports. Final few words from you then Wairimu about what you've just heard and that starting point, I suppose in that across Africa, the continent of Africa, that the worries around AI tend to outweigh 

00:24:42 Gareth Mitchell 

the optimism around it, which is a contrast to research in the maybe the places like the Europe and the United States, where people overall are kind of enthusiastic despite of course a few worries. Is that so is that a picture that you recognise? 

00:24:58 Wairimu Gitahi 

Umm. What I recognise is that I've realized that many people haven't tried any AI tool. 

00:25:08 Wairimu Gitahi 

That they will have all these like assumptions about what it can do and what it will take away and all these other issues about privacy which which are quite, you know, have, you know, are reasonable. But my my thinking is that when I ask people like which tool have you used? Have you used ChatGPT, have you used Have you, you know, most of my answer is that the people haven't used them enough. 

00:25:36 Wairimu Gitahi 

Or or haven't even learned how to use them because they're not supposed to take away like your ideas. It's supposed to create like a sort of like support. You know, if you're a writer, you, you're imagining the AI tool is like one more person in your editorial team. So that's my big problem that we discussed, AI but we haven't really used it. 

00:26:00 Wairimu Gitahi 

So we just have fears about it. So I guess that’s why someone like Sophia got this kick-back as she walked around the streets of Ghana to get people's feedback. 

00:26:11 Gareth Mitchell 

So the the fear of the unfamiliar, partly, but also some very well-founded fears on some of the issues and very serious issues that AI raises. Good. Thank you very much indeed for that. Now, just before we leave it for this edition, might we do a little bit of our fun, SOEP SUDS and awards and subscriber numbers? 

00:26:31 Gareth Mitchell 

I think could be rather good fun if we just got a moment to do one or two, because we're gonna come back to you, first of all, Wairimu, because you requested #21, which we have granted, but we didn't really go into much detail about why you want that number. So why does 21 matter to you? 

00:26:47 Wairimu Gitahi 

Ohh OK yeah. Good question, Gareth. 

00:26:50 Gareth Mitchell 

Put you on the spot there. 

00:26:54 Wairimu Gitahi 

I think 21 matters to me because I think that's when I started seriously doing stories. And decided that my career in communications in journalism was going to be about social impact and that's what excites me about being. You'll notice that most of the time when I comment about latest technology, it's always technology for good because I believe that many of these things will transform 

00:27:17 Gareth Mitchell 


00:27:20 Wairimu Gitahi 

particularly Africa. And so I think that's the time when I became more conscious that I have this like sort of like, I could call it a calling to do these kind of stories that will transform the African continent or make people aware of how much talent and good there is in the continent. 

00:27:39 Gareth Mitchell 

All right, that's good. Well, definitely I'm very, very happy that we granted you 21 in that case. And a few quick ones here then. Barbara asks, well, she begins with a question. Should leading zeroes and vulgar fractions be acceptable? 

00:27:54 Gareth Mitchell 

And she's kind of asking if that's OK. I'm going to say yes it is. Then, Barbara said, if that is the case, I would like to claim 006 and 7/8 in honour of my friend David Bond, who signed himself thus. So yeah, 006 definitely not just six and seven eights. I see why David Bond would want to be 

00:28:14 Gareth Mitchell 

just the 006 ahead of 007, but 006 and seven eights, that's very specific. Yeah, I I love that. 

00:28:22 Gareth Mitchell 

Do you approve? Wairimu? 

00:28:24 Wairimu Gitahi 


00:28:25 Gareth Mitchell 

Yeah. What about you? Editor and producer Ania. So that one will go through. We're going to grant that, Barbara. Congratulations.  Ohh, Chris Purdy. I feel so guilty every time I read this. Chris says every episode I'm on tenterhooks to see if my chosen subscriber number has been used. But after I finished listening, I forget to ask for the number. If it hasn't already been bagged, can I ask for listener number or subscriber #10 please, because as they say, 

00:28:51 Gareth Mitchell 

they, there are one zero types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't. So actually Chris doesn't want the number 10. He's actually asking for 10 as expressed in binary. And I'm just looking through the subscriber database here. That one hasn't gone. So I'm going to have to put it down. 

00:29:10 Gareth Mitchell 

As binary, binary one zero. 

00:29:12 Gareth Mitchell 

What do we reckon, Ania? First thumbs up from Ania and you, Wairimu. 

00:29:18 Wairimu Gitahi 

Yeah, I'll go with Ania. Ania is always right. 

00:29:21 Gareth Mitchell 

Good. So we've got 11 approvals there. That's binary for three approvals. 

00:29:27 Gareth Mitchell 

Because I'm one of them. And finally, uh, Clive Potter wants to claim 6210, Clive said ‘It's the model of my favorite and longest lasting smartphone. Sadly, the ribbon cable between the two sliding halves broke and I couldn't get a replacement.’ So in memory of Clive's 6210 phone, can we grant that then Wairimu? 

00:29:49 Wairimu Gitahi 

Yeah. I mean, he's connected it to tech, so we have no choice. That's what we do best. 

00:29:52 Gareth Mitchell 

Yeah, it's an, a little bit of a personal story there as well. Bit of retro nostalgia so there's quite a lot going for that request. What about you Ania? Ania agrees as well. There you go. We're out of here. Thank you very much, Wairimu, that was fun. 

00:30:07 Wairimu Gitahi 

That was fun, thank you so much, Gareth, speak soon. 

00:30:09 Gareth Mitchell 

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to Dylan, he's doing the sound levels for us today as our sound engineer. 

00:30:16 Gareth Mitchell 

The producer editor is Ania, production manager is Liz Tuohy, and I'm Gareth. And we're all here at Lanson's Team Farner bidding you a very fond farewell.  Bye bye.