Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are often in the news, as they are exciting new areas of research that have the potential to do so much good for the world at large.
Last week, local tech site Hypertext reported that South Africa’s own Wits University is busy with the creation of a new “research operation for Africa”, an initiative that aims to conduct AI research “aimed at the African market”.
Says Wits’ deputy vice-chancellor for research and post-graduate affairs, Zeblon Vilakazi, “To become competitive in this new wave of innovation fuelled by AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and with the substantial accumulation of resources and investments in new technologies in North America, Europe and Asia, require efforts in southern Africa on a magnitude far greater than any previous endeavour spanning academia and industry.”
This initiative forms part of government’s drive to ready the country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution through education, and it’s fantastic news as all too often the buzz around AI and ML comes from overseas rather than somewhere closer to home.
The programme is being built through a partnership between Wits’ Molecular Sciences Institute and the Cirrus Initiative, an organisation dedicated to the pursuit of advancing AI in Africa.
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