Africa


SingularityNET Monthly Updates #2

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Newly elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia was elected on a mandate of transformational change and has promised a new era for Ethiopia and the African continent. Ethiopians are jubilant and excited about the future as Abiy launches significant political and economic reforms. Abiy Ahmed and his team are building towards a vision that embraces all Ethiopians and facilitates their effective participation in the global economy. When our team visited the beautiful city of Addis Ababa two weeks ago, we were energized by the passion of her people and also their unwavering optimism and faith in the future. Sophia echoed our sentiments too and Dr. Ben Goertzel had in-depth discussions with Abiy and his team.


Artificial Intelligence eLearning Africa News Portal

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The Internet contains various categories of materials, some of which can be used as educational resources. These educational resources can be retrieved for content creation for use in Adaptive eLearning Systems (AES). Adaptive eLearning is a branch of eLearning that provides educational materials and resources based on the learners' needs. The adaptive learning system is not limited to delivering materials in a personalised manner to the learner; it also adapts in terms of interaction with learners and maintains learners' preferences. Artificial Intelligence plays a key role in adaptive eLearning by providing a personalised learning experience.


Invest in artificial intelligence – Shamima Muslim to media, PR executives

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Broadcaster and Convener of Alliance for Women in Media Africa, Shamima Muslim has urged institutions and establishments to embrace artificial intelligence for a positive impact and growth in their businesses. Speaking at the just ended Women in PR Ghana Summit 2018 on the topic, 'Forging new alliances between the Media and Public Relations Professionals, the former anchor of Citi FM's Eyewitness News said "In a global world where technical automation is going to have huge implications for the future of work, technology and innovation is birthing greater automation where greater automation is leading to the use of artificial intelligence and robotics." "As organizations grow to become global institutions and can afford artificial intelligence, they will have lesser needs for humans. There is going to be a challenge for jobs for wages and skills if one does not have the requisite skills to match up and justify why you should be held on as a PR executive who is supposed to generate and monitor reviews on a daily basis which may take a week to attain them to a client where as an investment in artificial intelligence will generate and identify threats and everything relating to a business within minutes", she added. The event which took place last weekend at the Oak Plaza Hotel located at East Airport Accra was themed, "Press for progress; PR women making strides".


Will it Blend? Composing Value Functions in Reinforcement Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

An important property for lifelong-learning agents is the ability to combine existing skills to solve unseen tasks. In general, however, it is unclear how to compose skills in a principled way. We provide a "recipe" for optimal value function composition in entropy-regularised reinforcement learning (RL) and then extend this to the standard RL setting. Composition is demonstrated in a video game environment, where an agent with an existing library of policies is able to solve new tasks without the need for further learning.


Embracing technology for reshaping agriculture across Africa Global Edition

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Agriculture is the backbone of the African economy and is a critical factor to accomplish sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Africa, most particularly poverty and hunger. At present, farming accounts for about 60 percent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa and is also a driver of inclusive and sustainable growth. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050, and to feed that number of people, global food production will need to grow by 70 percent. In Africa, to have a population of about two billion people by then, farm productivity needs to be accelerated at a faster rate than the global average to avoid continued mass hunger. Technology has a vast untapped potential to revolutionize and improve the efficiency of agricultural production in the continent.


How drones are being used in the fight against malaria

The Independent

The drone makes a conspicuous racket as it lifts off on a mission to capture images of the reservoir below. The sight and sound of this strange device stirs interest among locals as they make their way to and from the town of Kasungu in central Malawi. It takes a matter of minutes for a small crowd to form. A few yards away, Patrick Kalonde is wading through grass and mud. Patrick, an intern at Unicef working on humanitarian uses of drones, is carrying a plastic container and a ladle and is looking for mosquito larvae. The contrast between high-tech drones and low-tech "bucket-and-spade" science, metres apart, could not be starker – yet both are equally important to the success of our new project to map where mosquitoes breed. Kasungu, a small town at the base of the picturesque Kasungu Mountain, is the centre of Africa's first humanitarian drone testing corridor. Set up by Unicef in 2017 with support from the Malawi government, the corridor is an 80km-wide area for flying and testing drones to help the local people. Keen to dispel the reputation that drones are only useful for destruction, the Unicef corridor promotes "drones for good".


Artificial intelligence meets industry in South Africa

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When the machine learning renaissance started in 2013 – thanks to the development of new graphic processing units accelerating data processing by over 100 times – Frans Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff started positioning themselves to fill the gap in the South African market. "Daniel and I met while doing our undergrad studies at the University of Cape Town and collectively came up with the idea to start an artificial intelligence (AI) company," says Frans Cronje, the managing director of DataProphet. "At the time there was hardly any competition in the field and skills were scarce, as you could not even study machine learning here." They initially offered machine learning consultancy services to retail, manufacturing and finance companies and from there catapulted into the products market when they started DataProphet in 2015. "We were relatively new to the game.


Introducing Max: Custodian Investment Plc launches Nigeria's first ever insurance chatbot Nairametrics

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Custodian Investment Plc – leading insurance company in Nigeria – has launched Nigeria's first ever Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbot in the insurance sector, leveraging technology to deploy enhanced personalized services to its customers. Max is available to interact with customers 24/7 via three platforms; Facebook messenger, Telegram and Web messenger. On Telegram, simply search for'Custodian Max', to chat with Max. Max was officially launched on Thursday 21st June, 2018. In the words of Mr. Oladele Akinsanya, Head of Service Delivery, Custodian Investment PLC, "Customer service is at the heart of what we do at Custodian.


How is Artificial Intelligence boosting the news & media industry?!

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Working with the news and media industry is always inspiring and dynamic but also sometimes can be quite challenging! In the few previous months I have been working intensively with the media industry in our region between Egypt, Emirates, Oman & Tunisia focusing on two tracks. The first track was through several training courses for digital transformation, consulting our media customers how to build their professional presence online and boost their business through an integrated multi-channel approach utilizing portals, mobile apps, social media & SEO. On second track, we have been working very closely on the technology stack for empowering the digital media industry. Our streaming platform Helixware has been powering several broadcasters, TV & radio stations across the Arab world and also our AI-powered SEO Wordlift has been boosting the business of our online publishing customers.


Africa On the Path to Embrace Artificial Intelligence, Robotics?

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According to James Karuhanga of The New Times, countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa are lagging behind with respect to robotics, artificial intelligence and technology infrastructure and skills acquisition. This comes after Timothy Kotin of African Expert Network said that "artificial intelligence could yield a significant developmental dividend in the developing world."