Defined as the science of making machines do things that would require human action, Artificial Intelligence amplifies human genius. The subject is everywhere, but the concept is still not well understood in Africa.
To discuss the challenges and problems of Artificial Intelligence on the continent, UNESCO, in partnership with Mohammed VI University, in Buenguérir, Morocco, organized “the International Forum on Artificial Intelligence in Africa”.
‘‘What skills, how to train children, how to train young adults, how to train adults throughout life, this is also the challenge of the debates we will have during this conference,’‘ said Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO.
“As we all know, Africa has definitely shifted this year. Currently some 350 million people have access to smart-phones and this is expected to double by 2020,’‘ said Saïd Amzazi, the Moroccan minister of National Education, Vocational Training and Scientific Research.
‘‘At the same time, the CLOUD came into being, an extraordinary tool that freed young African developers from the costly expenses associated with the purchase of servers. And the acquisition of licenses that hindered their creative genius.’‘
While many consider A.I. as an engine of social transformation and economic growth, some fear it will further deepen the numerous problems that Africa faces.
“One of the great challenges you will realize, in terms of access first, is also being able to operate on an infrastructure basis that allows everyone to be connected. Because that’s the problem with all these objects, you have to get access to connectivity and this is still a problem in Africa,’‘ said Firmin Edouard Matoko, the Assistant Director-General for Priority and External Relations at UNESCO.
While unemployment remains a challenge and many continue to lose jobs, artificial intelligence may be the solution the continent needs now. Experts are urging Africans to build their own technologies, specifically designed to empower youth.