The camp will deliver lessons on how to build computer chatbots, how to package individual tech ideas and solutions, and how to pitch innovations to a panel of judges. Photo: Reuters
Cape Town – The AI in Mitchells Plain boot camp for girls, organised by the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation, will expose female learners to a working environment of cutting-edge technologies.

The camp will deliver lessons on how to build computer chatbots, how to package individual tech ideas and solutions, and how to pitch innovations to a panel of judges.

Hosted in partnership with Fliptin, Microsoft and Idea Collective, the boot camp aims to help girls discover the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI).

They will be mentored by professionals and entrepreneurs, led by technology consultancy Fliptin and facilitated by Innovative Design Education Africa (Idea) Collective, to deliver a stimulating and challenging series of workshops to inspire the youth to reach their potential.

The boot camps attempt to address the exclusion of youth from a variety of 21st-century careers by offering a platform to acquire new tools and knowledge, and so better their prospects at female digital inclusion.

Foundation trustee Gugu Motlanthe said: “The Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation places the well-being of our nation’s youth at the heart of our work, with the belief that equipping learners with 21st century skills will help prepare South Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and lay the fundamental building blocks to creating an inclusive society.”

As part of a nationwide initiative, the AI in Mitchells Plain and Al in Africa tour caters for girls aged 15 to 18 in historically disadvantaged communities across South Africa.

Sixty girls from Beacon Hill High School, Lentegeur Secondary School, Portland High School, Oval North Secondary School and Westridge High School have been selected to learn the concepts and ethics of digital technology and how to apply technology to their daily lives to create solutions for their communities.

The initiative’s aim is to create high-impact solutions that tackle challenges ranging from community safety to unemployment and education.

“The foundation is invested in and committed to creating an environment that boosts access to technology and drives digital literacy.

“These are the keys to unlocking the potential for our youth to create a positive, connected and inclusive future in the digital age” said Motlanthe.

Idea Collective’s Professor Des Laubscher said: “The Idea Collective’s core purpose is to improve the quality of people’s lives through proactive problem-solving workshops and the creation of appropriate solutions that take cognisance of social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.

“What better way to expose our youth to problem-solving than to challenge these young girls to embrace the design thinking process during these workshops and then use what they have learned to create meaningful solutions to problems within their communities.

‘‘The passion and the creativity of the girls are manifested in the amazing results that emulate from this experience, as we have learnt from the previous workshop,” said Laubscher.

Cape Times