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News 2 > Global Student Prize - Finalists > 2022 Finalists Global Student Prize > Dev Aditya

Dev Aditya

Dev Aditya
Dev Aditya

Dev Aditya is studying for a Ph.D. in AI and Computer Science at Brunel University London. An award-winning innovator, change maker and entrepreneur, Dev is working to upskill and train a generation of students in Asia, Africa, and beyond. He is a strong believer in AI for good.

Completely self-taught in AI with no formal background in the subject or computer science, Dev and co-founder Dr Pauldy Otermans had the vision to upskill millions of students in South Asia who, they discovered, were given no professional skills and life skills training. The region was already facing its highest unemployment rates in decades, and having an untrained workforce would result in millions of young people being unemployed for no fault of their own. This gave birth to Otermans Institute; a specialised education research and development firm in London that focuses on providing essential skills training to students in South Asia to significantly improve their employability. Otermans Institute is contracted by governments and bodies such as UNICEF and has trained over 35,000 learners across three continents. In 2021, Otermans Institute rapidly expanded to countries such as Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Through Otermans Institute, Dev has given over 50 internships to students since the beginning of 2021. This has significantly helped them develop employability experience and skills while working on exciting projects that are solving real-world problems.

In 2020, all training provided by Otermans Institute was brought to a halt by the pandemic. To tackle this Dev first launched the Lessons for humanity series which was used by 20,000 people at the height of the first lockdown, and then launched a digital training series called Project OI Digital Training with the help of trainers from other UK universities. However, it was clear that without a quick technological solution that could bring a teacher or a trainer to learners who needed it the most, such upskilling interventions would continue be inaccessible to millions of learners globally. Dev therefore created an an AI solution to provide Otermans Institute's training to the world and OIAI was born.

OIAI is a humanlike AI-driven teacher that can be accessed by anyone with a smart device and low latency internet 24/7. It has successfully tested its impact on training students in South Africa and BCF United Nations camp in Kurdistan Iraq. OIAI will initially be launched to train and upskill people displaced by war or violence and will then aim to disrupt traditional in-person and digital training provisions globally. OIAI aims to give a personalised teacher to everyone who needs one globally.

Prior to his Ph.D., Dev worked as an AI model architect and had created conversational humanoid avatars using AI to teach refugee learners and even a Bot guised as a career coach for underserved learners in South Africa. Today as an AI Ph.D. student, he has presented at, and been published in, seven conference papers and journals. Dev’s current work is finalising a Sign Language Avatar to democratise access to all digital learning content for sign language users.

Dev has also successfully launched a green transportation scheme that serves 30,000 people every year, ran national award-winning inclusivity campaigns in the UK, and developed sustainability models for rural communities.

Dev is also an active mentor for several current Brunel University London students, the governor of his local school and a Trustee and board member of two student-centered charities including one with over £11 million annual turnover and 17,000 direct beneficiaries. He also mentors two groups of entrepreneurs and one social entrepreneur who have all opened start-ups in the education and EdTech space. He is also the Deputy President of his Student Union. Dev Aditya aims to upskill 750 million learners by 2025 using AI and digital technology innovation.

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