Exciting AI Developments in Africa and Beyond!

April 21, 2018




As multi-national organizations, national and local governments, corporates, platform businesses, startups, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations are starting to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is also great to see it growing in leaps and bounds on the African continent (see also some previous posts that showcase some of the early traction: Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa 2018,  Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa – Seasons Greetings and  Deep Learning in Africa). As a Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) community along with our partners we are on a mission to use exponential technologies such as AI and Blockchain, as well as the operationalization of Big Data & Analytics and Data Science to help transform Africa and shape a better future in the Smart Technology Era. 

In this post we share some of the exciting upcoming events such as our participation in the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, which is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI and focused on impactful AI solutions able to yield long-term benefits and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Some of the other AI events include Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018 with the theme accelerating the Digital Transformation of Banking & Financial Services, IT Web AI 2018, AIExpo Africa 2018, and the Deep Learning Indaba 2018. We also had some very exciting events over the last few months and this post provides some links to the presentations and video material of some of these events, including the AlphaZero AI, SABEC 2018, Deep Learning IndabaX, CIO Challenge, and a MIIA event in partnership with PwC which was focused on the opportunities and pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI.

It is also great to see MIIA’s growth over the last year or so with currently about 2050 registrations across MIIA social channels. The following diagram also shows the growth path since 2016, including including a range of activities in 2018.

On the partnership front, MIIA is excited to get more support from its current and new partners to build a strong and innovative Machine Intelligence and Data Science community in Africa to help transform Africa by networking together the critical mass of resources, promote and sponsor learning activities, and strengthen scientific and technological excellence, mentoring and collaboration on the continent. To this end MIIA is keen to partner with governments, businesses, startup incubators, non profit organizations, universities, and research organizations from around the world to support and help mould the future of Machine Intelligence and Data Science research and applications in Africa.

Some of the past events on the 2018 MIIA calendar includes:

  • 38. Artificial Intelligence Transforming Human Resources Summit 2018, Sandton, 14-16 February 2018
  • 39. Deep Learning Meetup, Cape Town, 20 February 2018 
  • 40. DataCon Africa 2018, CTICC, Cape Town, 26-28 February 2018 
  • 41. Building AlphaZero AI using Python and Keras, MIIA Cape Town Meetup, Cape Town, 15 March 2018 
  • 42. SatRday, Cape Town, 17 March 2018
  • 43. AI: Implications and Impact, City.AI, Cape Town, 27 March 2018
  • 44. SABEC 2018, 3rd SA Biomedical Engineering Conference 2018, Spier wine Estate, Stellenbosch, 4-6 April 2018  
  • 45. Deep Learning IndabaX, UCT, Cape Town, 6 April 2018 
  • 46. CIO Challenge Conference, The River Club, Cape Town 12 April 2018
  • 47. Opportunities and Pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI, PwC, Midrand, 18 April 2018 

Some of the upcoming events on the 2018 MIIA calendar includes:

  • 48. Rise to the Challenge: Opportunities and Pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI, Rise Cape Town, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town, 25 April 2018 
  • 49. AI for Good Global Summit, Geneva, Switzerland, 15-17 May 2018
  • 50. Global Investors Group, South Africa Securities Finance Masterclass, Raisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, 17 May 2018
  • 51. Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018 – Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Banking & Financial Services, Raddisson Blue Gautrain, Johannesburg, 6 June 2018
  • 52. AI for Sustainable Development Goals event at Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Stellenbosch, 4 July 2018
  • 53. ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018, The Forum, Bryanston, South Africa, 1-2 August 2018
  • 54. AIExpo Africa 2018, Cape Town, 9-11 September 2018
  • 55. Deep Learning Indaba, Stellenbosch University, 9-15 September 2018

The rest of the article provides more details on each of these events.

55. Deep Learning Indaba, Stellenbosch University, 9-15 September 2018

Strengthening African ​Machine Learning 

Deep Learning Indaba Sponsorship  Stellenbosch, South Africa: 10-15 September 2018. 

The Deep Learning Indaba exists to celebrate and strengthen machine learning in Africa through state-of-the-art teaching, networking, policy debate, and through our support programmes, such as the IndabaX and the Kambule and Maathai awards. We work towards the vision of Africans becoming critical contributors, owners, and shapers of the coming advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. We need visionary partners to help realise this vision; we need your help! In 2018 we increase our commitment to African machine learning with an ambitious programme that will almost double our participation and significantly


Application (opening in March 2018): http://www.deeplearningindaba.com/apply.html 


 You can apply either as a student or as a general attendee.

