Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa – Season’s Greetings!

 

Season’s greetings to the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) community, our partners and all our supporters who showed interest in how exponential technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the operationalization of Big Data & Analytics and Data Science can help shape a better future for us all, including to help transform Africa. We live in a golden age for AI and some believe we have just entered it. As discussed in Deep Learning in Africa, AI is also growing in leaps and bounds on the African continent and is being further strengthened by a range of exciting activities and initiatives such as the Deep Learning Indaba (sponsored by Google, amongst others), multiple MIIA events, the 1st AI Africa Conference, the Deep Learning HackathonData Science Nigeria‘s 1st National Summit on Big Data Economy and 2nd Data Science Bootcamp (as well as its collaboration with MIIA), MIIA’s representation at the Global Symposium of AI and Inclusion, the Deep Learning Hackathon, the MIIA and AIMS event on AI and Data Science, and other AI and Machine Learning events. MIIA is also mentioned in this primer on the South African AI ecosystem which provides an overview of some startups using AIs, incubators and accelerators, organizations and hubs, education initiatives, collaborations and innovation challenges. As can be seen in the diagram below, it has been a tremendous year of growth and collaboration that provides and excellent foundation that we can build on in 2018.

Apart from the MIIA community growing at a rapid pace with currently 1650+ people that are registered across the various social channels and from all over Africa (of which the majority are currently still from South Africa), MIIA is also collaborating with a range of partners from a business, academic, research, non profit, incubator and government perspective for support and sponsorship of meetups, events, hackathons and projects. This is all in support of MIIA’s mission of being an innovative community and accelerator for Machine Intelligence and Data Science research and applications to help transform Africa. Apart from the range of partners (see below), MIIA is also having discussions with the World Bank and Gates Foundation, amongst others.

We would also like to thank and make special mention of some key partners that has supported MIIA in 2017:

  • Barclays’ Rise Cape Town – Rise is an international Barclays open innovation programme. MIIA hosted several events over the past two years at their premises in Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town
  • Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), which is best-known for managing the Bandwidth Barn, a space for start-ups to grow and connect in Cape Town, CiTi also successfully runs several programmes in the skills and enterprise development space. MIIA also hosted several events over the past two years at their premises in Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town
  • Cortex Logic is a machine intelligence software company that provides an AI Engine for businesses to operationalize Big Data & Analytics and delivers state-of-the-art AI-based applications, solutions and products. Cortex Logic has sponsored various MIIA events.
  • IBM has sponsored MIIA’s first Deep Learning Hackathon, which was a great success. Thanks also to The DIZ for providing the venue in Johannesburg for this awesome event.
  • PwC has hosted a very successful MIIA event at their premises in the Waterfront in Cape Town where the theme was “Data Science Applications to help businesses thrive in the Smart Technology Era”.
  • Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab has also hosted a few MIIA events the past two years of which the latest successful one was themed “Machine Intelligence and its Applications” and very well attended.
  • Insights2Impact (i2i), a resource centre that generates insights through data for impact in financial inclusion. The theme of our collaborative event was “Making the invisible visible: Digital footprints and financial inclusion”
  • Accelerate Cape Town, an economic hub through catalytic, innovative and focused business leadership intervention. MIIA was represented as one of the guest speakers at their Thought Leaders event on “AI and Machine Learning” in Cape Town.
  • Data Science Nigeria‘s 1st National Summit on Big Data Economy and both Data Science Bootcamps – See more about Data Science Nigeria’s collaboration with MIIA.
  • Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University for their sponsorship of MIIA’s representation at the Global Symposium of AI and Inclusionin Rio de Janeiro.
  • AIMS – African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. We had our first joint event on “AI and Data Science” earlier in December.
  • Hyperion Dev – At MIIA we believe in the transformation of tech and data science skills in Africa and HyperionDev is contributing to this advancement by providing accessible and affordable coding education.
  • eXe-ML – Executive Machine Learning. Apart from sponsoring one of MIIA’s events, we have also participated in their event in Sandton.
  • Africa Data Forum and the Africa Data Science Association – MIIA has partnered with these organizations on the All Things Data conference in Cape Town.
  • Far Ventures Global, a startup- builder to foster tech entrepreneurship in Africa. MIIA has partnered with Far Ventures on an event themed “How can AI disrupt industries?”. The venue for the event was at Silicon Cape‘s Workshop 17 premises.
  • SA Innovation Summit, where MIIA was also represented in a pannel discussion on Artificial Intelligence.
  • The Circuit, organizers of the 1st AI Africa Conference, which was held in Johannesburg.
  • Barclays Equinox for providing an awesome venue for our first MIIA event in Johannesburg earlier this year.

