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Artificial Intelligence Network of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa - Nairobi Workshop 2019

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The International Development Research Centre and Knowledge 4 All Foundation are organizing a three-day workshop of experts in Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) in sub-Saharan Africa in April 2019.

The intention of the workshop is to scope out the African ML/AI landscape, provide inputs for an African AI research roadmap, and support the development of cross-continent cooperation on AI for sustainable development. It is anticipated that the outcome of the workshop will be a Network of Excellence on AI for sub-Saharan African researchers who focus on applications and research relating to AI and human development.

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Artificial Intelligence Network of Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa - Nairobi Workshop 2019

  1. 1. A Roadmap for AI for Development in Africa
  2. 2. 2018 Government AI Readiness Index
  3. 3. Cluster Indicator Governance Dataprotection/privacylaws- yes/no NationalAI strategy- yes/no/pending Infrastructure anddata Dataavailability Government procurementofadvancedtechnology Data/AIcapability(in government) Skills andeducation Technologyskills Privatesector innovationcapability NumberofAI startups Government andpublic services Digital publicservices Effectivenessof government Importanceof IT togovernment’s vision ofthe future Government AIReadiness Index
  4. 4. • scope out the African ML/AI landscape • Create an African AI research roadmap • Support the development of cross- continent cooperation Goals for the workshop
  5. 5. Policy and Regulation: Shape ethical and rights based AI Capacity: Build local skills in AI Applications: Support locally driven applications for the public interest Whathave we discussed?
  6. 6. Governance National AIStrategies Across the World
  7. 7. • Designing regulatory frameworks thatbothstimulateAI innovation,whileminimizing harms(to civil liberties) – the lattershouldnotstiflethe former - theseframeworksdon’texistyet • Africancontext:Need regulatoryframeworksthataredesigned forthe Africancontext,notsimplyimporting western- designed frameworks • Need for regulatory learning - ensureregulationis learning fromadvancementsin AI, so thatregulationdoesn’tstifle AI advancementswit policyrapidresponses • Trust: Need forgreatertransparencyandaccountabilityofalgorithmsforgreater trust.How do wedothat? • Quantificationof harm:Need researchtoidentifyandquantifypotentialharmstobeabletogaugewhetheritis aan acceptablelevel of risk–as well research toquantifythe benefitsofAI (Doweneed pre-emptiveregulationforpre-emptiveharm?) Key Needs
  8. 8. Existing Initiatives • PASET:Partnership for skills in applied scienceengineering and technology (AU) –4th industrial revolution forum –Kigali May • AI and blockchain task force in Kenya • RIA:Research ICT Africa – policy papers • PRIDA–Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (AU-EU) • Open AIR:AI innovation • RightsCon –Tunis –algorithmic transparency • DRIF:Digital Rights inclusion Forum DRIF’19 –Lagos yearly • AUDA –NEPAD:flagship projects –AI • ACFTA:Africa Continental FreeTrade Area Existing Initiatives
  9. 9. • 30 African countries to have AI specific policies • To have 15 ratificationsand 30 signatures to African Data protection and Cybercrimes Convention • To have qualityAI policies that include: • Multi-stakeholder and evidence based input • Systematic inclusion of normative framework (laws) into system protocols. • AI regulation that is ethical and rights based • Context specific regulation for Africa 5 Year Targeted Outcomes
  10. 10. Policy Research Capacity Goal • To have5regionalresearchcentersthathavethelong termvisionofbeing centersofexcellenceinAfrica • Towards a center of excellence in each country that are responsive to AI policies and windows of opportunities • To have500researcherswhichincludes: • Policy researchers that understand AI • AI researchers who understand policy • Majority works for the public interest PolicyResearch Capacity Goal
