The Cape Town chapter of Women in AI (WAI) was launched at Stellenbosch University (SU) in partnership with Women in AI Africa recently.
Women in AI, an international non-profit organisation, is working towards increasing female representation and participation in this male dominated field of artificial intelligence, or AI as it is known. It is a community-driven initiative, which brings empowerment, knowledge and active collaboration using education, research, events and blogging. The organisation has over 2 500 members in 90 countries. WAI is the first global community of women in AI, embracing diversity and forming an inclusive environment of reflection.
During her address at the launch event, which took place at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advance Studies (STIAS), Lisel Engelbrecht, the Women in AI Ambassador in South Africa, said that only 22% of the professionals in artificial intelligence were women.
The theme for the Women in AI launch was RE-imagine. “As the pace of innovation continues unabated, a dynamic digital future lies ahead. Unlearn the past and reimagine a future of possibility driven by AI. Does the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) present a chance for us to level the playing field, scale equality and create opportunities?" Engelbrecht said.
“As we adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women will be affected the most as they hold more administrative jobs," Engelbrecht added
Stellenbosch University's Vice-Rector for Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, Prof Nico Koopman, welcomed the initiative.
“Diversity should equal excellence; we want a society with equal dignity. Women are underrepresented in this discipline and we need to change that," said Prof Koopman
Prof Wim Delwa, the Acting Director at the SU School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, spoke about reimagining data science and computational thinking by giving an overview of the school. More on the school here.
Read more about the organisation at https://www.womeninai.co/.