Herewith also some the recent MIIA articles posted on LinkedIn to provide further background on some of our activities:

The rest of this post highlights some of this year’s events with links to the presentations, videos and photos where available.

 

AIMS / MIIA Event on AI and Data Science, Cape Town, Tuesday 5 December 2017

VenueAIMS South Africa, 6 Melrose Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town

Agenda:

• “DIANA – Data, Insight, Analytics, Newness, Aspirations” – Prof Pete Grindrod, Oxford University

• “AI in Africa – Shaping a better future in the Smart Technology Era” – Dr Jacques Ludik, Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, Cortex Logic – Presentation

• “Reproducible Research” – Dr Sebnem Er, Statistical Sciences Department, University of Cape Town – Presentation

• “Customer Lifetime Value based on Machine Learning methods” – Dr Thuso Simon, Data Science, Zoona – Presentation

• “Computational Neuroscience – Thinking About Thinking” – Mr Chris Currin, PhD Computational Neuroscience candidate, University of Cape Town – Presentation

BlogBlog on the event

Videos:

PhotosMIIA’s Facebook

MeetupMIIA Meetup – Cape Town

 

Global Symposium on AI and Inclusion on 8-10 November 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

MIIA (via Dr Jacques Ludik’s participation) was also represented at the Global Symposium on AI and Inclusion on 8–10 November 2017, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC) has organized the event which are co-hosted, on behalf of the NoC, by the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, with support from the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund. The aim of the Symposium was to deepen participants’s understanding of Artificial Intelligence inclusion challenges and opportunities, to identify and discuss areas for research, education, or action, and inform and incubate new projects and other collaborative efforts among participants. It focused on identifying, exploring, and addressing the opportunities and challenges of Artificial intelligence. AI-related topics and issues was explored from the perspectives of different actors, and by looking at a set of thematic core areas, such as social justice, health and wellbeing, education, data and infrastructure, law and governance, and employment and workplace.

Participants included representatives from advocacy, philanthropy, media, policy, and industry, who will address both the opportunities and challenges of AI-based technologies through the lens of inclusion.

For more information, visit the following pages:

Photos: MIIA’s Facebook

Visualization:

 

Roundtable on AI and Inclusion, CAIR & World Wide Web Foundation, 6 November 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa

CAIR and the World Wide Web Foundation had an interactive round table on the current landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in South Africa. Dr Jacques Ludik has represented MIIA at this event. The event was held on Monday, 6 November from 2:00-5:00 pm at the World Wide Web Foundation in Cape Town. The discussion aimed to present a balanced, cross-sector assessment of the state of AI in South Africa and the policy environment needed to support it. While the changes from AI will unlock enormous economic, political and social benefits, there have not been significant policy discussions in South Africa about how best to leverage AI for the benefit of all South Africans – and to minimise any risks and negative effects. The round table discussion focused on this gap and potential remedies to close it.

 

Accelerate Cape Town Thought Leaders Breakfast: AI and Machine Learning on 3 November 2017, Cape Town, South Africa

Dr Jacques Ludik has participated as a Though Leader on AI and Machine Learning at the Accelerate Cape Town Though Leaders Breakfast on 3 November 2017 from 7:30-10am.

Presentation

  • Impact of AI as exponential technology within the Smart Technology Era
  • Applications of AI in a corporate context and in Africa
  • Africa – some of the key challenges & opportunities
  • Building AI and smart technology skills and capacity in Africa
  • AI in Africa -The Future

 

On the Dot / Media24 event: Leadership and Artificial Intelligence, 2 November 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa

Dr Jacques Ludik has partipated as a guest speaker on AI and Machine Learning at the On the Dot / Media24 event on 2 November 2017.

Presentation

  • Smart Technology Era
  • Brief version of my AI story in Africa – the past, the present & the future
  • AI as exponential technology in the Smart Technology Era
  • Africa – some of the key challenges & opportunities
  • AI in Africa -The past
  • AI in Africa -The present
  • AI in Africa -The future

 

Making the invisible visible: Digital footprints and financial inclusion on 1 November 2017 at Barclays Think Rise, Cape Town, South Africa

Making the invisible visible: Digital footprints and financial inclusion

i2i, Rise Africa and MIIA hosted a meetup on the theme “Making the invisible visible: Digital footprints and financial inclusion”. The event consisted of lightning talks on stimulating ideas followed by networking with like-minded solution seekers, snack-in-hand. The hosts was joined by top teams from i2i data innovation competition DataHack4FI. For inspiration, read about what Branch is doing in Tanzania.

