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Emerging Tech

Huawei using SA data centers to extend AI cloud adoption

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Chinese multinational, Huawei, is using its three data centers in South Africa to extend artificial intelligence (AI) cloud adoption in the country.

Huawei Cloud South Africa Senior Solution Architect Calvin Huang spoke to the press during the company's yearly ICT Editors' Exchange, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week.

Huang said Huawei's SA data centers were developed using the company's hardware and software, including its central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs).

"All the services in the data centers are developed by Huawei, including all AI training, algorithms, CPUs, GPUs and other infrastructure," he continued.

Huang said developing all these services in house allowed the company to optimize synergies between hardware and software.

Huawei has been developing its AI cloud and Pengu data models, which are pre-trained large language models (LLMs).

"What is interesting about Pengu is that it can predict typhoons 10 days before they happen and call out a cold front a week before pre-existing weather systems can," he explained.

Industries must embrace AI, but ethically

Huawei ICT Editors' Exchange also featured World Wide Worx CEO Arthur Goldstuck, who said AI is set to impact a lot of industries, not only globally but also in South Africa.

"Studies have shown that there are examples that showed AI can improve efficiencies, stimulate demand and thus create new jobs," he said.

Huawei's data centers in South Africa were developed using in-house hardware and software.   (Source: 
Freepik)
Huawei's data centers in South Africa were developed using in-house hardware and software.
(Source: Freepik)

Goldstuck believes that the media industry needs to embrace and use AI, however, the industry should use it ethically.

"I think generative AI (GenAI) turns a bad journalist into an average journalist. It also though, turns a good journalist into an average journalist as well. GenAI levels the playing fields and makes content average," he added.

"So, if you want average content on your publication, you are going to fire the human being and use GenAI," he continued.

Furthermore, he said even though AI can improve productivity, it has been found to have biases.


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"Biases in AI have been around for decades. For instance, companies working in loans, have found that AI can discriminate based on location and race," he added.

Goldstuck said according to research, 90% of South African companies were either using GenAI or planning to use it for text content.

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*Top image source: DC Studio on Freepik.

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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