  • Students should be 4th-year/honours, MSc, PhD, or postdoc level.
  • General attendees include academics, research scientists at startups or industry, and engineers in data science fields. ​

You should apply if you have:

  • An active interest in machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistics, data science, or related computational sciences (e.g., statistical physics, computational neuroscience, computational social science, etc).
  • Basic programming experience in Python or Matlab (if you’ve completed an undergrad assignment that involved coding, you should be fine!).
  • Basic (undergraduate) knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, probability theory and statistics. See the description of background topics for pointers and further details.

Call for Nominations

Awarding African Excellence in Research and Innovation in Machine Learning and Artificial IntelligenceDeadline 30th April 2018Deep Learning Indaba, Stellenbosch, September 2018http://machineintelligenceafrica.org/activities/deep-learning-indaba/ 

54. AIExpo Africa 2018, Cape Town, 9-11 September 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is happening NOW with emerging technology breakthroughs in a range of fields, including robotic automation, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, IoT, 3D printing and self driving vehicles.  Research on the impact of AI reveals that AI could double annual economic growth rates in 2035 by changing the nature of work and creating a new relationship between man and machine.

AI ExpoAfrica 2018 is focusing on real world applications & trends driving the AI Economy in Africa & wider global economy, exploring the AI Business Opportunity NOW and seeking to build an AI Business focused Community in Africa.   Enjoy a packed 2 day program, with 400 delegates, 27 Speakers, 5 Keynotes,  Exhibition & Innovation Cafe.  

The audience is comprised of CxO / Enterprise decision makers allied to AI Cloud platform providers, Tier 1 / 2 deployment & service providers, AI start ups / innovators, investors, educators, government and AI ecosystem community builders.  With 6 themes and 3 tracks, you will learn about real Enterprise AI case studies and the application of AI in Business TODAY, available technology and platforms, deployment challenges, ethics and skills plus innovation and research driving current business trends.

Twitter: @aiexpoafrica
Facebook: @aiexpoafrica 
LinkedIn: AI Expo Africa Group
Web: www.aiexpoafrica.com 

Registration: http://aiexpoafrica.com/registration/ 

Dr Jacques Ludik, Founder & President of MIIA & Cortex Logic CEO, will be serving as Track Moderator at the event and stated, “It’s great to see AI Expo Africa focusing on the real world applications of AI. Their novel approach to include large enterprise platform and service vendors, alongside AI start-up innovators coupled to a CxO audience containing decision makers and investors makes for a perfect mix. It’s a great opportunity to see how AI is now impacting many aspects of Commerce and Enterprise in Africa, and delegates will gain great value from attending.”

About AI Expo Africa

Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA)

53. ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018, The Forum, Bryanston, South Africa, 1-2 August 2018 

MIIA has partnered with ITWeb for their ITWeb Artificial Intelligence 2018 event at Bryanston from 1-2 August 2018.

For more details about this event see: http://v2.itweb.co.za/event/itweb/artificial-intelligence-2018/ 

Key attractions of this event:

  • An international keynote address from the Netherlands: Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe, assistant professor of ethics and technology at TU Delft (Netherlands) and president of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics.
  • Nedbank will bring Pepper (SA’s first humanoid robot) to the event for its presentation.
  • The programme includes two controversial panel discussions, so it isn’t just a traditional show of heads. The topics are:
    • AI: Good, Bad, Fad? A session to talk about the implications of AI with respect to employment, social and workplace impact, and where it really stands today in terms of capability. Do we face the rise of the killer robots, or are the bots going to be our best friends?
    • On the road to AI – how do you get there? This panel discussion will provide insight into what considerations need to be made before embarking on a journey to AI.
  • Tim Collins, head of Consulting, Product Development and Analytics at TransUnion, will present a case study on TransUnion’s CreditVision.
  • The event features a speed networking session – which has become very popular among our delegates at previous events.
  • The event is endorsed by The Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, and Dr Jacques Ludik, president and founder of the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa and CEO and founder of Cortex Logic, will present information on solving strategic and operationally relevant problems through operationalising AI, data science, IOT and big data and analytics.
    • Get good perspective on operationalizing Big Data & Analytics, IoT and AI and its benefits
    • Discover how end-to-end AI solutions can unlock value from all available structured and unstructured data to:
      • increase operational efficiency, effectiveness and revenue
      • create strategic value via faster, better and more proactive decisions, enhanced scalability, new business models, and revenue growth opportunities
      • enhance customer experience via real-time, on demand, digital, personalized service delivery, assistance and advice which is enabled via 360 degree insights about the customer
      • an enable more targeted sales and marketing
    • Get information on some of these solutions include strategic business transformation & optimization, human capital valuation & employee profiling, intelligent virtual assistants, robo-advisors, process optimization, predictive maintenance, fraud detection, churn prediction, advanced risk scoring, machine learning-based trading, real-time customer insights, smart recommendations and purchase prediction, personalized search, cyber security, medical risk prediction, and precision medicine.
    • Working collaboratively with innovate AI partners that can help business thrive in the Smart Technology Era and be agile, innovative and adapt quickly to stay relevant given the swift pace of change and disruption to business and society.
  • Celia Pienaar of Webber Wentzel will present on the use of AI in regulation will how AI is transforming the regulatory environment
  • We have also secured Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head, Hippo.co.za speak on embracing digitalisation/AI to be able to compete with the biggest technology disrupters
  • Nigel Solomons, Head of ICT, Golden Arrow Bus Services (Pty) Ltd will present a case study: Transport Industry on the AI trends in the Public Transport Industry