  11. 11. • Participation: • Guarantee a minimum number of Africans to be involved in setting the policy and policy research agenda globally; • Ensure African researchers are meaningfully involved in ALL global AI conversations; • ResearchFundingsupport: • just in time and long term research questions • Support for effective research communications • Activities: • Peer mentorship for quality research; • Access to journals and legislation portals; • Online and event-based knowledge sharing facility. Effective GlobalPolicyEngagement
  12. 12. Short-term steps • Online network sharing • DRIFApril 23-5th – Workshop on Algorithmic Transparency – Arthur Gwagwa • Rightscon meeting in June to ID next steps • AI for Good Summit 28-31 May 2019 -Geneva, Switzerland • IGF meeting – Berlin November– further progress with new stakeholders (12th April workshop deadline) Short-Term Steps
  13. 13. Capacity Capacity
  14. 14. Points for Reflection CapacitatingAI Strengththrough Community The Philosophy
  15. 15. Key Needs • Context [Environment, Utility] • Need to understand what the local needs are • Why is it useful to have AI/ML [Capacity <> Funding] • Educational Agility and Clarity • Adapt to the local need [Research, Startups etc.] • Transdisciplinary • Explain and demystify AI/ML for the public. Better entrance pipelines. • Synergy • Weneed to understand what is going on around the continent • Sharing resources [Abundance in funding, scarcityin opportunity] • Funding • Mentorship • Collaboration Key Needs
  16. 16. Existing Initiatives Existing initiatives Existing Initiatives
  17. 17. New ideas • Regional Community Capacity DevelopmentCoordination • Southern African Region • East African Region • West African Region • North African Region • Integration and sharing across regions. Nodes and SuperNodes. • Graduate 400 African PhDs in ML/AI/DSin next 5 years? • Have a research center in everyAfrican country? • Strength at allLevels = startups / education / research / training / teaching / industry / meetups = World-Class!! • Break Dichotomy between Research and Application • Collaboration with IP protections New Ideas
  18. 18. Key Activitiesand Outcomes Activity Outcome(s) Studyonbest practiceanddefining AIforAfrica Informingstrategicdirection[LookatsuccessfulAfrricancountries] Communicating AItothePublic Understandingbythepublic[general,secondaryschools,etc.] AITalentPipeline AICentersofExcellence [People,notplaces] Skilledpipelineforthe continent. Startupgrowth IndustryGrowth Researchoutputsandimpact Betterunderstandingof business/society/sciencevalue Effective Mentoring ResearchCohorts[MS,PhD, Faculty] AIEngineeringCohort- CompressedMS AIEngineering+[IndustryTraining] Openfunding forcapacity building [Strategic] Localisedcapacitybuildingnudging collaborationacrossacademia,government, industryand startups. Public Policy and Strategies[Governmentetc.] Governmentsenterthegame,shapestrategyanddeliver. Multi-disciplinary Co-Creation Crosscuttinginnovation Challenges& Datasets InnovationthroughFriendlyCompetition SynergyCoordination Understandingwhoandwhere:Industry,Startups,Research KeyActivities and Outcomes
  19. 19. Applications
  20. 20. Key Needs • PeerGroup ForAI Practitioners Providing amplificationtoprivatesector needsandstrengths • AccessTo Funding Capitalforinfrastructure,PM Fit, GrowthStageventures israre,government fundingforrisky projects • Africa's FragmentedMarket Challenge togetting criticalmass ofCustomersforAI innovations • Limited accessto information Limitedaccessto academicresearch,open science, methods,data • Limited infrastructure Electricity,computingspeeds, cloud space • Responseto SDGs PrivateSectorandInnovationsneeds torespondtoneeds in Africanow andin future Key Needs
  21. 21. Existing Initiatives • H3Africa – Human Heredity and Health in Africa • Global Pulse:UBOS • Data Science Africa • Women in data science and machine learning:agriculture • Efficient agriculture:connecting use of drones with phenotype/genotype data • Researchto create personalizemedicine in WesternCape Town • Social media to prevent spread ofdengue –Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso • Nigeria University- AI for diagnosis, clinical decision support, digital, assessment of diseases • Kenya indigenous poultry consortium - Social media mining for students to communicate; Disease outbreak of indigenous chicken Existing Initiatives
