Pupils’ artificial intelligence skills enhanced

Pupils from Oval North Technical High School in Beacon Valley and Westridge High School attended the launch of the Cape Town chapter of Women in Artificial Intelligence in South Africa.

By 2025, more than 50% of the world will be automated, said the founder of Robots Can Think, Natalie R, at the launch of the Cape Town chapter of Women in Artificial Intelligence in South Africa, hosted by the School for Data Science and Computational Thinking at Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Advanced Study.

The aim is to create an environment that encourages the development of women in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) industry.

The event, on Friday October 25, was held in partnership with Stellenbosch University and was attended by pupils from Oval North Technical High School in Beacon Valley and Westridge High School.

Both schools were given R5 000 to do online courses to enhance their skills in artificial intelligence (AI).

Speakers, Lisel Engelbrecht from Women In AI Ambassador South Africa, Celina Lee chief executive officer at Zindi.com and Natalie R, spoke about their respective environments.

Oval North pupil, Ashwyn Walker, 15, said he wants to become an inventor in the revolution of robots. “The launch challenged the way I think about the career I want to do,” he said.

Adnaan Meyer, 15 also, from Oval North, said he wants to study mechatronics and wants to create robots to improve society.

Fascinated by robots, Adnaan said the launch made him think about exploring all avenues before he ventures into his dream career.

Kauthar Campbell, 16, from Westridge High, said attending the AI launch had opened her mind to the many opportunities awaiting her.

“As a young woman wanting to do AI and technical engineering, I was inspired by the female speakers speaking on their careers in AI.”

Nico Koopman, vice-rector: social impact, transformation and personnel, said the pupils should strive for excellence if they wish to do artificial intelligence.

“We are too tolerant of mediocrity. Artificial intelligence will become more excellent and more diverse.

“We need more women in their discipline, more women participating in the department of knowledge,” he said.

Natalie R said women in AI is the future, more women are interested in this field of work and this community should be built.

For more information about Robots Can Think, email Natalie R at natalie@robotscanthink.co.za