 

Inaugural AI Africa Conference on 26-27 October 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa

MIIA was also represented at the inaugural AI Africa Conference on 26 and 27 October 2017 at Mediterranean Conference Centre, Bedfordview, Johannesburg, where Dr Jacques Ludik delivering a keynote address on “AI in Africa – Past, Present & Future” as well as a presentation on “Operationalizing of AI and Big Data & Analytics to help businesses thrive in the Smart Technology Era“. The event aimed at bringing together, under one roof, all stakeholders in AI on the African continent for the purposes of networking, enhancing knowledge and sharing new ideas and emerging trends.

See the following web page for details: http://machineintelligenceafrica.org/activities/ai-africa-conference/

AI on Africa – Past, Present & Future (part 1) – Dr Jacques Ludik (President / CEO, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI)

AI & the Law: Opportunities & Challenges – Aalia Manie (IP & Tech Lawyer, Webber Wentzel)

AI on Africa – Past, Present & Future (part 2) – Dr Jacques Ludik (President / CEO, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI)

AI: Decision Making in an Uncertain World – Dr Benjamin Rosman (Principle Researcher, CSIR)

2017 Update : Global Tends in AI: Are we at the same pace as the rest of the world? – Reshaad Sha (CEO, Sqwidnet)

Intelligent Assistants & Bots for Business and Industry – Kugendran Naidoo (Cognitive Business & Strategy, IBM Watson – Africa/Asia)

Real-life Machine Intelligence Solutions for Industry – Tommaso Gritti (AI Solutions Leader, Brain Creators)

AI Journey in Financial Services – Obins Cloudhary (VP AI, Barclays)

Native Intelligence vs AI: winning the African BOP with AI – Olubayo Adekanmbi (CTO, MTN Nigeria) – Presented by Dr Jacques Ludik

AI in Healthcare – Dr Raban Masuka (UCT)

Bennit.AI – Intelligent Virtual Assistant for Manufacturing – Dr Jacques Ludik

AI Systems Development and Use in Africa – Dr Adebayo Bamitale (Software Engineer, Wonga Ltd)

Surveying AI in Africa – Tatenda Kavu (Computer Science Lecturer, Chinhoyi University, Zimbabwe)

Stock Market Predictions for Sub Sharan African Countries – Dennis Murekachiro (Bindura University of Science Education, Wits Business School)

Download the Conference Brochure

Artificial Intelligence Africa Conference Brochure

In the News

The “1st AI Africa Conference” 

Data Science Nigeria: 1st National Big Data Economy Summit & 2nd Data Science Bootcamp 12-15 October 2017, Lagos, Nigeria

For more details about the collaboration between MIIA and Data Science Nigeria see this MIIA web page.

Earlier this year MIIA has partnered with Data Science Nigeria and participated in their first Data Science Bootcamp (see Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa collaboration with Data Science Nigeria). In follow-up to this, Data Science Nigeria had two major upcoming events during 12-15 October 2017, its 1st National Big Data Economy Summit & 2nd Data Science Bootcamp in Lagos, Nigeria.

MIIA’s introductory video to the Data Science Nigeria’s 1st National Big Data Economy Summit & 2nd Data Science Bootcamp: https://youtu.be/cRQ9oRAAVr0

The 1st National Summit on Big Data Economy brought together industry leaders, business executives, academia and cross-industry data science practitioners to discuss a Nigerian-centric Big Data agenda, especially as it relates to the practical application of data science in driving socio-economic development in emerging markets. Sessions included practical showcase of data science application in the economy, consumer behaviour, health, business, city planning, security, agriculture, manufacturing and logistics. Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician General of the Federation was the keynote speaker as the No 1 data champion in Nigeria.

The 2nd Data Science bootcamp has run side-by-side between Thursday, 12 October and Sunday, 15 October 2017. The bootcamp included face-to-face teaching, virtual online classes, and a hands-on hackathon using the Kaggle platform on latest tools in Machine learning and advanced Statistics for Data Science. The sessions was facilitated by leading Nigerian data scientists and many international PhD-level data scientists, including both industry professionals and academics.

