Wilfred Onyango Odoyo might not be a household name in Kenya, in part, due to his unique line of work and given the relatively slow uptake of technology in the country.
In South Korea, however, Odoyo has done some groundbreaking work in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, having pursued his entire university studies in the Asian country.
Odoyo was brought to the fore on veteran journalist Alex Chamwada's Daring Abroad series, where he visited the company where Odoyo works.
According to Odoyo's LinkedIn profile, he is the director in charge of product management at the Korea-based AIBrain, a company he has been working in since January 2016.
AIBrain describes itself as an artificial intelligence company with the goal of building fully autonomous AI by unifying the three essential aspects of intelligence, namely Problem Solving, Learning and Memory.
It was selected as one of Top 20 Artificial Intelligence Companies in the world by Datamation on September 20, 2016, alongside tech giants such as Amazon and Google.
Odoyo is causing waves with a major project still in the pipelines, that he identified as the Ultimate Family Companion, known in loose terms as Fiona, a robot that can be configured to play roles as intended by its owner.
"We've just started with Fiona who would provide companionship to the elderly, the sick and be a general relayer of information and instruction. We developed it for three main reasons, an assistant, a companion, and an entertainer," he stated of Fiona.
Odoyo's team is part of the scientists that designed a robot that carried the Olympic torch in Diageo, South Korea, in the run-up to 2018 Pyongyang (North Korea) Winter Olympics.
He is also the chair of the Kenyan Professionals and Business Associations of Kenyans in South Korea, which has a membership o about 300 Kenyans.
He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering, professing his expertise on Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence, and Pattern Recognition with interest in Biometric Systems and Robotics.
He studied at the prestigious Chosun University in South Korea, where he had been a student and researcher between 2002 to 2012, having pursued his high school studies at St. Joseph's Rapogi.
Odoyo is fluent in English, Swahili and Korean.
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