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Africa


Building a new developer workforce: How coding is helping an entire region retrain for the future

ZDNet

Damian Radcliffe is a digital analyst, journalist, and researcher with 20 years of experience. As Middle East nations look to pivot from petro-chemical to knowledge-based economies, skilling up the region's IT and tech workforce is growing in importance. While high-profile spending on infrastructure and startups tends to dominate the headlines, a number of efforts designed to build IT skills and capacity are also underway, with coding being one area seeing considerable investment. According to Salim Abid, Google's regional lead of developer ecosystem in MENA, Google trained more than 700,000 developers across MENA in 2021, 35% of whom were women. Participants were trained by Googlers and Google Developer Experts; local experts that joined events organised by Google Developer Groups, Women Techmakers communities, Google Developers Students clubs and other local organisations.


The Charlettes: An AI engineer in Ivory Coast and Ghana

Al Jazeera

Charlette Désiré N'Guessan comes from an intriguing family, where all the women share the same name: Charlette. It is confusing, and also a little ironic, since she is a software engineer who has invented a facial recognition app. In The Charlettes, by filmmaker Gauz, we see how this particular Charlette has made an impact in the tech world in Ivory Coast and Ghana, winning prizes and plaudits for her artificial intelligence (AI) identity invention. Gbaka-Brede Armand Patrick, known professionally as Gauz, is a multidisciplinary and self-proclaimed iconoclastic artist, based in Ivory Coast.


Facebook faces lawsuit in Kenya over poor working conditions for moderators

Engadget

Meta, Facebook's parent company, is facing another lawsuit filed by one of is former content moderators. According to The Washington Post, this one is filed by Daniel Motaung, who's accusing the company and San Francisco subcontractor Sama of human trafficking Africans to work in exploitative and unsafe working conditions in Kenya. The lawsuit alleges that Sama targets poor people across the region, including those from Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda, with misleading job ads. They were reportedly never told that they'd be working as Facebook moderators and would have to view disturbing content as part of the job. Motaung said the first video he watched was of someone being beheaded and that he was fired after six months on the job for trying to spearhead workers' unionization efforts.


FlowBot3D: Robotic Learning 3D Articulation Flow to Manipulate Articulated Objects - Technology Org

#artificialintelligence

Understanding and manipulating articulated objects such as doors and drawers is a key skill for robots in human environments. However, it is difficult to train systems that generalize to variations of those objects. The sensory signal comes from an Azure Kinect depth camera, and the agent is a Sawyer BLACK robot. A novel per-point representation of the articulation structure of an object is proposed, called 3D Articulation Flow. A newly-developed 3D vision neural network architecture takes as input a static 3D point cloud and predicts the 3D Articulation Flow of the input under articulation motion.


KNUST advances research in Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, has said the University remains committed to advancing research in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This she said is part of efforts to ensure that the country does not get left behind in the application of AI for national socio-economic development. "We at the KNUST are providing the enabling research environment to our cherished scientists to lead in scientific discoveries, harness innovation and foster scientific collaborations," the Vice-Chancellor said. "This is because Ghana and the sub-Saharan Region cannot be left out of the positive outlook that the application of AI is projected to make on global development and national socio-economic transformation. Mrs. Dickson, who was addressing a workshop in Kumasi on Friday, May 6, 2022, on the theme: "The Role of Responsible AI in Promoting the Sustainable Development Agenda in the sub-Region", said the global market contribution of AI as of 2019, according to the Grand View Research, was about US $39.9 billion.


Facebook Faces New Lawsuit Alleging Human Trafficking and Union-Busting in Kenya

TIME - Tech

Facebook's parent company, Meta Platforms, and its largest outsourcing partner in Africa are facing new allegations of forced labor, human trafficking, and union busting in Kenya. Daniel Motaung, a former outsourced Facebook content moderator, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Nairobi accusing Meta and outsourcing firm Sama of multiple violations of the Kenyan constitution. The lawsuit follows a TIME story published in February titled "Inside Facebook's African Sweatshop," in which Motaung and other current and former employees at Sama first gave their accounts of widespread trauma, pay as low as $1.50 per hour, and alleged union busting. Sama, which describes itself as an "ethical AI" company, fired Motaung in 2019 after he led more than 100 of his Facebook content-moderator colleagues in an attempt to unionize for better pay and working conditions. His dismissal letter said his actions put Sama's relationship with Facebook "at great risk."



Data Scientist

#artificialintelligence

ClearScore is searching for Data Scientist. This is an amazing opportunity to engage with a rich data set on 15 million users. We have captured every interaction the users have had with our high touch website and native apps, their fully monthly credit files and growing access to insurance, bank account and mobile data as well. Ordinarily a data set this vast would be buried in legacy systems, however ClearScore is only 6 years old and operates a strict'zero legacy' approach that means the data is held in an autoscaling AWS redshift environment. This is an exciting opportunity to work within a fast-paced, rapidly growing team of talented data scientists, helping to build revolutionary experiences that will help millions of users manage and better understand their finances.


African Ancestral AI

#artificialintelligence

By supporting this project, you contribute to global peace. In a world increasingly globalized, we must protect preserve, restore and safeguard the cultural heritage we inherited from our ancestors. Nurturing cultural diversity as a driving factor of peace creates spaces of dialogue to combat violence and oppression. For each backer token, you receive 0.3% ownership which is 0.3 % of sales fees for each sale in this collection. Aishatu's audio fiction will incorporate immersive sound design and original instrumental music.


AIhub monthly digest: April 2022 – images of AI, data justice, and winning at bridge

AIHub

Welcome to our April 2022 monthly digest, where you can catch up with any AIhub stories you may have missed, get the low-down on recent events, and much more. This month, we hear from our latest new voice in AI, talk about AI images, investigate data justice, and watch an AI system play bridge. In our latest episode of New voices in AI, we caught up with Maria De-Arteaga who told us about her work and journey into algorithmic fairness and human algorithm collaboration. You can find all episodes in the series here. In this article, Thom Badings and Nils Jansen write about their work on controllers for autonomous systems that won them, and co-authors Alessandro Abate, David Parker, Hasan Poonawala, and Marielle Stoelinga, a distinguished paper award at AAAI 2022.