Please register here. MIIA members get a 20% discount.

52. AI for Business & Sustainable Development Goals event at Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Stellenbosch, 4 July 2018

AI for Business & Sustainable Development Goals

Sponsors: Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLabMachine Intelligence Institute of AfricaCortex Logic

Venue: Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Hammandshand Road, Stellenbosch

We are excited to announce another MIIA event at Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Stellenbosch on 4 July at 6:30pm.

The theme for the event is AI for Business & Sustainable Development Goals with Dr Jacques Ludik, sharing some of the key takeaways from his participation as invited AI expert to the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva on 15-17 May 2018. The AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. The action-oriented 2018 summit will identify practical applications of AI and supporting strategies to improve the quality and sustainability of life on our planet. 

This presentation will then be followed by a panel discussion with some experts from Stellenbosch University, Industry, and the MIIA community participating. The format of the event will be a few presentations with Q&A along with a panel discussion. 

Preliminary Agenda:


  • Welcome & Introduction by LaunchLab
  • MIIA Update
  • AI for Business & Sustainable Development Goals, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic, Bennit.AI

Panel DiscussionAI for Business & Sustainable Development Goals

Moderator: Dr Jacques Ludik 

Register here: http://qkt.io/VyyzzH


51. Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018 – Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Banking & Financial Services, Raddisson Blue Gautrain, Johannesburg, 6 June 2018

MIIA will also be represented at the Finnovation Africa 2018 event via Dr Jacques Ludik as one of the invited speakers. South Africa: A Landscape of Dynamic FinTech Transformation

South Africa’s FinTech adoption rate is expected to experience a major leap over the next few years. EY’s annual FinTech Adoption Index Report 2017 forecasted 71% growth, with the country ranking third in future growth behind only China and India. There is a greater number of technology hubs in South Africa than any other country on the continent with a larger amount of national and international investment in the sector. South Africa’s Reserve Bank has created a team which is dedicated to monitor the latest FinTech developments on payments, lending, deposit taking, investments and insurance, which will report directly to the Deputy Governor Francoise Groepe. South Africa is clearly in the midst of one of the most exciting phases of innovation and disruption in the financial sector.Innovation in Financial Services: A Dynamic Event Tailor-Made for a Cutting-Edge Industry

Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018 is a very different kind of event, a complete reboot, for a very different kind of industry. Deconstructed and shorn of all the usual, tired formats of the traditional convention and built from the ground up as a genuinely new event that is a ground-breaking in its focus as it is in its format and aspiring to be as innovative and transformative as the dynamic FinTech market it serves.

Combining a highly innovative and interactive event format with world-class speakers and more than 300 carefully selected participants, Finnovation Africa: South Africa 2018, to be held at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Johannesburg on the 6th of June 2018, will tackle the most pressing questions for the progress of FinTech and the positive transformation of banking in Africa, providing a platform for all stakeholders to engage in creating the future of financial services on the continent – from established banking powerhouses to FinTech start-ups.

50. Global Investors Group, South Africa Securities Finance Masterclass, Raisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town, 17 May 2018 

Website: https://globalinvestorgroup.com/event/21/south-africa-securities-finance-masterclass  

MIIA has also given their support for the South Africa Securities Masterclass event that takes place in Cape Town on 17 May 2018. See specifically the technology update panel discussion for AI and blockchain related technology perspectives as it pertains to Finance Securities.