Data Science Nigeria believes that these two events has helped to reinforce the increasing importance of data in our national development and further position Data Science Nigeria as a transformational lighthouse and an enabler of the emerging knowledge-based economy.

Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp Sponsorship

 

Executive Machine Learning 2017 Africa,  21-22 September 2017, Sandton

Some our MIIA members have also participated at the Executive Machine Learning (eXe-ML) 2017 Africa, 21-22 September 2017, Sandton. Executive Machine Learning Africa 2017 is a conference and workshop that highlighted developing trends in ML and AI and provides ideas and strategies for their practical implementation in business. Local and international speakers from organizations such as Google, IBM, Georgia Tech Business School, Turner/TimeWarner, SAS Institute, Symantec, University Of Cape Town, etc.

 

MIIA Deep Learning Hackathon – 16 September 2017 from 9am-8:30pm @ The DIZ, 111 Smit Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

We had some really exciting MIIA events this year (see also this post), but the Deep Learning Hackathon in September at the Digital Innovation Zone (The DIZ) in Johannesburg was one of the highlights for sure! The hackathon followed the Deep Learning Indaba and fitted in with the Deep Learning theme for the week. We had fantastic participation by all involved – participants, organizers, sponsors, and judges. A special thanks to Alex Conway and Chris Currin for their brilliant work not only to prepare the computer vision challenge (from a deep learning and data preparation perspective), but also their participation and support right through the day. We had a record breaking result, lots of learning and lots of fun. Thanks also to IBM and Cortex Logic for sponsoring both MIIA events on 15 and 16 September.

The challenge for the Deep Learning Hackathon was a computer vision related problem where the task was to identify potholes in images. The first image below provides a summary of the problem and why it is important within the South African transport and road safety context. The second image provide some details about the hackathon challenge itself. See more details about the full day event here.

  • 9am-5pm: Working on Challenge
  • 5-6pm: Working on Presentations
  • 7-7:15pm: MIIA, Introductions to Panel of Judges and Sponsors
  • 7:15-8:15pm: Team/participant presentations
  • 8:15-8:30pm: Presentation of Prizes

Computer Vision Challenge: Pothole identification

 

Deep Learning and its Applications – MIIA Event on Friday, 15 September 2017 @ The DIZ, 111 Smit Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

The MIIA event on the 15th of September not only served as a precursor to the Deep Learning Hackathon, but also some excellent presentations on some Deep Learning Applications. See links below for details.

SponsorsIBMMachine Intelligence Institute of AfricaCortex LogiceXe-MLThe DIZ

Agenda:

• “Introduction and MIIA update“, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI – presentation

• “Info session for Deep Learning Hackathon on 16 September“, Alex Conway, Founder & CTO, NumberBoost – see Computer Vision Challenge

• “Convolutional Neural Networks for Computer Vision Applications“, Alex Conway, Founder & CTO, NumberBoost – presentation

• “Conversational Systems: Beyond the Interface”, Chris Currin, PhD Computational Neuroscience candidate at UCT – presentation

• “Deep Learning and its Applications”, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI – presentation

MeetupMIIA Meetup – Jhb/Pta

MIIA Events page:  http://machineintelligenceafrica.org/activities/events/

 

Deep Learning Indaba – 11-15 September 2017, Wits, Johannesburg

The first Deep Learning Indaba, a gathering of our African community to teach, learn and debate the state-of-the-art in machine learning and artificial intelligence, took place from 10 to 15 September 2017 at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. As the founder of the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA), it was very exciting to participate, amongst many other MIIA members, in this awesome event! The aim during the week was to build an understanding of the principles and practice of modern machine learning, in particular covering topics such as the fundamentals of Machine Learning, Convolutions and Recurrent Neural Networks, Unsupervised Learning and Generative Models, and Reinforcement Learning, Agents and Applications. Of equal importance was the creation of an environment that enables continental collaborations, a raised awareness of the breadth of machine learning career-paths, and that fosters new understandings and friendships.

