The 2020 expo will be held as an online event on Thursday, 3 September and Friday, 4 September. The event is the continent's largest trade-focused AI, robotic process automation and data science business conference.

Nick Bradshaw, co-founder of AI Media Group, says, "We've invited Women in Big Data South Africa to exhibit at the 2020 show as part of our drive to make the AI and Data Science community more inclusive and diverse."

"AI will have direct social, economic and political impacts on our societies as we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution; as such, it is imperative that women be included in this field to avoid gender bias and to come to come up with technologies that progress digital equality," adds Bradshaw.

"As we celebrate women's month in South Africa this August, we should have more conversations on how to attract, encourage and support more women in AI and machine learning research, as well as in the big data and analytics field," says Bradshaw.

The Women in Big Data Forum's mission is to inspire and attract more female talent to big data roles and to help them connect, engage and grow. The organisation does this through networking events, professional development and by sharing industry-related content with members.

Delegates to AI Expo Africa 2020 online event, who are passionate about the meaningful inclusion of women in AI, are encouraged to visit Fliptin's virtual booth at the show.

The Johannesburg-based venture builder runs the AI in Africa social impact initiative in partnership with the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation. Its series of bootcamps exposes 15 to 18-year-old female learners to AI concepts and ethics, as well as the design thinking process, pitching techniques and building chambers and image classifiers.

The AI Expo Africa 2020 online event will also feature talks by women working in the field.

These include:
  • Kay Firth-Butterfield: head of AI and ML, World Economic Forum
  • Renee Cummings: criminologist and AI ethicist, Columbia University
  • Alison B Lowndes: AI Devrel EMEA, NVIDIA
  • Ati Ngubevana: group executive HOD of digital process engineering, Vodacom
  • Kathryn Malherbe: CEO and founder, MedSol AI Solutions
  • Kimara Naicker: PhD researcher, UKZN Quantum Research Group
  • Lebogang Martins: senior project manager, IoT.nxt
  • Lenore Kerrigan: country director South Africa, UiPath
  • Nella Oluoch: CEO and founder, Keypetbooks
  • Phumza Dyani: chief marketing and sales officer, Broadband Infraco
  • Celina Lee: CEO, Zindi
  • Nazareen Ebrahim: AI researcher, Socially Acceptable
  • Minda Marshall: director, LectorSA, and
  • Vicki: 100% synthetic AI-powered host.
Roy Bannister, director of show production at AI Expo Africa, says, "Not only do we have a superb line-up of regional and global female thought leaders, but we uniquely also have a brand new addition to the show: Vicki."

"Vicki is the first 100% synthetic AI-powered host of AI Expo Africa 2020. She is working at the show to introduce the main keynote speaker during the opening sessions of Day one and Day two of the show," adds Bannister.

"This technology has come a long way and will be showcased at the event. It's becoming harder to tell the difference between real humans and synthetic actor, which is both an amazing innovation but also provokes interesting reactions — especially in the era of fake news and deep fakes. She is a testimony to how far this technology has come and we can assure our audience everything she says is true," Bannister concludes. 

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