Technology Update
• Has the securities finance market evolved to reflect the efficiency and transparency that can be afforded by modern technology?
• What areas are in need of an upgrade?
• What role will blockchain play in the market and when?
• How can firms use AI/machine learning to enhance efficiency?

Moderator: Stephen Linnell, COO of Global Markets, RMB

Steve Everett, General Manager, Strate Collateral Management Services
Mukhtar Yoonas Cassim, Founder, South Africa Blockchain (Pty)
Gavin Marshall, 
Founder, Sharebit

49. AI for Good Global Summit, Geneva, Switzerland, 15-17 May 2018 

The Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) and Africa will be represented via Dr Jacques Ludik’s participation as invited AI expert at the 2nd edition of the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland on 15-17 May 2018. This Summit is organized by ITU in partnership with XPRIZE Foundation, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and sister United Nations agencies including UNESCOUNICEF,UNCTADUNIDOGlobal PulseUNICRIUNODAUNIDIRUNODCWFPIFADUNAIDSWIPOILOUNITARUNOPSOHCHRUN UniversityWHOUNEPICAOUNDPThe World BankUN DESACTBTOUNISDR, and UNOG. ​ 

The AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. The action-oriented 2018 summit will identify practical applications of AI and supporting strategies to improve the quality and sustainability of life on our planet. The summit will continue to formulate strategies to ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits. 

While the 2017 summit sparked the first ever inclusive global dialogue on beneficial AI, the action-oriented 2018 summit will focus on impactful AI solutions able to yield long-term benefits and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. ‘Breakthrough teams’ will demonstrate the potential of AI to map poverty and aid with natural disasters using satellite imagery, how AI could assist the delivery of citizen-centric services in smart cities, and new opportunities for AI to help achieve Universal Health Coverage, and finally to help achieve transparency and explainability in AI algorithms.

Teams will propose impactful AI strategies able to be enacted in the near term, guided by an expert audience of mentors representing government, industry, academia and civil society. Strategies will be evaluated by the mentors according to their feasibility and scalability, potential to address truly global challenges, degree of supporting advocacy, and applicability to market failures beyond the scope of government and industry. The exercise will connect AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers, building collaboration to take promising strategies forward. 

“As the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies, ITU is well placed to guide AI innovation towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development ​Goals. We are providing a neutral platform for international dialogue aimed at ​building a ​common understanding of the capabilities of emerging AI technologies.​​” – Houlin Zhao, Secretary General ​of ITU​


Invited Experts: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/AI/2018/Pages/Invitedexperts.aspx 

Contact: ai@itu.int

​Building on the spark created by the first AI Summit in 2017, the second AI Summit in 2018 will identify practical solutions of how AI can accelerate progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 SDGs, 169 targets, and around 230+ indicators to measure the SDGs. All indicators in one file are listed hereThe goal of the Summit is to launch projects that can be implemented in the coming months. The Summit is not about reporting, it is about building. 

The heart of the Summit are the following tracks on Day 2 (16 May 2018):

  • AI and satellite imagery Team lead: Stuart Russell, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC-Berkeley
  • AI and health Team leads: Marcel Salathé, Associate Professor & head of the Digital Epidemiology lab, EPFL; World Health Organization (WHO)
  • AI and smart cities & communities Team lead: Renato de Castro, SmartCity Expert
  • Trust in AI: Team leads: Huw Price, University of Cambridge; Francesca Rossi, University of​ Padova and IBM Watson; Stephen Cave, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge;

Each track is curated by a team. The team will also identify, in the time leading up to the Summit, projects that could be launched at the Summit. The teams will present an overview of their respective track on Day 1, during the last plenary. During Day 2, the four tracks will run in parallel. On Day 3 in plenary, findings of each track will be summarized and presented. 

1st editionof the AI for Good Global Summit (2017):

The AI for Good Global Summit is followed by another conference on AI Policy and Regulation where Dr Jacques Ludik will also be participating in the panel discussion “Adopting AI in Industries: Potential and Challenges”. 

