File image: (IOL)

JOHANNESBURG - The first Deep Learning Indaba will be taking place at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg from 10-15 September.

Leaders in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence, will be brought to Wits University to teach and mentor students, academics, researches, technologists and entrepreneurs in the theory and practice of deep learning, one type of machine learning that uses deep neural networks and that is the basis of recent advances in text-to-speech systems, language translation and object recognition.

Over 300 attendees from 23 African countries, as well as countries across the world, will be participating in one of the largest machine learning teaching events globally.

The Indaba has an aim to create a shared space to learn, teach and debate new developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence and the African contribution to the this scientific endeavour.

Organiser of the Indaba, Wits alumni and research scientist at Deepmind in the UK, Shakir Mohamed said: "Beyond the technical exchange, the Indaba will create opportunities for new research connections, to foster a better understanding of the variety of career paths in the field, and, we hope, through new friendships, perspectives and backgrounds, take the steps to realising a more diverse, racially-representative, and multicultural machine learning community."

Dean of the Faculty of Science at Wits and applied mathematician, Professor Ebrahim Momoniat said: "Remarkable centres of industry mushroom around strong, forward-looking research institutions such as Wits. There are many pressing challenges facing our continent and connecting with others throughout Africa and abroad helps the flow of knowledge into our country."

The Indaba for Wits is an important opportunity to create a network of skilled individuals to solve problems and create new industries.