Most of you may know that my life pivoted to artificial intelligence about 6 years ago. Since then I’ve been anxiously waiting to find a synergy between my passion for Africa and for technology. Its finally here! The AI community have realised that “bias” does not only reside in data, but in the community itself. Substantial events were spawned after the first Deep Indaba event in 2017. This year, South Africa will host an international gathering and in 2019, Nairobi, Kenya will have the pleasure. In addition to this, Moustapha Cisse (Senegal) now heads up the new Ghana office for Google and I’m seeing increasing progress from female powerhouses like Timnit Gebru, Muthoni Wanyoike and Kathleen Siminyu, in driving AI in Africa.
Today was also the announcement of more Key Stage 2 and 3 coding classes, designed by education social enterprise, Encounter Edu. Insurer XLCatlin & Oxford University’s Oxbotica partnered to provide “Driverless Cars In The Classroom: New Code Smart Education Programme” to help encourage kids into Computer Science.
Code Smart uses the real-world example of driverless cars and AI and, over the course of six sessions, students develop their coding and hardware skills, before attempting a three-session Smart City design challenge. All sessions are aligned to the Computing National Curriculum in England and the ISTE Standards in the USA. There is a requirement for the MakeBlock mBot which uses the Scratch-like programming language mBlock:
In addition NVIDIA offer free beginner courses here on their Deep Learning Institute platform. Scroll down to DEEP LEARNING MINI COURSES. You even borrow GPU compute from Amazon, for free. Alternatively Nairobi’s iHub can offer lots of help, especially Akirachix and others.
I have the pleasure of going to South Africa in September but meanwhile our work in Kenya continues. Just today, Jackson is arranging delivery of some solar-lamp and charging units from Solar Aid’s Sunny Money (Uganda) office. They’re also still looking for a Kenyan representaive if you want to spend time spreading the joy and power of sunshine around!! A donation from a colleague in NVIDIA has also filled the water tanks in Jackson’s village, and the concrete waterhole our volunteers built. Jackson sent this yesterday:
Ashe oleng, everyone involved!