Growing Talent, Driving Demand for AI Development in Africa
The origins of the expression “nothing about us, without us” are unclear, but the sentiment resonates clearly for Dr. Vukosi Marivate, an associate professor and the ABSA Chair of Data Science at the University of Pretoria, one of Africa’s top universities.
Marivate has been involved in machine learning since 2007, when he was concluding his degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in South Africa. He took a deeper dive into machine learning while pursuing a doctorate in computer science from Rutgers University. In America, he found an engaged student body where graduates were going on to some of the most influential tech companies in the world, helping to inform and design next-generation technology solutions in artificial intelligence and similar breakthrough technologies.
Upon returning home to South Africa, he saw the same level of talent potential, interest, and demand from the workforce pipeline of AI and data science. But despite the hunger for opportunity, meaningful research and development were largely absent from the continent.
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