Conference on AI Policy and Regulation (Geneva, May 18)

Permanent Mission of India to Conference on Disarmament and Observer Research Foundation

Applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the use of Autonomous Technologies (AT) are growing. The social, political and economic impact of these technologies is significant. Discussions on ethical aspects, possible standards and norms have started already in several jurisdictions including Canada, China, Germany, EU, India, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, UK and the U.S. From a multilateral perspective there would be value in an exchange of nascent national experiences on AI/AT policy and standards. Such an exchange, particularly in a Track 1.5 setting, could generate insights for discussions on rules and standards related to AI/AT in inter-governmental forums. Such an exchange of information could also be an important component of future confidence building measures in platforms such as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

9:15 – 9:30 AM Introduction

9:40 – 10:00 AM Keynote Address

10:00 – 11: 20 AM Transforming Governance through Emerging Technologies – lessons from Asia and Africa

From the emergence of digital identity programs in South Asia to the use of mobile money in Africa, policymakers across jurisdictions are exploring how technology can be adopted in various sectors while addressing the challenge of inclusion, building capacity, providing economic incentives and creating jobs. Asgovernments in emerging countries try to ease AI and autonomous technologies (AT) into their societies, the march of technology appears to be headed on a collision course with centuries-old structures of industry and economics. The panel consisting of experts from Asia and Africa will take stock of developments in AI policy and e-governance initiatives undertaken by their respective governments; and specifically identify policy priorities and capacity gaps for emerging economies.

Themes: a) What are the main domains of application of AI/AT and how are governments promoting, researching and developing these applications? Specifically, how are emerging economies adopting these technologies to tackle challenges of financial inclusion? b) How can national experiences inform the international consideration of future use of AI and AT based applications? c) What are the gaps in current AI/AT related policy research – nationally and internationally – that need to be addressed over the next 3-5 years?

11:30 – 12: 50 PM Building Normative Frameworks for AI and Governance: Lessons from the US and EU

The West has traditionally been considered the progenitor of new technologies and the rules that govern them – they continue to do so with the emergence of artificial intelligence.Policymakers from Transatlantic states have taken the lead in incubating talent in the sector, incentivizing startups through their regulatory frameworks and finally, in discussing norms to regulate the use of such technologies. This panel will discuss the commonalities in their strategic vision that gives these states an edge in building and scaling these technologies. Is there a normative framework that can drive this growth in other parts of the world?

Themes: a) How can governments promote the adoption of AI across sectors domestically? What initiatives can governments take to train the next generation of the workforce? b) How can technologically advanced states in Europe and America develop a global, strategic vision on adoption of AI and create platforms for engagement on norms?

12:50 – 2: 00 PM Lunch

2:00 – 3: 20 PM Adopting AI in Industries: Potential and Challenges

With AI estimated to add to add USD 15.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2030, the opportunities for both incumbents and startups is huge. At the same time, companies will need to focus on skilling the workforce and identifying points in the supply chain for integration of AI. This, however, will require greater consideration on the design, purpose and deployment of AI. This panel will discuss how early adopters of AI are using the technology in different forms in their businesses. How is this AI transforming products, processes and outcomes for companies in industries such as FinTech and healthcare?

Themes: a) How can businesses use AI to reduce costs, increase efficiency and solve problems even before they arise, across various sectors? b) Can a normative framework such as a hippocratic oath for AI designers serve better in the long run rather than regulation in the form of binding instruments?

3:30 – 5: 00 PM Closing Session: Regulating AI and Establishing Policy Goals

The social and economic impact of AI cannot be mitigated by merely overseeing the design of the technology. The impact of AI must be regulated too to instill trust, ensure safety and create public awareness. With algorithmic decision making already being applied widely and AI applications being deployed in some sectors, how can legacy legal frameworks be adapted for these technologies? This panel will discuss how the policy community can focus their efforts both domestically and internationally to build a normative consensus to regulate AI. The panel will also explore the role of the industry and identify short term and long term goals for the broader community.

Themes: a) What are the regulatory and other concerns related to AI applications? Are they being considered holistically or are there some sector-specific (e.g. health, autonomous vehicles) regulatory issues? b) How are these concerns proposed to be tackled – laws, rules, industry standards, public awareness campaigns etc.? Do plans for governance differ significantly across the globe or are there common elements?

48. Rise to the Challenge: Opportunities and Pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI, Rise Cape Town, Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town, 25 April 2018 

Rise Cape Town (created by Barclays) and MIIA has joined forces with respect to the event Rise to the Challenge: Opportunities and Pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI, which was hosted at Rise Cape Town’s premises at Woodstock Exchange, Cape Town on 25 April 2018 from 10am-12pm. 

