We will meet again, together, for the 3rd Deep Learning Indaba, proudly here in Nairobi. With each year, our self-confidence and self-ownership in the ongoing advances and impact of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence becomes stronger--here in Kenya, in east Africa, and across our continent. Self-ownership is why we organise, why we continue to build an interconnected African community, and is what it means to Strengthen African Machine Learning. We are truly excited to welcome everyone for the next Indaba in a few weeks.
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Tuma Ombi la Ushiriki Ujiunge na Deep Learning Indaba
ملء استمارة المشاركة في لقاء التعلّم العميق لسنة
The Deep Learning Indaba is the annual gathering of the African machine learning community, a week that in 2019 will continue to be the world’s largest teaching event on the state of the art in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This year’s Indaba meets at Kenyatta University, in Nairobi, Kenya from 25-30 August. Attendees will meet their peers from across our continent and beyond, be taught by world-leading experts in the field, learn how to implement their theoretical knowledge as solutions in code, ask advice about careers and research, debate the implications of new technologies on our continent’s future, and strengthen the African machine learning community. Application details here.
Today, we are proud to launch the 2019 Indaba Annual Awards programme. We again look to our continent to celebrate the African heroes who push forward the frontiers of research and its applications. Deadline for nominations is 12 April 2019.
The Kambule Doctoral Award and the Maathai Impact Award encourage and celebrate excellence demonstrated by African doctoral candidates and innovators across our continent. We are also excited to introduce a third award to our programme, the Kambule Masters Award, which broadens the scope of the Kambule Award to include Masters candidates at African institutions. These awards recognise ability, struggle, effort, and African excellence. But importantly, the award winners will serve as an inspiration to our broader community - like the inspiration we gain from the illustrious Africans after whom these awards are named - allowing us to recognise the ability that we ourselves have to make meaningful contributions to our societies.
The 2019 IndabaX meetings will take place in 27 countries across our African continent, during the months of March to May. We are proud to enable these communities and future leaders. African machine learning is strong and thriving.
The IndabaX programme started in 2018 as an experiment in strengthening our machine learning community beyond the annual Deep Learning Indaba, to allow more people to contribute to the conversation on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
A Deep Learning IndabaX is a locally-organised Indaba that helps ensure that knowledge and capacity in machine learning is spread more widely.
In 2018, we supported 13 IndabaX events that were run locally in different countries across Africa, growing our community by over 1,000 attendees.
If you attended the Deep Learning Indaba in 2017 or 2018, and think your local community would benefit from such an event, we encourage you to organise an IndabaX at your institution. We leave details of what exactly happens at an IndabaX to those who take on the role of organising one. All we ask is that you organise your IndabaX in the period of March - May 2019.
The Deep Learning Indaba will support as many of these meetings as we can. Our support can include anything from grants to financially support your event, help in planning and speaker invitations, publicity through the website, or in any other ways that local organisers think would be useful. An IndabaX can be small or big. Be as creative as possible.
Your IndabaX could be:
We do require that all IndabaX events partner with a local university. We are also aiming to support one event per country, and so please try reach out to anyone in your local community who could strengthen your event.
This is your way to help build your local machine learning community towards strengthening African machine learning, in the spirit of our 2018 theme of Masakhane: we build together!
To make this possible, we ask interested groups to complete our online application form describing your meeting.
Send us your proposals by 15 December 2018. Successful local IndabaX organisers will be notified by 31 January 2019, and will receive funding as soon as possible thereafter. Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By building our communities and building each other, together, we strengthen African machine learning. This process of building is critical to our community; and is our theme for the 2018 Indaba. Inspired by a speech given by Nelson Mandela in 1995, we make our call for 2018: Masakhane! meaning ‘we build together’.
Today we release a report that summarises the outcomes of the IndabaX2018 events: summarising its impact, the key recommendations to improve the programme going forward, and celebrating the 13 new IndabaX communities.
The Indaba𝕏 represents some of our most impactful work as an organisation thus far, and its outcomes have made us immensely proud.