I’m very proud of the Africans on the organizing and advisory committee that helped to make this happen! They included South African representatives from Google DeepMind (in particular, Shakir Mohamed and Ulrich Paquet) as well as Google Brain (Stephan Gouws) that have formed a partnership with several South African researchers from University of Witwatersrand (Richard Klein), Stellenbosch University (Willie Brink), and the CSIR (Benjamin RosmanVukosi Marivate, and Nyalleng Moorosi) to help organise this event, which was supported by an excellent advisory board (Nando de FreitasBen HerbstBonolo MathibelaGeorge Konidaris, and Bubacarr Bah). The speakers at this event also did an awesome job! Over the five days, the Indaba have brought leaders of the field to Johannesburg to teach and mentor students, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs in the theory and practice of deep learning. Given that more than 300 attendees have hailed from 23 African countries, as well as other countries across the world, this event was one of the largest machine learning teaching events globally. Beyond technical exchange, the Deep Learning Indaba has also created opportunities for new research connections, foster a better understanding of the variety of career paths in the field, as well as new friendships, perspectives and backgrounds, to help take the steps to realizing a more diverse, racially-representative, and multicultural machine learning community.

Deep Learning Indaba 2017 Resources:

 

SA Innovation Summit, 6-8 September 2017, Cape Town

MIIA was also represented at the South African Innovation Summit and the MIIA community invited to also join the 48-hour hackathon being held in Cape Town Stadium from 5 – 7 September 2017. The SA Innovation Summit as an annual flagship event on the South African Innovation Calendar, is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought-leadership. Created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration within its own eco-system, the initiative brings together corporates, thought leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia and policy makers to amplify South Africa’s renowned competitive edge and to inspire sustained economic growth across the continent of Africa. The outcomes achieved by the Summit, is a powerful platform to bring together thought leaders and accelerate innovation in South Africa, and into the African continent as whole.

 

MIIA Event on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 @ Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab at 6:30pm

Machine Intelligence and its Applications

SponsorsNedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLabMachine Intelligence Institute of AfricaCortex LogiceXe-ML

We had another successful MIIA event at Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Stellenbosch on Tuesday evening 5 September 2017.

The theme for the event was Machine Intelligence and its Applications with some experts from Stellenbosch University, Industry, and the MIIA community participating. The format of the event consisted of a few presentations with Q&A along with a panel discussion. Some of the excellent work being done at Stellenbosch University and Industry in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science has been showcased.

Agenda:

  • “Welcome & Introduction”, Brandon Paschal, LaunchLab [5 minutes]
  • “Machine Intelligence & its Applications introduction and MIIA update”, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI [10 minutes] – presentation
  • “Learning speech models without labelled data”, Dr Herman Kamper, SU Electronic Engineering [20 minutes] – presentation
  • “Minerals Processing and Machine Learning”, Dr John McCoy, Zander Horn, SU Process Engineering [20 minutes] – presentation

Panel Discussion: Machine Intelligence and its Applications [35 minutes]

Moderator: Dr Jacques Ludik – see Questions in presentation

Participants: Dr Herman Kamper, Dr John McCoy, Zander Horn, Shaun Irwin (Stone 3), others from Industry

VideoVideo of the event

Meetuphttps://www.meetup.com/Machine-Intelligence-Institute-of-Africa/events/242324486/

MIIA Events page:  http://machineintelligenceafrica.org/activities/events/

 

Africa Data Forum, All Things Data, Cape Town, Hosted by the City of Cape Town, 29-30 August 2017

The Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa has also recently partnered with the Africa Data Forum and has participated in the All Things Data Conference, at the Westin, Cape Town on 29-30 August 2017. MIIA has decided to join forces with the Africa Data Science Association and will also have Board representation in this non profit organization that aims to ensure alignment between the academia and corporates on data science curriculum.

https://www.africadataforum.com/capetown-conference/

Agenda: Agenda of conference

 

Data Science Applications to help businesses thrive in the Smart Technology Era- MIIA Event @ PwC at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 16 August 2017

Sponsors: PwCMachine Intelligence Institute of AfricaCortex Logic

Venue: Top floor, Silo, 5 South Arm Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001

Agenda:

  • 17h30: Guests start to arrive, with canapes and drinks, arrival outside the business school venue
  • 18h00: Presentations start
  • “Introduction and MIIA update”, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI – presentation
  • “Data Science applications at PwC”, Phillip Hattingh, PwC – presentation
  • “Data Science Academy”, Pierre Naude, Dimago – presentation
  • “Operationalizing AI, Data Science, and Big Data & Analytics to help businesses thrive in the Smart Technology Era”, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI – presentation
  • “AI-based approaches to building Chatbots and Virtual Assistants”, Chris Currin, PhD Computational Neuroscience candidate at UCT – presentation
  • 19h15: Presentations end. Guests move to rooftop bar for drinks and light snacks.
  • 20h00: Wrap up (the venue is booked to 21h00).