  • Rise introduction by Camilla Swart
  • Talks by Dr Jacques Ludik, Ryan Falkenberg, and Dr Charles Copley
  • Panel Discussion by Data Science, Machine Learning & AI practitioners and industry experts

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Machine-Intelligence-Institute-of-Africa/events/247962659/

47. Opportunities and Pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI, Midrand, 18 April 2018 

MIIA partnered with PwC in hosting a successful event focused on Opportunities and Pitfalls in Machine Learning and AI at PwC’s new offices in Waterfall, Midrand on 18 April 2018. Dr Jacques Ludik has given the keynote address which was followed by a discussion with Data Science, Machine Learning & AI practitioners and industry experts on the panel.

Date: 18 April 2018, 7-8:30pm

Venue: PwC, Waterfall City, 4 Lisbon Lane, Jukskei View, Midrand, 2090, South Africa

Sponsors: PwC, MIIA, Cortex Logic



Registration: http://qkt.io/Bcu8QM

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Machine-Intelligence-Institute-of-Africa-Jhb-Pta/events/247964941/ 

46. CIO Challenge Conference, The River Club, Cape Town 12 April 2018 

CIO Challenge Conference which was held at The River Club in Cape Town, has provided an exclusive opportunity for attendees to discover effective enterprise solutions, meet with seasoned Information Officers, partake in open floor discussions as well as share experiences with various industry sector peers from the Public and Private Sectors including Finance, ICT, Government, Transport, Manufacturing, Retail and Healthcare to mention but a few. The format of the CIO Challenge CT event is based on interaction and learning over the one day where the audience will hear from industry leaders as well as have the opportunity to engage in open floor discussions and gain valuable insight from these leaders. 

Key discussions in the agenda included the current challenges facing Heads of IT with Cybersecurity Act & Data Breach Penalties, POPI & GDPR Act Implementation, IOT, BI & AI, Managing Multi Cloud Deployments, Digital Disruption & Digital Transformation



Peter Du Plooy – CIO Engen -Organisational change and realigning strategy to support digital innovation.

This paper covers the principles of redesign and reorganisation of key high level organisational structures that result from a realignment of strategy being driven by the need to adopt a digital approach to business.

The paper initiates the discussion on the need to revisit and realign corporate strategies in response to digital competition. This in turn drives a reassessment of processes, systems and structure. In this session you will hear about the case for change, strategic alignment, digital integration and structural change principles.

Dr Jacques Ludik – Founder & Chairman MIIA – Current challenges facing CIO’s with AI and IOT

Collin Mamdoo – Principal Specialist – IoT (Vodacom Western Cape)

Christoff Pienaar – Director Technology – Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr – Final preparation for POPI & GDPR Implementation. (GDPR commences 28 May 18)

Dr Barry Devlin – Founder & Principal – 9sight – The shift from BI (Business Intelligence) to AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Peter Walsh – CommsCloud

Alan Moon – Head Business Continuity Information Systems & Technology City of Cape Town- Cybersecurity prevention strategy and insights into new Cybersecurity Act!

Richard Mulholland – CEO Missing Link – Beware of the Fox

45. Deep Learning IndabaX, UCT, Cape Town, 6 April 2018 


We welcome everyone interested in AI, machine learning and deep learning to attend the Indaba X. Communication will be spread through existing meetup groups, the Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) social channels, University (UCT and Stellenbosch) departments, work networks, and society channels to reach people from all backgrounds and communities. We have a few sponsors, but welcome other interested sponsors to email us at info@machineintelligenceafrica.org.

Website: https://indabax.github.io

Venue: PD Hahn Building Lecture Theatres 1 & 2 & 4, University of Cape Town

Date: Friday 6 April 2018

Video & Presentations:

Keynote address: Deep Learning Foundations, Architectures and Applications – Dr Jacques Ludik

Panel Discussion:

IndabaX video playlist of all lectures:

Deep Reinforcement Learning 


Some Tweets

Photos: Photos of the event


Other IndabaX events throughout Africa during the 26 March – 6 April 2018 period includes:

44. SABEC 2018, 3rd SA Biomedical Engineering Conference 2018,Spier wine Estate,Stellenbosch, 4-6 April 2018 

MIIA has been represented at the 3rd SA Biomedical Engineering Conference 2018, via a presentation by Dr Jacques Ludik on AI applications in Biomedical Engineering.  The Conference was held on 4 – 6 April 2018 in collaboration with the IEEE EMBS, the IEEE South Africa Section, the IEEE EMBS South Africa Chapter and Stellenbosch University. This conference took a new approach in combining theory and research with the development, industrialisation and commercialisation of these ideas to showcase not only what can be done but give you insight into the Stellenbosch Biomedical Engineering Ideation Engine.

