Africa, a playground for artificial intelligence?
Fighting poverty in Africa by facilitating training and human access to better technologies is the goal of the American giant Google. Indeed, the American technology services company recently announced the opening of its Artificial Intelligence Research Center in Ghana to achieve this goal.
The use of this technology in development and education programs has in particular multiple challenges in a continent which has more than a billion people and this figure will double by 2050. But before tackling the subject in depth , here is a summary definition of the concept. “Artificial intelligence (AI) is ‘the set of theories and techniques implemented to produce machines capable of simulating intelligence’. It therefore corresponds to a set of concepts and technologies rather than an autonomous discipline constituted“.
A real revolution that particularly appeals to GAFAs: Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc., artificial intelligence is increasingly used to stimulate needs and improve competitiveness in almost all areas. Thus for the African continent, it could be an asset to change the lives and daily lives of millions of people.
Cradle of many innovations, Africa with the development of new information and communication technologies has all the assets to make these technologies a vector of change and improvement of daily and immediate needs for performance, learning , and a multiplication of opportunities. Why then artificial intelligence?
First, because its deployment and use on a large scale does not necessarily require specific infrastructures, which the continent lacks.
“Long handicapped by the heavy investments required to deploy the servers essential for processing large volumes of data, African companies now have simplified access thanks to the cloud. From now on, young developers everywhere on the continent can innovate on simple applications and provide new solutions.», According to a press release published on the occasion of the Assises de la transformation digitale en Afrique (ATDA).
Tomorrow the majority of the African population will live in connected urban centers. They will have to live with the technology that surrounds them and above all have applications created locally for their well-being and their everyday life.
Another reason, and not the least, to bring about the emergence of new technologies and artificial intelligence in the continent, it will be necessary to reduce the price of communication and the Internet, very high to date. The increase in population should cause an economy of scale and lower the prices of the telecom giants.
The comparative advantages linked to the use of technologies and AI in Africa are leading certain digital giants to invest massively on the continent in the training of human resources for a better use of technology. This is particularly the case of the American Big Data specialist, the company SAS, which recently announced that it would invest 1 billion in Africa. “The funds are mainly used to finance the training of human resources as well as the access of local operators to the latest technologies related to artificial intelligence“.
For this leader, African youth have great potential, which they even qualify as “explosive”, and which must be supported with specialized training. SAS also hopes, in the long term, to generalize access to the latest technologies linked to artificial intelligence and to local operators who will also benefit from this training session. Indeed, this approach could be used to personalize lessons according to the strengths and weaknesses of each student for example.
Africa is a continent of the future where it is good to invest. The African model of innovation is characterized by great flexibility and strong adaptability to local realities.
Nicolas goldstein is a French entrepreneur in the field of new information technologies since the 2000s.
In 2003, he created the portal Offshore Development, leader in France in the outsourcing of services. In 2009, he founded the production company Story Board Animation, with the industrial partner DQ Entertainment. At the end of 2015, he decided to create the MSI (Mauritius Start-up Incubator), it stands out for its role as a one-stop-shop for establishing itself in Mauritius, working with subcontractors and collaborating with Mauritian start-ups.