How AI in Africa is getting in the groove

Mar 11, 2019, 7:54 AM EDT
(Source: thierry ehrmann/flickr)
(Source: thierry ehrmann/flickr)

Africa remains on the outskirts of the global AI research and development but no short of the zeal and talent to inch toward the center of the ongoing revolution. Unarguably, the Silicon Valley, London, and Shenzhen harbor most of the talent, driving innovation and development in this technology, but the giants have begun to identify the possibilities in Africa, a continent that has demographics on its side.

About 60 percent of the population in Africa is under the age of 25, with a notable percentage of aspiring young minds leaning toward careers in computer science and machine learning, writes Fast Company.

The recent developments in Africa’s AI sphere manifest the power of these demographic stats. NeurIPS, one of the most prestigious AI conferences in the world with a history of 31 years, for the first time in 2018, accepted research papers from an African institution.

Accra in Ghana now hosts one of Google’s AI Research Labs. Ethiopia, so far, outpaces its other neighbors in attracting AI researchers and has an office of the AI firm, SingularityNET, which developed the famed Sophia robot.

Moustapha Cissé, research scientist and head of Google AI in Accra, Ghana, illustrates that Africa’s local environment and problems provide a fresh perspective in the development of AI, notes Silicon Republic.