Biomedical Engineering is a progressive and exciting field aimed at improving or solving health-related problems through multidisciplinary fields such as Physics, Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering at the intersections of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences. There remains huge potential for innovation and human capacity building in this field not only in South Africa, but in Africa and globally. Hence, they have broaden there scope and invited those from Industry to join in what is to become the premier Biomedical Engineering Conference in Africa.


PresentationPresentation – AI Applications in Biomedical Engineering – Dr Jacques Ludik

VideoVideo – AI Applications in Biomedical Engineering

43. AI: Implications and Impact, City.AI, Cape Town, 27 March 2018

Event DetailsArtificial intelligence (AI) is growing at an exponential rate, touching almost every part of our lives: becoming more prevalent and powerful. While the technological implications are clear to see, the sociological impact requires frequent discussion of AI’s benefit and danger. With mainstream fear of this technology, there are reasons to be cautious but also optimistic. Join us for a discussion that will dispel myths, provide known answers, and generate new questions. For City.AI’s inaugural event, we have decided to dive straight into the discussion. We hope you will join us for a level-headed debate on AI: Implications and Impact. Our panelists include David AndersonLethabo MotswalediNeil du Toit,  and Weibke Toussaint, with moderation by Christopher Brian Currin.  Date: 27 March Time: 18:00 – 21:00

EventBrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cape-town-ai-1-ai-implications-impact-tickets-4141657509 Website link:  https://capetown.city.ai

42. SatRday, Cape Town, 17 March 2018 

The R community and some of South Africa’s most forward thinking companies have come together to bring satRday back to Cape Town. This conference provides an opportunity to hear from and network with top Researchers, Data Scientists and Developers from the R community in South Africa and beyond.

Website: http://capetown2018.satrdays.org/ 

41. Building AlphaZero AI using Python and Keras, MIIA Cape Town Meetup, Cape Town, 15 March 2018 

MIIA has scheduled an event where it has showcased the Building AlphaZero AI at Rise Cape Town on 15 March 2018. Cortex Logic and Rise Cape Town was the sponsors. 


  • Sponsors introduction
  • Introduction and MIIA update“, Dr Jacques Ludik, MIIA, Cortex Logic
  • Introduction to DeepMind’s Deep Reinforcement Learning – AlphaZero“, Benjamin de Charmoy
  • Demo – Alpha{Connect4}Zero”, Benjamin de Charmoy
  • Open Discussion



Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Machine-Intelligence-Institute-of-Africa/events/247962345/

Registration link: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/42673-building-alphazero-ai-using-python-and-keras/
Event short link: http://qkt.io/lcT5hd

Venue: Rise Auditorium, 66-68 Albert Road, Woodstock Exchange building, Barclays Rise, Block B, 5th Floor · Woodstock 7925

40. DataCon Africa 2018, CTICC, Cape Town, 26-28 February 2018 

Corinium has been bringing the South African data analytics community together since 2016 through conferences and roundtable discussions. In February 2018 it’s Cape Town’s turn to get together to discuss and debate the future of data analytics. Apart from MIIA being a media partner for this event, we also have members from the MIIA community presenting at this event.

DataCon Africa 2018 will feature case studies on practical uses cases of data analytics and data science as well as in-depth discussions on key topics:

  • Building a data-driven enterprise for information led decision making
  • Establishing a sustainable data governance framework
  • The impact of advanced analytics on future business performance
  • Developing a highly effective data analytics business unit

DataCon Africa 2018 already features speakers from industries such as online gaming, microcredit, fintech and telecoms.

See also the agenda and format for more details about this event.

MIIA was also represented by Dr Jacques Ludik who has given an keynote address on day 2 of the conference.


