Nigeria alone has a population of approximately 200 million citizens with an adult literacy rate of 59.6%. Meaning over 80 million adults are not fluent in English. Almost every Nigerian understands and can speak Nigerian pidgin. Nigerian Pidgin is also spoken across Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon and of-course Nigeria. Mobile phone penetration is over 84% - just saying. I have built a prototype algorithm that at this moment does okay in recognizing pidgin, interpreting it to English and can communicate back(text to speech) in Nigerian pidgin. It's been tested by few of my colleagues and friends... And does fairly good in recognizing most of what they say in pidgin, however not as good as Siri or Alexa yet. I was wondering beyond research optimizations, if there is a business model or any commercial viability into this algorithm? Thanks!
Sounds wonderful. Well done.
In order to find commercial viability (or a business model), it would be best to try answer the following question: which 'pain' / problem does your solution solve for people (or can solve for them with certain changes).
For example: if there is a known problem/pain of people who come to Nigeria and are then unable to communicate properly because of the language barrier, then this could be a wonderful tool (mobile app?) for them, which they would be willing to pay to use. Or maybe vice versa: many Nigerians have difficulty speaking English to people who come to Nigeria (although you need to be sure that they would be willing / able to pay for your service).
I think that there are many other options and would be happy to help you discuss them (free of charge - with the intention of 'partnering' with you if it looks to be profitable) - https://clarity.fm/assafben-david/probable653
A few things that you may want to consider to help you move forward with this:
1. Define your target market in more detail:
a. Nigerian Pidgin speakers vs. English speakers vs. both - and why
b. What platform would this be used on? (e.g. If smartphones: Define the percentage of people in Nigeria that use smartphones (e.g. 13%, 25 million).)
c. If non-English speaking Nigerian Pidgin speakers: Define the percentage of smartphone users within this group.
d. Why will these speakers use this product and how will they benefit from it?
2. What dialect is it based on and how many errors will come up with other dialects? Since there are multiple Nigerian Pidgin dialects and often ethnic groups add additional words, it may help to map out the differences to get a complete picture to help you decide on the best location and way to implement.
3. What are the potential revenue streams with this product? (e.g. product purchase for personal use vs. company use, ads, etc.)
Hey! There is definitely a business model and commercial viability. And this is why I would strongly suggest that you 'patent' your product before going out and looking for investors or clients. I say this with reference to squabbles that have occurred between a few inventors and Vodacom (the giant telecommunication service in Africa).
Look, in your case, there are strong advantages:'Nigeria attracts a lot of investors because of its greatest currency which is the population. The same population is already a great market and this is the reason why companies such as MTN-South Africa cling on Nigeria.
Based on everything you just wrote, you already qualify to get an audience from big Tech companies...
For you to make money, I suggest that you sell your services to an existing app company (Facebook,Google...) or/and to companies that manufacture items which could use your invention (cellphone companies,Network provider...).
Based on what you wrote and due to the huge market available in Nigeria, you already qualify to speak to them. And you can contact them directly.
Just make sure you patent your invention.
Now, this is my bonus advice: 'if you decide to partner with someone before meeting those big Tech companies, then I suggest that you require from that partner to not only give you 'seed money' but to also to bring to the table the ability to connect you with Big Tech companies. And he/she must prove that he/she can connect you.
I say this because sometimes just throwing money as investment is not enough.
Oh remember again:' Patent your invention...'