Africa


My experience at the SKA Big Data Africa School - Space in Africa

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I was lucky to be selected to the Square Kilometre Array Big Data Africa School funded by the SKA and the Development of Africa With Radio Astronomy (DARA). It was held in Cape Town, South Africa. Big Data is a cloudy idea. Easy to know when you have it, hard to describe. I like thinking of it as data that is sufficiently large such that it is difficult to draw information from it "easily".


The weird and wonderful life of Elon Musk

BBC News

Elon Musk is one of the world's most prominent business figures. His latest headline-grabber is the announcement of the first paying passenger his SpaceX venture plans to fly around the Moon. There are also his extraordinary pioneering achievements include creating online payment platform PayPal, running electric car maker Tesla, as well as SpaceX. His innovative and wide-ranging interests include solar energy and artificial intelligence, and he has promised the Hyperloop, a super-high speed magnetic train travel, in an underground tube and he has designs on Mars. But this year, things seem to have turned sour for the tech entrepreneur.


SAP claims to be first Euro biz to get seriously ethical about AI code

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SAP has created an AI ethics panel to guide its use of machine-learning technology. If only it had a similar committee for fraud allegations: it might have avoided the corruption scandal engulfing it in South Africa. The German ERP giant – which is accused of kicking back $2m to secure state contracts – claimed it is the first European biz to create a external artificial intelligence ethics board: a five-person committee that includes technical experts and specialists in public policy, ethics, and bioethics. However, while several of them possess solid IT credentials, there's no one with a background in AI. Rather, expertise in the evolving field will come from inside SAP.


How Zipline Helps Remote Regions Get Blood From a Drone

WIRED

Keller Rinaudo began his career as the cocreator of Romo, a tiny toy robot. But for the past five years his work has been, well, bloodier. His company, Zipline, uses autonomous planes to deliver medical supplies--vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and blood--to hard-to-reach places. It signed its first client, the government of Rwanda, in 2016, and says it now fulfills about a fifth of the blood needs of the country's rural population. Anne Wojcicki, cofounder and CEO of 23andMe, says she was drawn to Rinaudo's "passion, dedication, and laser focus on what he wanted to accomplish."


On-screen animals getting a small piece of the royalty pie thanks to Data61

ZDNet

At the Cannes film festival earlier this year, a conservation initiative aimed at giving back to the animals captured for film and television was announced by Australian production company Finch, backed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Lion's Share sees advertisers contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend to the fund for each advertisement they use featuring an animal. In just four months, the initiative has gained the support of David Attenborough as its ambassador. Data61, the innovation arm of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has also jumped on board the initiative as Finch's science and technology partner. "[The Lion's Share] is a great example of using machine learning and artificial intelligence not just for productivity gains, but to create new value that wasn't possible before," Data61 chief Adrian Turner told D61 LIVE in Brisbane on Tuesday.


NDEMO: Africa should embrace, not fear, Artificial Intelligence

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In my keynote speech, I emphasised the fact that Africa will miss the point if the continent listened more to sceptics and failed to prepare for the emerging new world order – the fourth industrial revolution – that in my view was ushered unto the world at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos at the beginning of this year.


CIA to expand its armed drone programme in Africa: NYT

Al Jazeera

The CIA is reportedly expanding its armed drone programme in Africa and will start using a military base in the Nigerien desert to carry out raids on areas where ISIL and al-Qaeda are believed to operate. The New York Times reported on Monday that a secret military base in Dirkou, about 250km south of the Libyan border, will soon begin deploying armed drones in an apparent loosening of Obama-era limits on US raids outside conventional warzones. According to the Times, the Pentagon has already carried out five drone raids in Libya this year, including one two weeks ago. While the drones are currently being flown out of bases in Sicily and Niamey, Niger's capital, armed drones "would almost certainly" be deployed from Dirkou "in the near future". The Times added that one of its journalists said he saw "gray aircraft - about the size of Predator drones, which are 27 feet long - flying at least three times over six days in early August".


Duty of Care and Artificial Intelligence - ITU Telecom World 2018 - Durban, South Africa

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been termed a "Digital Quake". This term powerfully illustrates the impact of AI on our lives. There is a tendency for people to think that AI does not impact them. But anyone who uses a smartphone or even just e-mail is impacted by AI several times a day. In South Africa alone, the estimated number of smartphones in use is 20.3 million (www.statista.com),


Big data, machine learning & AI in Africa

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In recent times, these words have created a hype which is undoubtedly due to the fact that human history and interaction are ultimately going to be altered in no mean terms by these concepts. The end of this article is to simply bring light to this seemingly technical world which would affect us positively if we understand and make use of the advantages it comes with. Big data basically refers to data sets that are so large in multiple varieties (example videos and images) and comes at such a speed that it is virtually impossible to use the traditional data processing applications to handle them. Every day, data is being generated in various ways and forms through devices, sensors and new technology platforms. Due to the nature of collection, it is often unstructured, however big data encompasses all data whether structured, semi structured or unstructured.


Artificial Intelligence In Nigeria Is An Infant Space With Huge Potential

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In Nigeria (and Africa), the proliferation of artificial intelligence is very much still in its infancy thanks to several problems ranging from a lack of adequate infrastructure to cultural and socio-economic barriers to adoption. But that doesn't mean Africa is taking a backseat and'unlooking'. As far back as 2008, South African company BrandsEye was already using a proprietary mix of search algorithms, crowdsourcing and machine learning to mine online conversations for sentiment and provide that data to enterprise customers. Also, Egyptian startup Affectiva, launched in 2009 by Rana El Kaliouby, uses emotion recognition to detect moods and make decisions based on facial expressions and has raised $34 million in venture capital till date. In Nigeria, the space is heating up, slowly but surely.