Nigeria’s Oshiorenoya Agabi wants to Improve Artificial Intelligence Through his Startup, Koniku

AI or artificial intelligence is the simulation of human processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning, reasoning and self-correction. Making decisions faster and far more accurately than humans is considered the next step in the evolution of AI.

However, Oshiorenoya Agabi believes that these processors are missing one major component in that evolution: actual human brains.

With his startup Koniku a technology company founded in 2014, and primarily working on visual processing, data processing and pattern recognition.

Agabi is working on fusing lab-grown biological neurons onto computer chips in hopes of improving the current state of artificial intelligence.

“Koniku comes from a Nigerian word which literally translates to ‘has no death’, immortal. We are inspired by hydras – the first organisms to have a nervous system. The Hydras are also an immortal species. The evolution from a Hydra to the human brain has taken nearly 600 million years. Cheers to another 600 million to come.” The website clearly explains.

Rather than building chips that simply mimic the brain function of humans, Agabi hopes go directly to the source and borrow the actual material of the human brains to create these chips in an effort to make them more powerful than their standard silicon predecessors as Neurons are the ultimate reality data processors.

Speaking about the progress of the project, Agabi said: “Essentially, for the last fifteen years, I have worked to understand how neurons talk to each other. I’ve worked on how to communicate with individual neurons – how to read information from them and write information into them.”

So, through years of teaching machines to learn, and through the study of the brain’s mechanics, Agabi believes that his team will be able to build a computer chip with living, learning processors made of biological neurons. This is obviously a giant stride taken by Agabi, and we couldn’t be more proud of this unique African tech guru.

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