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Intel and AfDB to Train 3 Million Africans in AI

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by SPN Editor

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and global technology leader Intel have embarked on a groundbreaking partnership to advance the digital capabilities of Africa. This ambitious initiative between Intel and AfDB aims to provide advanced artificial intelligence training to three million Africans and 30,000 government officials, marking a significant stride towards digital transformation in Africa.

Intel and AfDB Collaboration

The collaboration between Intel and AfDB, as stated on the AfDB’s website, is designed to bring about a revolution in the African digital ecosystem. The primary objective is to equip a large number of Africans with skills in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and data science. These skills are pivotal for accelerating economic growth and enhancing productivity across the continent.

Empowering Africa through AI

This partnership of Intel and AfDB is not just about imparting AI training; it’s about enabling Africa to take an active part in the development and innovation of this technology. By training Africans in AI, the continent can contribute more significantly to the evolution of this technology and its applications.

The training program of Intel and AfDB is expected to have a positive ripple effect across various sectors, including agriculture, health, and education. By addressing socioeconomic challenges and boosting productivity, the initiative could foster sustainable development and enhance the overall quality of life in Africa.

Intel’s Commitment to Inclusivity

Bienvenu Agbokponto Soglo, Intel’s director of government affairs Africa and International Government Affairs chief technology officer liaison, has expressed Intel’s enthusiasm for the partnership. Soglo emphasized Intel’s commitment to working with African governments to democratize access to advanced technologies like AI. The goal is to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their location, gender, or ethnicity, can participate in the digital economy.

Beyond Individual Training: A Unified Approach

The partnership between Intel and AfDB extends beyond individual training. It also assists African countries, regional groups, and continental organizations in developing consistent policies and regulations for digital technologies like AI, 5G, and cloud computing. This unified approach aims to streamline digital transformation across Africa.

Africa’s Journey in AI

African countries are currently striving to catch up in the AI field. Nigeria, for instance, has recently made significant progress by launching its first multilingual large language model, signaling its intent to lead AI development across the continent.

However, Nigeria, like many other African countries, grapples with a significant talent gap in building AI technology that can compete with tech giants like OpenAI, Google, and Meta. Furthermore, the high cost of training AI models presents a substantial barrier for many individuals and organizations outside the tech industry, limiting their ability to participate in the AI revolution.

OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, has highlighted the high training cost for GPT-4 and is seeking to raise up to $7 trillion for a project aimed at addressing the massive global shortage in semiconductor chips. This underscores the challenges faced by countries like Nigeria in their pursuit of AI advancement.

Nedbank’s AI Innovation

Nedbank, a leading African bank, has launched the ‘We’re for Africa’ campaign, celebrating African excellence and innovation through AI. This initiative highlights the continent’s growth and prosperity, showcasing how AI can propel African achievements onto the global stage.

TB-AI’s Diagnostic Software

In another significant development, TB-AI, a pioneering startup from Pakistan, introduced its cutting-edge AI diagnostic software at GITEX Africa 2024. This groundbreaking technology promises to revolutionize healthcare diagnostics, illustrating the immense potential of AI to enhance health outcomes across the continent.

Regulating AI in Africa

As AI proliferates across Africa, new regulatory frameworks are emerging to guide its development. The African Union, representing 55 member nations, is formulating an ambitious AI policy that envisions an Africa-centric approach to AI growth and regulation. This initiative aims to maximize AI’s benefits while addressing the challenges it may pose, ensuring inclusive and sustainable development.

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