Read in 2 mins.
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.
Read in 2 minutes ● Indaba Organisers
In one week, the first Deep Learning Indaba begins: a gathering of our African community to teach, learn and debate the state-of-the-art in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Our aim during the week will be to build an understanding of the principles and practice of modern machine learning. Of equal importance is the creation of an environment that enables continental collaborations, a raised awareness of the breadth of machine learning career-paths, and that fosters new understandings and friendships.
We pose a question to you: At the leading machine learning venue, the annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), how many accepted papers in 2016 came from research groups on the African continent? Or to be more general, how many accepted papers have at least one of its authors from a research institution in Africa? The answer: zero. And what for the South American continent? Similarly. Zero.