Video: Video of the event

Photos: Photos of the event

Meetuphttps://www.meetup.com/Machine-Intelligence-Institute-of-Africa/events/241939321/

MIIA Events pagehttp://machineintelligenceafrica.org/activities/events/

 

Real-world Machine Learning Applications in Security and Mining Industries- MIIA Event in Cape Town on Wednesday 21 June 2017

Sponsors: Cortex Logic and Barclays Rise Cape Town

Venue: Barclays Rise, 5th Floor, Woodstock Exchange

Agenda:

  • Introduction and quick MIIA update – Dr Jacques Ludik – Presentation
  • DeepAlert: Realtime Video Analytics and Alerting using Deep Learning, Dr Jasper Horrell, Founder & CEO, DeepData – Presentation
  • Using CNNs with transfer learning to train deep networks, Shaun Irwin, M.Eng, Lead Developer, Stone Three Mining Solutions – Presentation

Videohttps://youtu.be/vnNylVqN4qg

PhotosFacebookMeetup

RegistrationMeetup

 

“How can AI disrupt industries?” Panel Discussion – 25 May in Cape Town (Far-ventures)

MIIA was also represented at this panel discussion (hosted by Far Ventures on how Artificial Intelligence can disrupt industries. In a recent post about Deep Learning applications, platforms, limitations and quantum computing we have announced a panel discussion on “How Artificial Intelligence is disrupting Industries” which took place on 25 May 2017 in Cape Town. This event was hosted by Far Ventures, a start-up studio and incubator that aims to foster technology entrepreneurship in Africa by founding and growing start-ups that can positively impact people’s lives through technology. It was also supported by the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA), an innovative community and accelerator for Machine Intelligence and Data Science Research and Applications to help transform Africa.

For this panel discussion, Romain Diaz (Co-Founder & CEO at Far Ventures Global) acted as moderator with the following experienced professionals in the AI industry as speakers and panelists:

 

This post includes the links to the introductory presentation as well as the video of the panel discussion.

The following questions were specifically addressed in the panel discussion:

  • Is AI a real thing? Is companies really doing AI? Is AI overhyped?
  • Let’s dig deeper into AI business applications. What are they? What impact does AI have on industries?
  • What’s going to happen with predictive analytics companies given the AI shift across industries and what major tech companies are doing in this space?
  • Leaders & Innovation: (a) Who is the leaders in AI? Who is driving innovation? Can innovation also come from others? (b) Which AI technologies are you currently using?
  • Ethics: Give examples of AI when it comes the ethics?
  • Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of AI? Why are you optimistic about the future of AI?
  • What is the current maturity of AI and its impact on society?
  • Are developers going to become the equivalent of typists? What kind of jobs will be left to do?
  • How will AI impact the Healthcare industry in the future?
  • Safety & Discrimination: (a) Safety: e.g. Self-driving cars. How are we going to make sure that AI can be used in a safe way? (b) How are we going to avoid discrimination using AI-based algorithms?

Video 1Far Ventures – How Artificial Intelligence is disrupting industries – Part 1

  • [0:00] Introduction
  • [3:46] AI within the Smart Technology Era – Dr Jacques Ludik
  • [15:47] AI panel discussion
  • [16:00] Is AI a real thing? Is companies really doing AI? Is AI overhyped?
  • [24:36] Let’s dig deeper into AI business applications. What are they? What impact does AI have on industries?
  • [39:15] What’s going to happen with predictive analytics companies given the AI shift across industries and what major tech companies are doing in this space?
  • [49:39] Leaders & Innovation: (a) Who is the leaders in AI? Who is driving innovation? Can innovation also come from others? (b) Which AI technologies are you currently using?
  • [1:00:16] Ethics: Give examples of AI when it comes the ethics?
  • [1:04:25] Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of AI? Why are you optimistic about the future of AI? (to be continued in Part 2)

Video 2Far Ventures – How Artificial Intelligence is disrupting industries – Part 2

  • [0:00] Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of AI? Why are you optimistic about the future of AI?
  • [2:50] What is the current maturity of AI and its impact on society?
  • [5:35] Are developers going to become the equivalent of typists? What kind of jobs will be left to do?
  • [11:17] How will AI impact the Healthcare industry in the future?
  • [16:20] Safety & Discrimination: (a) Safety: e.g. Self-driving cars. How are we going to make sure that AI can be used in a safe way? (b) How are we going to avoid discrimination using AI-based algorithms?

