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Will training AI to be more “African” undermine our literary ownership?

Will training AI to be more “African” undermine our literary ownership?

RECENT pushback by Singaporean writers against state efforts to use their work for AI training has cast the spotlight on a similar conundrum in Africa. As efforts to imbue Large Language Models (LLMs) with a deeper understanding of African perspectives and narratives gain traction, the African literary community stands at a crossroads. Will they protect their intellectual property like their Singaporean counterparts, or seize the opportunity to influence the burgeoning field of AI? Is it possible to do both? Africa boasts a vibrant literary tradition that has significantly influenced global literary circles. Prominent African writers such as Chinua Achebe, Wole…
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Kole Omotoso, the Nigerian writer, scholar and actor who inspired a continent

Kole Omotoso, the Nigerian writer, scholar and actor who inspired a continent

BANKOLE Ajibabi Omotoso, better known as Kole Omotoso, the Nigerian novelist, playwright, journalist, scholar and actor, died on 19 July 2023. His son Akin Omotoso, a filmmaker, announced the death of the writer on Instagram. It came at a time when Nigeria was celebrating the 89th birthday of Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first Nobel laureate in literature and Omotoso’s colleague at the then-University of Ife. Both were so prominent nationwide that everyone wanted to go to Ife and study at their feet, especially those aspiring to a career in the arts or humanities. OLAYINKA OYEGBILE, Journalist and Communications scholar, Trinity University,…
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Wole Soyinka’s life of writing holds Nigeria up for scrutiny

Wole Soyinka’s life of writing holds Nigeria up for scrutiny

AKINWANDE Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka, known simply as Wole Soyinka, can’t be easily described. He is a teacher, an ideologue, a scholar and an iconoclast, an elder statesman, a patriot and a culturalist. The Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet and essayist is a giant among his contemporaries. In 1986, he became the first sub-Saharan African, and is one of only five Africans, to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature. This was in recognition of the way he “fashions the drama of existence”. Author ABAYOMI AWELEWA, Lecturer in African and African Diasporan Literature, University of Lagos His works reveal him as a…
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