‘The central cultural fact of African life’, as Anthony Appiah famously says, ‘is not in its sameness, but in its enormous diversity’. The Indaba𝕏, by creating and supporting local leadership in individual countries, sought to celebrate this diversity. The Indaba𝕏 events were meant as incubators for local ideas and solutions that accommodated the varying levels of experience and motivations, and the different modes of communication and understanding across countries. Yet, we also saw the Indaba𝕏 as a way to create a new type of pan-African unity, one created through a shared commitment to science and technology, using machine learning and artificial intelligence and the opportunities it holds for the advancement of our continent.
We hope, like the annual Indaba, that the Indaba𝕏 events will also become a regular fixture within the African AI calendar, and we work towards making this a reality. We are humbled by the leaders who passionately and selflessly push African AI forward, and who made the Indaba𝕏 events such a success; this report is dedicated to them.
The 2018 Indaba - the annual gathering of the African AI community - will likely be the world’s largest gathering dedicated to teaching and debate at the state of the art in machine learning and artificial intelligence. As the main Indaba grows in size, and as we spread into many smaller IndabaX meetings, it becomes important to make a strong commitment to all the Indaba’s attendees that there will be a welcoming, electrifying, and importantly, safe environment in which everyone can meet and learn.
This necessitates a code of conduct, and our's is designed around a philosophy, one that manifests in many ways across our continent, of familyhood and unity. The code of conduct gives everyone a clear understanding of the expected standards of behaviour. Every attendee will have agreed to this code of conduct before registration, and can be assured that we have a clear process for handling any reports or incidents.
The Deep Learning Indaba is the annual gathering of the African machine learning community, a week that in 2018 will be the world’s largest teaching event on the state of the art in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This year’s Indaba meets in Stellenbosch, South Africa from 9-14 September. Attendees will meet their peers from across our continent and beyond, be taught by world-leading experts in the field, learn how to implement their theoretical knowledge as solutions in code, ask advice about careers and research, debate the implications of new technologies on our continent’s future, and strengthen the African machine learning community.
Applications to participate in the 2018 Indaba are now open. We encourage everyone interested in machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence (and other related areas of statistical sciences and engineering) to apply, and to encourage others they know to apply as well. This year, the Indaba hopes to welcome 600 people.
It will not be surprising that across our African continent, machine learning is being developed and deployed in ways both fundamental and transformative. In both research and applications, African innovators continue to enhance our knowledge, and address the intractable challenges facing our societies and people: whether these be in the mathematical underpinnings of reasoning and control; in developing solutions for food security, public health, and water and disease management; or in unravelling the mysteries of the universe. We celebrate the success of these African Artificial Intelligence innovators. And to do this, we introduce two new awards, the Kambule and Maathai awards, which recognise excellence in the research and applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence by African researchers and technologists.
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Today we celebrate an anniversary: the Deep Learning Indaba was formed during this week one year ago, with a mission to strengthen African machine learning. Our first Indaba was held in September 2017, and was everything we had hoped for. We saw the creation of a new community, one united by a shared commitment to science and learning, and the potential it has to transform our societies for the better. We executed a technical programme of sharing, teaching and debate around the state-of-the-art in modern machine learning, whose mastery is essential in ensuring that we as Africans become, not just users and receivers, but contributors, shapers and owners of the global advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. We saw Africans, from across the continent and in all its diversity, represented and included. And a few months later, we saw 20 of our participants at the NIPS conference for their first time.
The first Deep Learning Indaba ended with the formation of a community of Africans who spread across our continent with a commitment to share their knowledge in the principles and practice of modern machine learning and artificial intelligence. Our task was to now further empower our attendees; to become ‘the talking drums of Africa renewed’.
As a first step, we established the Deep Learning IndabaX: an ongoing experiment with the ways in which we can strengthen African machine learning: through locally-organised one day workshops or meetings that spread knowledge and build local expertise and networks—what we think is the best way to include more people in the conversation around artificial intelligence and machine learning.