June 3, 2020
Babusi Nyoni, an African design strategist and innovator, shares his journey as a self-taught technologist who creates impactful tech solutions for Africans and people of color. After finishing high school, Babusi worked as a designer before shifting into programming and technology creation because he wasn't satisfied with how developers were executing his ideas. He taught himself to create machine learning models and AI software using free online resources.
His magic power: re-purposing popular entertainment tech to solve big challenges such as health and refugee crises. Case in point: his re-purposing of the Vosho dance app into a tool which helps medical professionals diagnose Parkinson's disease. Babusi is a hero to black women everywhere because he invented a machine learning model which assists black women with their hairstyles.
"There are lots of advancements that have been made in the fields of machine learning and AI that people don't know about. It's the role of people like myself who have our fingers on the pulse to speak about these things and to make examples so that people from under-represented communities can look at these things and say 'Wait. You built this dance move rating app using this complex tech? And you didn't go to university? How do I do it?"