 

Deep Learning and its Applications – MIIA Meetup in Sandton on Thursday 11 May 2017

VenueBarclays Equinox, 15 Alice Lane, Absa Capital, North Building, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa

Agenda:

1. Deep Learning and its applications – Dr Jacques Ludik – MIIACortex LogicBennit.AI  – Presentation

2. Demonstration of Deep Learning examples using Google’s TensorFlow – Dr Jacques Ludik – MIIACortex LogicBennit.AI

3. IBM Watson

– Insights from IBM’s InterConnect Conference in Las Vegas – Rikus Combrinck, Senior Data Scientist at OLSPS Analytics (M.Eng Computer Engineering)  – https://hackmd.io/p/SJr4CR-e- (slide format)

– IBM Watson discussion (including sharing experience with IBM Watson for developing Intelligent Virtual Assistants)

4. Demonstration of a state-of-the-art AI conversational system – Rikus Combrinck, Senior Data Scientist at OLSPS Analytics (M.Eng Computer Engineering)  – https://hackmd.io/p/r1XJkBmy- (slide format)

RegistrationMIIA Meetup – Jhb/Pta:

Sponsors: Barclays Equinox Events, Cortex Logic

Photos of both Cape Town and Sandton MIIA events can be found here.

 

Deep Learning and its Applications – MIIA Event at CiTi in Cape Town on Wednesday 3 May 2017

Venue: CiTi, Bandwidth Barn, Block B, 3rd Floor, Woodstock Exchange, 66-68 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Agenda:

1. Deep Learning and its applications – Dr Jacques Ludik – MIIACortex LogicBennit.AI  – Presentation

2. Demonstration of Deep Learning examples using Google’s TensorFlow – Dr Jacques Ludik – MIIACortex LogicBennit.AI

3. IBM Watson

– Insights from IBM’s InterConnect Conference in Las Vegas – Rikus Combrinck, Senior Data Scientist at OLSPS Analytics (M.Eng Computer Engineering) –  https://hackmd.io/p/rJhIJBXk- (slide format)

– IBM Watson discussion (including sharing experience with IBM Watson for developing Intelligent Virtual Assistants)

4. Demonstration of a state-of-the-art AI conversational system – Rikus Combrinck, Senior Data Scientist at OLSPS Analytics (M.Eng Computer Engineering)  – https://hackmd.io/p/r1XJkBmy- (slide format)

Registration: MIIA Meetup – Cape Town

SponsorsCiTiCortex Logic

Global Tech Communities: https://www.globaltechcommunities.com/new-events/2017/5/3/machine-intelligence-institute-of-africa-miia-meetup

Photos of both Cape Town and Sandton MIIA events can be found here.

 

Data Science / Industrial IoT Hackathon on Mining Data – 20-21 March 2017

MIIA and Bennit.AI remote participation in OSIsoft Hackathon 2017 in San Francisco

  • Invitation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxzNs-HspAzYS2w5bHFwX0hnVFk/view?usp=sharing
  • Duration: Monday 20 March 2017 at 6pm – Tuesday 21 March at 5pm (23 hours)
  • The 2017 theme is IIoTAsset Health Monitoring, Predictive Analytics, and Maintenance Optimization of industrial mobile assets. OSIsoft has partnered with one of the largest mining companies in the world, Barrick Gold Corporation, to provide you with real assets and data from their gold mining sites to work with. You will be presented with an environment comprised of real assets and data. Using PI System components and our developer technologies think outside the box and see how you can bring the Power of Data to consumers and businesses. You will work together as part of a group to develop and implement your ideas. Use all of your PI System, data, and innovative skills while learning from others. At the end, your application will be judged by a group of experts. The top applications will be awarded prizes, and you and your team will be publicly recognized for the achievement.
  • If you are interested to participate, please send an email to info@machineintelligenceafrica.org before Friday 17 March 2017 at 9pm.

 

How AI is Transforming Manufacturing Webinar – 9 March 2017

Recording of webcast is on demand here: http://info.avidsolutionsinc.com/how-ai-is-transforming-smart-manufacturing

Leaders from MESA International, Bennit.AI, and Avid Solutions has discussed how the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we manufacture products and paving the way for factories of the future. In this panel-style Webinar, the team discussion focused on machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, chatbots, and natural language processing and explores practical uses, real-world challenges, and creative solutions for incorporating these technologies into your manufacturing floor. Download the webinar to learn about the productivity gains many companies are already seeing and how your operations can benefit from these new areas of research and development.

