Artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm, with experts predicting the global AI market to grow to $299.64 billion by 2026. This technology promises to turn all those science fiction movies of human beings co-existing with robots into reality. With a growing number of countries employing AI technology to improve their products and services, you need to get on the AI train before it’s too late.
Why Should You Consider A Course In Artificial Intelligence?
The world is always looking for technology to help solve most problems and perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. As a result, artificial intelligence has become the talking point for countries all over the world.
The lure of artificial intelligence has boosted acceptance rates of students to computer science courses by almost 50%. From 20,420 in 2011, the numbers rose to 30,090 in 2020 in the US. While the subject is a major attraction for students having a knack for technology, experts believe that future job opportunities are another critical reason behind this surge of AI course applications.
Experts believe that artificial intelligence will broaden the market for people, creating around 58 million jobs in the future. However, for South Africa, things aren’t moving at the same pace as you’d find in the US.
What Is Holding Back South Africa?
Unlike the US, Japan, and other countries at the forefront of technological advancement, South Africa has yet to embrace AI technology completely. Concerns regarding data privacy, data quality, unemployment, and workforce readiness have prevented the country from adapting to artificial intelligence.
On top of age-old infrastructure and high costs for upskilling employees, other factors that have contributed to the slow evolution of AI technology in the country are:
- Quality of education systems
- Weak innovation ecosystems
- Poor growth infrastructure
- Low trust in AI technology
Yet, despite these hindrances, South Africa has recently adopted a more welcoming approach to this new technology.
As a result, experts believe that the South African economy would get a boost thanks to the AI’s abilities to go beyond the physical limitations of labour and open up more growth opportunities.
The Role Of Universities In Artificial Intelligence Growth
Universities are a fundamental pillar in any country that plans to explore artificial intelligence in greater depth.
Moreover, such educational institutions provide a fertile bed for researchers and scientists to develop their nascent ideas into a full-fledged business.
If you look at France and England, you will notice that university students spearheaded many AI start-ups. Most of them have graduated and are leading entrepreneurs in top businesses delving into AI technology. Moreover, large companies in South Korea, Japan, India, and the US sponsor fellowships and AI research projects in universities.
These countries have noted an increased interest in artificial intelligence courses among students who have understood the future potential in the AI market.
As the number of searches for Computer assignment help in artificial intelligence grows in Africa, it’s safe to assume that the interest in catching on pretty quick in the country.
Artificial Intelligence And South Africa
South Africa ranks #59 in the Government AI Readiness Index of 2020 from Oxford Insights.
The lower position is not surprising, considering that the country has many hurdles to face before it can find itself ready for a complete AI makeover. On the other hand, the countries at the top of the index are the US, the UK, Finland, Germany, and Sweden – proving that North American and Western Europe are ready to adopt artificial intelligence in daily life.
However, even though South Africa does not have a national strategy on AI, the government has set up the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) so that it can start to work towards boosting the country’s technological prowess.
The Future Of Artificial Intelligence Courses In The Country
Despite the barriers that stop South Africa from leading the artificial technology renaissance, the universities in the country have participated in world-class research activities, particularly in fields related to AI and communication technologies. In addition, the increased public funding to these educational institutions has resulted in the growth of various AI-related research in recent times.
Some examples would be the Mobile Robotics Competition and the AI and robotics session at the IEEE African Conference.
This increased interest in artificial intelligence has led to the growth of research hubs across the country. These hubs focus on different aspects of artificial intelligence, including robotics, computational intelligence, and much more.
Let’s have a more detailed look into all of them:
1. Computational Intelligence Research
The Computational Intelligence Research Group (CIRG) focuses on researching computational intelligence, under which you can find:
- Swarm intelligence
- Artificial immune systems
- Evolutionary computation
- Data and text mining
- Image analysis
- Financial analysis
CIRG aims to use computational intelligence research to develop new and improved computational intelligence algorithms. These upgrades can be helpful to solve real-world problems.
2. Human Language Technologies
Researching human language technologies requires a lot of resources that are typically scarce in South Africa. However, that hasn’t prevented the Human Research Technologies hub from developing innovative approaches for problems like the creation of pronunciation dictionaries. Moreover, the researchers are also involved in actively maximising the impact of speech technology in areas where the said technology has yet to penetrate properly.
3. Robotics and Agents
The Robotics and Agents Lab is situated at the University of Cape Town and dives into research on autonomous robots. The researchers in this lab aim to combine solid mechanical design with AI-based control technologies, develop and improve the robot system architecture, and deploy robot programming and plan language Golog on resource-restricted robot platforms. This hub has also participated in the RoboCup Standard Platform League and supported a team of learners in the RoboCup Junior competition of 2010.
4. Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems
The fourth hub is the Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems group that carries out research in field robotics and focuses on intelligent autonomy aspects of robotics. The group develops systems that enable these robots to adapt to challenging situations and respond creatively to a given problem. Currently, they’re working on a joint research project with the Centre for Mining Innovation and the Materials Science and Manufacturing units’ Mechatronics and Micro Manufacturing Group to develop a system that can inspect the safety of underground mines.
5. Artificial Intelligence Research
The Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research is a joint initiative of the School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Their main area of focus is in the research of knowledge representation, ontology engineering, computer vision modelling, and more.
The incredible pace at which South African universities have started to adopt artificial technology proves that the country is seeing remarkable growth in AI-related research. Although their start might have been slower than the rest of the world, they’d caught up and are growing at a fast pace.
Should You Take Up An AI Course In South Africa?
Looking at the improvements in AI-related research in South Africa and the increased funding in universities, it’s too soon to write off the country’s AI courses just yet. In addition, South Africa is more affordable for high studies than many countries, making the country a popular option for those who cannot afford to spend a few hundred on essay help services, let alone bear the burden of higher education.
Furthermore, with the introduction of top-notch AI courses in the University of Johannesburg, the University of Cape Town, and other seminal institutions, you don’t have to bother going anywhere else to attend an AI course. As more and more students show an interest and the universities get more funding from major corporations for research, South Africa has the scope to leave others behind in their AI journey.
Summing it up,
Over the years, South Africa has spent its resources trying to catch up with the technological advances that have taken the rest of the world by storm. But, unfortunately, the country’s dilapidated infrastructure and lack of resources make it impossible to keep up with their Western counterparts.
However, in recent times, the government has adopted several policies to boost AI research. As more students show an interest in artificial intelligence, the universities are set to receive more funding, and the country offers a promising future in the AI market.
Joseph Riles is a professional subject matter expert at MyAssignmenthelp.com, providing tutoring courses on AI courses. Having completed his Master’s from the UK, Riles is currently pursuing his Ph.D. to have a successful career as a icould professor in a reputable institution.