Collaborating Authors


How AI, machine learning and ChatGPT are changing the legal system


One of the areas where technology law is likely to see development in South Africa is the regulation of data privacy. The Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) protects personal information and regulates the processing of personal data. However, with the rise of big data and the increasing use of technology in various industries, the legal framework surrounding data privacy will likely evolve in the coming years. This may include changes to PoPIA itself, as well as new legislation and case law that addresses emerging issues in data protection. Another area where tech law will likely see development is regulating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Employing Technology Analysis to Determine AI Inventorship


"While technology analysis is still new, it can provide some of the needed foundations for technology as a field of its own and answer such questions as'Can AI invent?.'" Not long ago, Dr. Stephen Thaler, a member of the scientific community, began claiming that his artificial intelligence (AI) machine, DABUS, was a bona fide inventor. The outcome so far has been that the claim has been rejected in most jurisdictions. A notable exception is South Africa, which accepted Thaler's patent application under "Formalities Examination" with DABUS as named inventor. The acceptance of the patent in South Africa and the evolution of the legal field opens the possibility of further assertions and challenges with respect to AI inventorship.

Stunning drone footage shows three killer whales hunt 9-foot great white shark and eat its liver

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It is a gripping scene of an orca viciously ripping out the liver of a nine-foot-long great white shark, as two other killer whales excitedly watch the once blue waters of South Africa's Mossel Bay turn blood red before the shark sinks to a the bottom of the sea – never to be seen again. The wild story was captured by a drone camera soaring above and now gives scientists a better understanding about why these apex-predators seem to be fleeing from this regions that was once the shark capital of the world. Orcas are known to feast on a great white shark liver, as to organ is are large, fatty and has become the whale's favorite dish – eight shark carcasses washing ashore the Western Cape in 2017 and all were missing their liver. The footage is part of marine biologist Alison Towner's long-term work with great whites. She shared on her Instagram page that the clip is'one of the most incredible pieces of natural history ever captured on film. The clip which is the first to show an orca eating a great white, is set to air on Discovery's Shark House Thursday night at 9pm ET, which is a day before the highly anticipated Shark Week begins.

Will Artificial Intelligence Place Trademarks On Life Support? – IP In Brief


My co-authors were Christine Strutt of Von Seidels in Cape Town, South Africa and Francine Ward of the Law Office of Francine D. Ward, Palm Desert, California. The article published by INTA in its February 9, 2022, Bulletin, explains how artificial intelligence (AI) is replacing trademark's function in brand selection. Here is a summary of the article. Traditionally, trademarks were shortcuts, identifying and distinguished goods in the marketplace in response to a buyer's needs and self-selected criteria. Trademarks have also protected against human frailty by alleviating confusion, imitation, disparagement and misrepresentation. AI is altering a consumer's browsing, selection and purchasing process.

Crime and punishment: In South Africa, crime rises like inflation with 93 per cent of Blacks steeped in poverty – Tell


Vumacam, an international technology company, is now building out more applications on Proof 360 for the South African market, including a system to detect license plate cloning – when two cars show up in different locations with identical plate numbers. It's also opening up the platform for third-party developers to add their own applications and distribute them to its users. Later this year, Ricky Croock Chief Executive Officer at Vumacam Johannesburg Metropolitan Area118, says that the company will switch to a new model, where customers will pay a flat fee to get access to the full network of cameras instead of just a selection. Agencies will still be able to filter the alerts to their jurisdiction, but they will also be able to view any feed in the country. The new approach will allow Vumacam to place poles and cameras irrespective of whether there are paying customers nearby.

The Download April 19, 2022: Neo-colonial AI, and aging clocks

MIT Technology Review

Johannesburg, the sprawling megacity once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, is now birthing a uniquely South African surveillance model. In the last five years, the city has become host to a centralized, coordinated, entirely privatized mass surveillance operation. Vumacam, the company building the nationwide CCTV network, already has over 6,600 cameras and counting, more than 5,000 of which are concentrated in Johannesburg. The video footage it takes feeds into security rooms around the country, which then use all manner of AI tools like license plate recognition to track population movement and trace individuals. These tools have been enthusiastically adopted by the local security industry, grappling with the pressures of a high-crime environment.

South Africa's private surveillance machine is fueling a digital apartheid

MIT Technology Review

Five years ago, this wouldn't have been possible. Neither the city's infrastructure nor existing video analytics could support sending and processing footage at the necessary scale. But then fiber coverage expanded, AI capabilities advanced, and companies abroad, seeing an opportunity, began dumping the latest surveillance technologies into the country. The local security industry, forged under the pressures of a high-crime environment, embraced the menu of options. The effect has been the rapid creation of a centralized, coordinated, entirely privatized mass surveillance operation.

Data Engineer, ML Platform

#artificialintelligence is searching for a Data Engineer to help in the development of our next-generation ML platform to support all of our internal machine learning operational needs at large scale. We're a social impact business (a public benefit company), and the largest tech platform focused on civic action in the world with 80m monthly users, 50,000 campaigns launched on the site every month, 150 staff, and a new revenue model that has grown by 500% in 2 years. We're growing quickly, and our users win campaigns for change once every hour. From strengthening hate crime legislation in South Africa; fighting corruption in Indonesia, Italy, and Brazil; to fighting violence against women in India. We are looking for a Data Engineer who has a passion to learn and build ML workflow orchestration & distributed data processing at scale.

3 ways AI can help prevent AML compliance fines in 2022 - THETARAY


2021 was another bumper year for fines slapped against financial institutions (FIs) for failures in anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. AML shortcomings in transaction monitoring are a global problem. Countries whose banks were hit with fines include the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Latvia, France, the UAE, India, Malaysia, and South Africa.  Fines imposed on FIs by regulators could reach as high as $2 billion for a second year running when the final figures come in, according to estimates. The continuous vigilance of regulators should serve as a wake-up call for financial institutions worldwide to take stock in failures and take action to change the trend in 2022. Some guilty parties lacked an AML compliance culture or even engaged in outright fraud and corruption. Others turned a blind eye. For FIs investing in large and costly compliance teams and tools, it’s surely frustrating to be hit with fines of tens

Ex-Google scientist Gebru opens AI institute year after tumultuous exit - ET Telecom


By Paresh Dave Timnit Gebru, the computer scientist whose disputed exit from Google's artificial intelligence research team prompted debate across the tech industry about diversity and censorship, said on Thursday she has launched a small lab to continue her work freely. The Distributed AI Research Institute has raised $3.7 million from foundations and aims to critically study services from big tech companies as well as propose AI-based solutions to issues such as food insecurity and climate change, Gebru said. It joins several non-governmental projects such as the Algorithmic Justice League that are advancing ethical use of AI. Critics worry that without proper safeguards systems including for facial recognition and credit scoring could lead to mass surveillance and racial discrimination. Gebru has hired a fellow based in South Africa and expects to add other researchers next year.