Panelists

  • Mike Yost, President, President, Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) International
  • Dr Jacques Ludik, Smart Technology Entrepreneur, Founder & President of MIIA, Founder & CTO of Bennit.AI, Founder & CEO of Cortex Logic
  • Andy Robinson, Senior Technologist Smart Manufacturing, Avid Solutions

Moderator: Jeff Miller, Chief Technologist Smart Manufacturing at Avid Solutions Inc.

 

Data Science & Machine Intelligence use ases – MIIA Event at CiTi, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town – 23 February 2017

For the first MIIA Meetup in 2017 on Thursday 23 February (at CiTi, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town), we have showcased and shared some more Data Science & Machine Intelligence use cases and topics by members of the MIIA community. See agenda with links to the video and presentations below. The meetup has started at 6pm with presentations and Q&A followed by sufficient time for networking and discussions afterwards.

Venue: CiTi, Bandwidth Barn, 3rd Floor, Woodstock Exchange

Agenda

VIDEO OF THE EVENT ON YOUTUBE

Agenda:

See more details here:

https://www.meetup.com/Machine-Intelligence-Institute-of-Africa/events/237402576/

http://machineintelligenceafrica.org/blog/data-science-and-machine-intelligence-use-cases-in-africa-2017/

MIIA Collaboration with Data Science Nigeria

Data Science Bootcamp: 20-22 January 2017

In January 2017 the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) announced a partnership with Data Science Nigeria, a non-profit organization to accelerate data science adoption and raise a new breed of local experts by training and mentoring young Nigerians through face-to-face, virtual online classes, project-based support and holiday boot camps. Data Science Nigeria, an initiative of MTN’s executive, Bayo Adekanmbi, has launched on 26 November 2016 with Dr Uyi Stewart, Chief Data Scientist with IBM, USA that lead the plenary session. Data Science Nigeria, has progressed to skill development workshops and has run the first bootcamp in Lekki axis of Lagos State between Friday 20 and Sunday 22 January 2017 (see links below for more details). The bootcamp addressed competence gaps in Python, R, Machine learning, and general Data science concepts with real-world case studies. MIIA was represented by Dr Jacques Ludik who has lead a Q&A session on Saturday morning 21 January 2017 via Webinar dial-in along with some other Data Science experts from the MIIA community.

See feedback on the recent MIIA – Data Science Nigeria collaboration with respect to a Data Science Bootcamp (140 participants) that was held in Lekki axis of Lagos State from 20-22 January 2017: https://lnkd.in/gwUmNMe

https://lnkd.in/gGiv-JV

http://machineintelligenceafrica.org/blog/machine-intelligence-institute-of-africa-collaboration-with-data-science-nigeria/

For some photos of the Data Science Bootcamp in Nigeria, see also https://lnkd.in/gAzTCW8

 

Machine intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA)

Joining Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA)

Cortex Logic

 

  • http://cortexlogic.com/
  • Cortex Logic is a machine intelligence software and solutions company that provides an AI Engine for Platform Businesses and Corporates that solves well-defined and operationally relevant problems through operationalizing Data Science and Big Data & Analytics and delivering smart machine intelligence-based applications, solutions and products. Cortex Logic solves core business problems in a practical, cost-effective way using all available structured and/or unstructured data and smart technology. The solutions are typically implemented in an end-to-end, full stack, integrated, scalable, and secure manner. Where required, Cortex Logic operationalize Big Data & Analytics and Data Science by following CRISP-DM and ASUM-DM standards and implementing automated analytics within champion-challenger approach, which we typically maintain and keep up-to-date during the deployment and operational phase. Some of the state-of-the-art machine intelligence based applications, solutions and products include intelligent virtual assistants & advisors, fraud detection, churn prediction, smart risk scoring, smart trading, real-time customer insights, smart recommendations and purchase prediction, smart payment, medical risk prediction, precision medicine, and personalized AI search tools. It also aims to contribute towards solving intelligence through advancing the state-of-the-art in machine intelligence and building cognitive systems that are contextually aware, learn at scale, support unsupervised learning where possible, reason with purpose and interact with humans naturally.

 

Bennit.AI

 

  • http://bennit.ai/
  • Bennit.AI is a self-learning, highly personalized virtual production assistant specifically designed for industry, making the time and efficiency of industrial users its most important mission, every minute of every day. Bennit A.I. layers across existing technologies to drastically simplify and improve access to information, helping industrial users make better decisions and improve business outcomes.