Hussein Suleman from University of Cape Town on AI as a tool for development problems

July 26, 2019
Hussein Suleman, University of Cape Town at the workshop “Toward a Network of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) in sub-Saharan Africa”, Nairobi, Kenya, April 2019

What are you working on at the moment?

My name is Hussein Suleman, I am from University of Cape Town, Computer Science. I work in the Center of ICT for development and our passion is actually solving development problems using computer technology in various different ways. One of those different ways is the use of machine learning for problems in cultural heritage preservation and various other information related problems.

How do you perceive development and Artificial Intelligence?

From my perspective, AI machine learning, this is a tool. It is very much a tool, it is a tool like various other things and I think development is a challenge, development is the problem, so we are looking on how we can use various tools, including machine learning to directly address development problems.

What is your blue sky project in Africa?

I have conceived a generic project around the notion of using information retrieval which includes lots of machine learning to address primary development challenges and some of the things that are really difficult problems, like being able to solve corruption. How can you address corruption in countries, and it turns out that one of the things we can do as information practitioners is monitoring an assessment on the bases of large analysis of data.

I would like to see as using machine learning to solve really difficult problems that will assist people like social scientists to make our countries more governable, more accountable, more transparent and things like that.