  22. 22. • BBC/Edinburg- Translation of African languages into English • Universityof Cape Town - Information retrieval, cultural heritage preservation work (historical languages….), machine learning in educational technology; also • Many research groups -Data Science Africa • ElementAI - Satellite imagery to identify signs of conflict, impact of natural disasters in communities, climate change, • Google Launchpad Studio • Cortex Logic VC • Africa AI show • Facebook • Microsoft HeadStart • IBM Research Labs Existing Initiatives
  23. 23. New ideas • Collaboration with non-AIcommunities • Challenges to scale up of best practices • Buying from local actors • Funding • Policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks • Academic Curriculum Revision New Ideas
  24. 24. Points for Reflection • How mightwe incentivize private sector to work on AI with strong development outcomes (i.e.AI4D)? • How mightwe support & stimulateprivate sector and academic research partnership? • How mightwe develop a fundingmechanisms(including start-up& venture capital) to support local development/use of AI? Points forReflection
  25. 25. • Strong networks thatincludes 10-20leading African-basedcompaniessubstantiallycontribute to key areasof theAfricandevelopment agenda • Networks oftelecoms,Large techcompanies,universities, research centres (ILRI,ICIPE, KEMRI,etc.), Public SectorInstitutions(Example:MTN Element AI, andusersin Africa) • Focus on skilldevelopmentand developmentof local solutions • Funding to collaborationon AI • Investmentsin AI to advance collaboration betweenprivate sector,universitiesand public-interestinstitutions. (USD 1 Billion targetoverthenext5years?) • EngageVCs, Angels,Unrestrictedgrants to support startups for localusecasesinAI for development • Globalresources availablefor Africanentrepreneurs • OrganisingAI conferencesin Africa withdiverserepresentation • Networkingplatforms with global playersinterestedinbuilding resources • Facilitate tech transferto local actors Key Outcomes (5-year Target)
  26. 26. Key Outcomes (Short-Term) • Linkageswithexistingnetworksofpractitioners • SupportandlearnfromcollaborativeeffortsofAfricanorganisationsfocused onAI4D • Explorequickwins: • Pilots between academia and sector domain experts • Embed AI fellows in NGOs etc. • Research • IdentifyviableAI4DEVsolutions(i.e.fastimplementation,massivescale) • NeedtounderstandAI innovationcycleinAfrica,includingacademy participation
  27. 27. Reaching the Marginalizedand the Poor • Identifyandworkwithdevelopmentcommunitiese.g. Invitedevelopmentorgs to DeepLearningIndaba or othereventstoconnect • Includediversedata sourcesforAIInnovatione.g.platformonbigdatafrom CGIAR,Telcodata • IntegrateAIintodevelopmentprojectsfrom anearlyphase • Engagewithstandardsettingorganizations toensureinnovationsscalableacross usecases • Engagelocal leadershipduringproblemsolvingandproductdevelopmentcycle
  28. 28. AddressingAfrica’s Diversity • Encourage dissemination of information. • AIWiki, for example • Recognize the inhomogeneity of Africa: • Specific conversations with Francophone and Portuguese-speaking Africa • Engage different countries to help with contextually-relevant groupings • Create platforms for engagement of different groupings • Engage regional bodies for identifying goals
  29. 29. The work is just starting... In the next months, we will continueto engage other stakeholders in shaping these plans Website: ai4d.ai https://ai4d.ai/event/ssa-network/ Twitter: @ai4dev #ai4dev idrc.ca/ai4d
  30. 30. Ciira Maina Senior Lecturer Dedan Kimathi Universityof Technology www.ciirawamaina.com Vukosi Marivate ABSA UPChair of Data Science Dept. Computer Science, Univ.of Pretoria www.vima.co.za Focal points CAPACITYBUILDINGPOLICYANDREGULATION APPLICATIONS TejumadeAfonja AI Engineer AI Saturdays Lagos / InstaDeephttps://aisaturdayslagos.github.io/ Olubayo Adekanmbi ChiefTransformationOfficer/ Convener MTN Nigeria/ Data Science Nigeria www.datasciencenigeria.org Leonida Mutuku CEO/ Researcher Intelipro Limited/ LDRI https://www.developlocal.org/ Alex Comninos Researcher Research ICTAfrica https://comninos.org Dr. Robert Muthuri Research Fellow ICTat the Centrefor IP and IT(CIPIT) Strathmore School of Law Kathleen Siminyu Head of Data Science Africa's Talking https://africastalking.com/
