South Africa plans to build an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute to improve the teaching of robotics and coding in public schools. According to Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is a co-founder along with the Johannesburg Business School of the University of Johannesburg and the Tshwane University of Technology in the establishment of the AI Institute.
“It is essential that we invest significantly to provide our youth with access to modern training, skill sets, and formal education. To achieve this, our Department of Basic Education has introduced robotics and coding as school subjects in primary and high schools. At present, learners in over 1 000 schools are designing and producing robots both for gaming and to complete tasks the learners find tedious for human completion. Next year, learners in these and additional schools that will join this category will compete in a National Robotics Development Challenge,” the Minister said on Thursday during the G20 Digital Economy Ministers Meeting in Bali, Indonesia
The government’s focus on digital skills includes developing platforms to encourage and support young people and small and medium businesses, especially start-ups, in their ability to produce digital content.“In this regard, South Africa will launch an App Store to be known as DigiTech on 13 September 2022. We have undertaken to our sister countries within Africa to ensure that content producers from the rest of Africa can have their Apps enrolled on the DigiTech App Store,” the Minister said.
What is Artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision.
Bridging the digital divide
Governments have a duty to continue using technology as a major catalyst for change in the world that should advance inclusive growth, accessible public services, and sustainable development in light of how technology is changing how people work and live. This is because technology is changing how people interact with one another and with their environment. She stated that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the harm caused by the digital divide to human development, particularly for the underprivileged.
“In South Africa and the majority of the developing world, in particular in Africa, where the poor remained unconnected, the poor were severely marginalized during the COVID-19 pandemic because they were excluded from accessing basic services such as education, health and ability to work.
“It is for this reason that we prioritized and concluded the licensing of the high demand spectrum and also secured the commitment of our telecommunications regulator to ensure that the Frequency Spectrum license holders contribute towards the national broadband penetration objectives by connecting key public institutions such as schools, health facilities, and traditional authorities.
“In addition, this year we will finalize the roadmap towards the deployment of 4G and 5G networks including to rural towns. We continue to work to attain the objectives of our South Africa Connect program to ensure that we attain universal access to the internet by 2024,” the Minister said.
As part of the requirements for fundamental e-learning, the government is now providing email accounts to all students in public schools and their parents.
Examples of Artificial Intelligence
Maps and Navigation
Traveling has been greatly enhanced by AI. You may now use Waze, Google, or Apple Maps on your phone and punch in your destination rather than relying on printed maps or directions.
Facial Detection and Recognition
We now use artificial intelligence on a regular basis in the form of virtual filters on our faces while taking photos and face ID to unlock our phones. Any human face is recognized in the former thanks to facing detection. The latter makes use of face recognition to identify a particular face. Government buildings and airports both utilize facial recognition for surveillance and security.
Text Editors or Autocorrect
In word processors, texting apps, and seemingly every other written media, AI algorithms utilize machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing to identify erroneous language usage and offer changes. Together, linguists and computer scientists teach machines grammar in the same way that you were taught it in school. Algorithms were trained using high-quality linguistic data, the editor will recognize when you use a comma inappropriately.
AI is contributing to the fact that you haven’t visited a bank branch in recent years because running to the bank for every transaction is a huge time waster. Banks are now using artificial intelligence to make customers’ lives easier by streamlining payment procedures.
By utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) for security, identity management, and privacy controls, intelligent algorithms have made it possible to make deposits, send money, and even start accounts from anywhere.
By keeping an eye on consumers’ credit card spending patterns, even possible fraud can be discovered. Another illustration of artificial intelligence is this. The algorithms are aware of the types of things a user purchases, as well as when, where, and in what price range they are frequently made.
Where can I study AI?
If you’re interested in studying artificial intelligence, Wits University offers a course to study AI. Candidates for an MSc by CW/RR in Artificial Intelligence will have the chance to develop cutting-edge AI skills by first participating in a rigorous coursework component and then developing those skills in an applied research setting through a mini dissertation. Computational intelligence, machine
learning, multi-agent systems, computer vision, and natural language processing will all be covered in the course material. The research report component enables the applicant to take the skills acquired and produce new knowledge in a research environment with cohort supervision.