A Nigerian scientist and Silicon Valley-based inventor, Oshiorenoya Agabi has developed a computer that can recognise the smell of explosives and aid in bomb detection. He unveiled the modem-sized technology at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.
The AI technology is christened “Koniku Kore”, Leadership reports. The system is made from a mixture of living neurons and silicon, with sensors that can detect and recognise smells. Agabi said it could be used to replace traditional airport security and could provide the template for future robots production. The near human feature of Agabi’s computer has earned him a number of accolades in the tech space. Although, some say experts say that “making such systems for mass-market will be challenging”.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Agabi described the computer thus: “You can give the neurons instructions about what to do – in our case, we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives”. The device could also be used to detect illness by sensing markers of a disease in the air molecules that a patient gives off.
Agabi’s start-up company- Koniku- was launched over a year ago and has raised about $1m (£800,000) in a recent funding.He says that the company is already making profits of about $10m and boasts of customers in the aviation and pharmaceuticals industries at the moment.
The TED talks (originally known as Technology, Entertainment and Design) has built a global following for its online videos of inspiring talks devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. The annual international version is taking place in Africa for the first time in a decade with a new crop of “TED Fellows” from the continent to take to the stage.
Agabi spoke alongside a variety of speakers at the opening session of the four-day TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania which focused on putting African ideas, innovation and creativity in the spotlight.
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