  31. 31. Aisha Researcher IBMResearch Africa AlexComninos Researcher Research ICT Africa AlexandraBirch Research Fellow UniversityofEdinburgh AlfredOngere Founder and team lead AiKenya AnnaMaria Oltorp IDRC ArthurErnest Gwagwa Research Associate CIPIT: StrathmoreLawSchool BenjaminRosman SeniorLecturer/ Principal Researcher Universityofthe Witwatersrand/CSIR BettyMurithi StrathmoreUniversity BitangeNdemo AssociatePeofessor UniversityofNairobi BolanleF. Oladejo SeniorLecturer UniversityofIbadan BrianMuhia Machine Learning Engineer UTU Technologies Charity Wayua SeniorResearch Manager IBM Ciira Maina SeniorLecturer Dedan KimathiUniversityof Technology Cynthia M. Mulenga Product Manager BongoHive Daniele Orner ChiefScientist Brave DavorOrlic COO Knowledge 4 AllFoundation DelmiroFernandez-Reyes Dr. UniversityCollegeLondon Deshen Moodley AssociateProfessor/DeputyDirector DeptofComp. Science, UniversityofCape Town/Centre forArtificialIntelligence DrNickBradshaw CEO AIMedia PTY Ltd ErikBongcam-Rudloff ProfessorofBioinformatics SwedishUniversityofAgriculturalSciences Eva Ohlsson IDRC Fernando Perini IDRC Geoff Hill SeniorPolicyManager UKRI Grace Mutungu Associate Kenya ICT ActionNetwork Hussein SULEMAN Head of Departmentand Associate Professor Department ofComputer Science, Schoolof IT, UniversityofCape Town Ivy Barley CEO DevelopersinVogue Jeph Acheampong Founder BlossomAcademy Johan Hellstrom Programofficer,Research and Innovation Embassyof Sweden, Dar esSalaam John Matogo UniversityRelations& D-NA Leader forEastAfrica IBM John Shawe-Taylor Professorand Head ofDepartment UCL JulietK. Mutahi Software Engineer IBMResearch | Africa JuliusEcuru ProgramManager, BioInnovate Africa icipe Kathleen Siminyu Head of DataScience Africa'sTalking Kommy ChiefScientist IBMResearch -Africa KrisSankaran Postdoc Mila Langa Khumalo Professor University ofKwaZulu-Natal LatifaHamisiMbelwa SidaResearchProgramme Coordinator UniversityofDaresSalaam Laurent Elder IDRC Leonida Mutuku CEO InteliproLimited MALOSadouanouan Lecturerand researcher Nazi BONIUniversity Maria Faslli University ofEssex MelisaAchokoAllela AssistantLecturer Technical University ofKenya MosesThiga DirectorResearch,Innovation and Outreach Kabarak University Muthoni Wanyoike Team Lead Instadeep Naser Faruqui IDRC NeilButcher Director NeilButcher& Associates Olubayo Adekanmbi ChiefTransformationOfficer/Convener MTN Nigeria/DataScience Nigeria Olubunmi Banjo Managing Director Kuvora Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis Manager Pulse Lab Kampala (UN Global Pulse)UN GlobalPulse PhilipApodoOyier AssistantLecturer Jomo Kenyatta University ofAgricultureand Technology (JKUAT) PrateekSibal SpecialistConsultant -AI UNESCO RobertPeeters Netherlands Embassyin Keny Sarah Kiden Technologistand Researcher Research ICT Africa Sherif Elsayed-Ali DirectorofPartnerships Element AI T. IdrissTINTO Coordinator CAFDO Tejumade Afonja AIEngineer AISaturdays Lagos / InstaDeep Tonya Nyakeya THINKLab & EcosystemLead IBMResearch -Africa UlrichPaquet StaffReseachScientist DeepMind / DeepLearning Indaba Vukosi Marivate ABSAUP Chair ofDataScience Dept.Computer Science, Univ. ofPretoria
  32. 32. • TheInternationalDevelopment Research Centre (IDRC)fundsresearch in developing countriesto promotegrowth,reduce poverty,anddrive large-scale positivechange.IDRCseeksto co-designa AI forDevelopment initiative, withafocuson research andcapacity-buildingtodevelop AI applicationsthatareinclusive, ethical,andrights-based.Throughthisinitiative, funder partnerswill pool andleverage resourcestohelp shapetherolloutofAI in the global south,mainlythroughstrengthening Southerninstitutions. • TheKnowledge 4 AllFoundation is theonly Europeanmachine learning focusednot-for-profitandanadvocateof AI applicationsforreachingthe UNsSustainableDevelopment Goals(SDG), especially SDG4.It originatedfromthePASCAL Networkwhich wasanEU fundedNetworkof Excellencecomprising some1000machine learning,statisticalandoptimisation researchers.It hasdefactoleading andbuilding theinternationalmachine learning community,throughits activities that culminatedin today’sAI hype,including supportingtheNIPSconference. • TheSwedishInternationalDevelopment CooperationAgency (SIDA)isa government agencyofthe SwedishMinistryfor Foreign Affairs.Sidais responsiblefororganizationofthe bulkofSweden'sofficialdevelopment assistancetodeveloping countries. • StrathmoreUniversity is achartereduniversitybasedin Nairobi,Kenya.StrathmoreCollege wasstartedin 1961,as thefirst multi-racial,multi-religious Advanced-level SixthForm College offeringscience andartssubjects, byagroupofprofessionalswho formedacharitableeducationaltrust. The Organizers