39. Deep Learning Meetup, Cape Town, 20 February 2018 

Cape Town Deep Learning Meetup  on 20 February 2018 at Zoona’s offices just off Kloof Street, 4-32 Darters Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001

Deep Neural Networks for Sequence Modeling (Language + Time Series)

Presenter: Alex Conway, Numberboost, CTO

Modeling language is hard. There are long-running dependencies with ideas that can span paragraphs and we also have to deal with the intricacies of expression including sarcasm, ambiguity and polysemy. There have been many remarkable results in computer vision – for example ImageNet where the state of the art has been beaten and the algorithms are more accurate than humans. Computer vision is also inherently easier to grasp because it is visual and the most common representation – “convolution” – is easy to visualize. The first obvious question when modeling language is how to represent it numerically so that you can fit a model. One topic that we will focus on is semantic vector spaces and Word2Vec. Then when we consider how to advance beyond a simple “bag of words” model that ignores word order, we will consider that language is actually a sequence (like time series) and we can apply deep learning models that perform well on sequences such as recurrent neural networks (LSTMs and GRUs) and 1-dimensional convolutional neural networks that do “backpropagation through time” to build powerful language and time series models. The talk will include code samples and practical examples. 

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Cape-Town-deep-learning/events/247409146/ 

38. Artificial Intelligence Transforming Human Resources Summit 2018, Sandton, 14-16 February 2018 

MIIA was represented at the Artificial Intelligence Transforming HR Summit 2018, where Dr Jacques Ludik has given the opening keynote address on “Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the Human Resources”. The event was hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 14th to the 16th of February 2018.

For more details on the agenda, see https://lnkd.in/ez2YYRj https://goo.gl/pNVoX1.

Re-imagine how the delivery of HR, talent, learning, recruitment and performance management processes are being transformed by Cognitive insight

Chatbots, robots, virtual assistants, and other devices powered by business algorithms are rapidly joining the ranks of workers in every industry and profession. It’s up to human resource (HR) professionals to cultivate these innovations for the opportunities they bring to the company.

The biggest driver of AI’s impact in the HR industry is the massive growth of big data. Until now, we haven’t had access to simple software systems with which to track and analyse internal employee data such as sick days, leave requests, hiring trends, workflow, etc. In South Africa today, most businesses have undergone some degree of digital transformation and lean on various  type of technology. HR professionals are recognizing that this valuable data and the insights teased from it play a major role in reducing risk and driving decision-making, when it comes to talent management and organisational performance.

In its 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, “Rewriting the rules for the digital age,” Deloitte issues a call-to-action for companies to completely reconsider their organisational structure, talent and HR strategies to keep pace with digital disruption. “Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and these innovations have completely transformed the way we live, work and communicate, both globally and here in South Africa” said Trevor Page, Director Human Capital at Deloitte Consulting.  “Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), mobile platforms, sensors, and social collaboration systems have revolutionised the way we live, work, and communicate; and the pace is only accelerating,”

AI in the Recruitment Revolution is having immense impact in improving traditional recruiting processes; introducing  virtual assistants for recruiters is one such way  in which recruitment can become less time-consuming. AI promises to augment recruiting with semantic search, people -analytics, real-time monitoring of performance, augmented reality tools to assist in interviews, and enhancing decision making by cultural fit analysis; though all these are still subject to successful implementation in the times to come. Unconscious Biases is one of the deeply rooted shortcomings of HR professionals, as no matter how self-aware we are, human decisions are still influenced to a degree by subjective opinion.

AI is also influencing Productivity Management be it selling, production, customer service or any parameter of Balance score card, thereby impacting factors around greater engagement as well as Retention. One of the most promising tools that AI could generate is a performance review of employee groups on a monthly basis and generating rewards for the delivery for the corresponding period.

Benefits of attending include:

  • Appreciate what AI actually is and its current and future impact on HR
  • Understand how AI has begun to transform HR Management, functions, roles, responsibilities, priorities and policies
  • Appreciate how deep learning systems can and are advancing HR
  • Learn how AI is changing staff training and development
  • Get exposed to how AI is influencing recruitment and selection
  • Foster an understanding of how AI can advance your payroll & payroll functions
  • Learn about the challenges of AI adoption and  deployment in the HR Environment
  • Appreciate how AI is a catalyst for new working methods and organizational methods
  • Learn why and how HR leaders will have to embrace AI  quickly
  • Get Case studies on how Self-service chatbots are managing shared services
  • Explore case studies on how AI is influencing HR in leading global as well as local companies

Opening Keynote Presentation: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on the Human Resources (HR)


  • The Rise of Artificial Intelligence -So, what is AI exactly?
  • Types of AI, Voice Recognition, Chatbots
  • AI Algorithms
  • Strong, weak and in-between AI
  • Why AI is so powerful for Human Resources
  • The rise of artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces
  • HR: The perfect home for intelligent assistants
  • Benefits of Artificial Intelligence For HR
  • AI driven HRIS
  • The risks of AI In HR
  • Evolutionary Drive To Survive –Why You Need To Adapt

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