South Africa launches Artificial Intelligence Industry Association

The association seeks to unite practitioners across Commercial, Government, Academic, Startup and NGO sectors and to encourage stakeholders to adopt AI.

From hype to a global reality the SAAIA vision has been shaped by analysing the global and local landscape, identifying needs and filling the blanks with research.  This has revealed both the challenges and opportunities AI and related smart technologies can bring to South Africa for both citizens and the wider economy.

‘’ Our vision is evidence-based with responsible, human-centric AI as its foundation,’’ it says.

The SAAIA mission is to engage both individuals and organisations, novices and experts, those who are connected and not connected so no one is left behind.  It is of vital importance that the opportunities Artificial Intelligence presents are possible and available for everyone to embrace.

The association also wants to serve as the voice of the industry, provide analysis and research to inform strategy & decision making and help National, Provincial & City Governments with policy making.

It also seeks to connect SMMEs to funding to create new companies and jobs, attract FDI to South Africa as the “4IR gateway” to Africa, help African smart tech companies find markets abroad, showcase the best of South African AI Innovation & Research, promote debate on inclusion, ethics, regulation & standards and share best practice & education resources for all

Dr Nick Bradshaw, the founder of SAAIA said, “Our research has shown that AI and related automation technologies are currently impacting 120+ traditional industries globally AND creating new opportunities and challenges in timescale never seen before.  The speed of this disruption is faster than any other industrial revolution that has gone before it.  SAAIA seeks to encourage stakeholders in the adoption of responsible AI for the commercial and societal benefit of the citizens of South Africa with a primary focus on regulation, economic growth, trade, investment, fairness, equality and inclusivity.”

The founding Advisory Board members are derived from a diverse range of organisations, including; Michalsons, GIZ, ExploreAI, Cirrus AI, TinyML Foundation, Augmented Startups, Data Economy Policy Hub (DepHUB), Socially Acceptable, mLab, Zindi, Technology Innovation Agency, ecosystem.Ai, Tshwane University of Technology, Western Cape Government and Webber Wentzel.

Individual SAAIA membership is free and members gain access to resources, insights and news throughout the year.

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