Artificial Intelligence, otherwise known as AI is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robots to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.
AI is a constellation of technologies that enable machines to act with high levels of intelligence and emulate human capabilities to sense, comprehend and act. Human capabilities are augmented by the ability to learn from experience and adapt over time.
AI is still maturing as a technology but today’s systems have a rudimentary understanding of human expression, tone, emotion, and subtleties of human interaction.
While AI development has a long history of excitement followed by a long disappointment, today we’re experiencing an unprecedented period of technological innovation across various sectors that is driving the growth of AI.
The two critical factors driving this growth are the increase of digitized data in the global economy and the unlimited access to computing power and lower cost for data storage now available over the cloud.
The rapidly developing set of artificial intelligence technologies has the potential to solve some of the most pressing challenges that impact sub-Saharan Africa and drive growth and development in core sectors.
Forward-thinking policymakers, innovative startups, and global technology partners are already mobilizing to promote the growth of a vibrant AI ecosystem in Africa.
However, as with other transformative and revolutionary technologies, there are challenges that can hamper the development of a healthy AI ecosystem in Africa.
I had a chat with Lavina Ramkissoon, an AI strategist and ethics mentor to see how Africa can embrace these challenges and create a clear road to guide the adoption of this technology.
CFA: Lavina glad to have you on tech trends today.
Lavina: Hi there, how is everyone doing?
CFA: So let’s start by understanding what artificial intelligence really means.
Lavina: I think it’s a good question in terms of the common folks and how it actually translates to who we are and I think for us it’s basically understanding our digital citizenship.
It means understanding and having access to large amounts of information with relative ease and I think you know that just not only talks to AI but it talks to technology in general.
CFA: As AI continues to evolve, how do you think or do you think Africa is taking full advantage of it thus far?
Lavina: Yes, not just yet so I think Africa still has a large learning growth spurt to go through so, in terms of understanding, its true potential against our real-world day-to-day impact, you know for example it could mean us unpacking it in the healthcare sector and what that truly means for us as a citizen at the end of the day, what is the real-life impact…( watch the full video here)
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