Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Enterprise

AI: Human Capacity Reimagined

Article Image
Artificial intelligence is already having an impact across Africa: Nigerian doctors are experimenting with AI for medical diagnoses; Sophia, the robot who was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship last year, was partly developed in Ethiopia; and Google has recently announced that it is opening an AI research centre in Accra, Ghana.

Sophia the robot was partly developed in Ethiopia.
Sophia the robot was partly developed in Ethiopia.

The impact of AI is already apparent in most global industries -- retail, oil & gas, finance, health, IT, energy, telecoms, as well as transport, travel & tourism and media -- and has the potential to reach more and do more. In a 2017 report, PwC estimated that AI tech could increase the GDP of Africa, the Middle East and the developing regions of Asia by US$1.2 trillion by 2030.

The world’s leading conference on artificial intelligence and machine learning in coming to the continent this year to explore this potential. Following successful events in San Francisco, New York and London, the AI Summit Cape Town will be launched at AfricaCom this November with two days of stimulating presentations, debate and insights. It is aimed at CxOs, CDOs and leading innovators keen to future-proof their businesses and understand the opportunities this game-changing technology has for revenue generation and, importantly, socio-economic inclusion.

Tom Cuthell, Portfolio Director of KNect365, and the organiser of AfricaCom, is confident that the AI Summit in Cape Town will be as informative and well subscribed as its international counterparts. He says: "AI is changing how we work and how we think. It is both an opportunity and a challenge. While AfricaCom 2017 touched on the subject, it has grown at such a pace that we wanted to devote an entire track to it to encourage its exploration as a tool for advancement, hence the launch of the AI Summit Cape Town. With an international line-up of expert speakers, and the importance of the conversations around artificial intelligence and machine learning, we expect a significant gathering of minds."

The AI Summit in London earlier this year.
The AI Summit in London earlier this year.

The AI Summit Cape Town is a rich source of practical technical insights and sessions geared to enhancing how we work and play, and while it is focused on business applications, it will also show how AI has the power to help digitize Africa's communities. From helping in workforce training, to saving lives through innovative healthcare applications and even helping to improve crop returns -- think data-assimilating drones that show the farmer where to plant the seeds and when best to harvest, or using AI algorithms and Big Data in real time to monitor global fishing patterns to highlight overfishing -- AI is re-formatting how we function. Experts such as Benji Meltzer, CTO at Aerobotics and Manu Kumar, CDO of BUPA, will share their expertise and insights into how AI can benefit the planet, people and even boost profits.

Retailers, whether digital or bricks and mortar businesses, will also get the chance to discover how AI can deliver benefits. Berdine Viljoen, CIO of the JD Group, one of South Africa's largest mass-consumer value lifestyle and finance corporations, will explain how retailers can harness the power of AI, while Tomisin Fashina, CIO of Ecobank Group, shares how Africa has used the technology to change the banking landscape.

But the impact AI could have on the workforce is a fear for many. Low-skilled jobs are already threatened by artificial intelligence and a great many of the jobs that exist today could be filled by machines and robots in the future. With high levels of unemployment in Africa, particularly youth unemployment, there are concerns that the development of artificial intelligence could adversely impact the population. The mining sector in South Africa, for example, is a major employer, but a huge number of roles in this sector could soon be replaced by a machine workforce. These topics, and more, will be examined and debated by experts such as Dhanaraj Thakur (The Web Foundation), Chetan Trivedi (Hindustan Zinc Ltd) and Matthew French (Future Advocacy).

Cuthell sums it up: "As exciting as the possibilities are for AI, it would be remiss of us as conference organisers not to be mindful of the risks unfettered deployment of this technology can bring. The AI Summit Cape Town will be thought provoking, but it will also be an important centre for responsible learning and determining Africa's way forward -- one that has a reasoned future."

To attend this fascinating look into the future, and to network with like-minded futurists (some 14,000 of them are set to attend AfricaCom in 2018), visitors and delegates should register on the AfricaCom site. Access to the full AfricaCom offering of more than 15 business critical conference tracks, two exhibition halls, 450 speakers and the AFEST official networking party are guaranteed.

— Gabriella Jeakins, Digital Content Marketer, KNect365, for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub

Story

Safaricom launches M-Pesa 'super app'

Safaricom has launched its long-awaited M-Pesa 'super app' with new features like offline mode as well as mini-apps within the app.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Nigeria's Bankly

Nigerian startup Bankly is digitizing cash for people who work in the informal sector and helping unbanked Nigerians save money, invest and gain access to credit and other financial services.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about new licenses for operators in Ethiopia and Uganda, and Nigeria's 5G rollout plans.

Story

Omdia View: April 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context around Ethiopia's telecoms licensing process, Millicom's plans to exit Tanzania and Ghana, and Airtel Africa's successful capital raise.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

North Africa Com
July 13-14, 2021
Virtual Event
Asia Tech x Singapore
July 13-16, 2021
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Africa Tech Festival
November 8-12, 2021
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Technologies and business models to connect the next billion

Nearly half the planet remains unconnected at a time when COVID-19 has forced people’s reliance on the Internet and digital technologies higher than ever before. Bridging the digital divide to provide Mobile Internet access – the main driver of digital inclusion – is exceedingly important in the current context. Overcoming this connectivity crisis represents a growth opportunity for Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to expand their services outside of the crowded, highly competitive urban markets.

In this webinar we will focus on solutions that help MNOs close both the coverage gap and the usage gap.

Key topics include:

  • What are the barriers to overcome increased Mobile Internet adoption?
  • How to match deployments cost with expected revenue?
  • Operator success story

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up