The first Deep Learning Indaba will take place in September this year: a series of master classes on deep learning and machine learning for South African researchers and technologists. Deep learning, and the more general area of machine learning, is the technology that underlies the recent advances in data science and artificial intelligence that is set to transform the way the world works. There is at present a major global focus on machine learning involving billions of dollars in investment and revenue; artificial intelligence, and by implication machine learning, is set to change the working of the world.

Africans have a low participation in this area of science, although we have the skills and energy to take full advantage of these technologies. We have formed a partnership with several South African researchers, to organise the 1st Deep Learning Indaba from 10 to 15 September 2017 at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Given the increasing focus on machine learning, our aim is to stimulate the participation of South Africans, and Africans more generally, within the research and innovation landscape surrounding deep learning and machine learning.

We hope this will become an annual event for students, research staff, industry and entrepreneurs, supporting training and engagement with research at the forefront of the field. For this first event, we aim to support 50 students fully, and are eager to increase the number of fully sponsored attendees, depending on our funding.