When some people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they think of humanoid robots turning against their creators in an apocalyptic science fiction movie. In reality, AI is already playing an increasing role in many existing and evolving technologies, from driverless cars to translation software, virtual assistance devices and monitoring agriculture and biodiversity.
Satellite images provided by AI can assist policymakers in finding solutions to problems of hunger, drought and climate change, to name only a few.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), says that promoting AI in Africa is a top priority for the organization.
'Artificial intelligence can help us advance more rapidly towards the achievement of the SDGs by allowing better risk assessment, enabling more accurate forecasting and faster knowledge sharing, by offering innovative solutions in the fields of education, health, ecology, urbanism and the creative industries and by improving standards of living and our daily well-being,' Ms. Azoulay explains.
Currently, most AI experts and innovations are in North America, Europe and Asia; however, Africa is potentially a fertile ground-the continent has the youngest and fastest-growing population on earth, financial resources are becoming available to investors and international corporations are showing interest in the continent.
Last April, tech giant Google opened its first African AI research laboratory in Accra, Ghana...