The Deep Learning Indaba (DLI) is the annual meeting of the African machine learning and AI community with the mission to strengthen African AI. This year, it will be taking place in Dakar, Senegal, from the 1st to the 7th of September 2024 at Amadou Mahtar Mbow University (UAM), comprising keynotes, tutorials, workshops, panel discussions, and paper presentations. 

The workshop program aims to offer a structured environment for discussing specialised technical subjects. Proposed workshops are designed to encourage active idea exchange among participants. This year’s workshops are therefore aligned with the purpose and aim of the main event, and they include these following topics: 

Full day workshop:

  • Robot Learning for Africa Workshop 
  • Empowering African Voices in AI: Data, Models, and Innovation
  • Uniting for a Climate-Resilient Africa: Fostering Climate Data and Knowledge Exchange 
  • The NeuroAI Workshop at the Deep Learning Indaba 2024 
  • Data Science for Health in Africa workshop (DS4Health Africa workshop) 2024 
  • Weakly Supervised Computer Vision
  • Voices of Africa: Building the infrastructure for African NLP
  • Second IJCAI AI for Good Symposium in Africa

Half day workshops:

  • Empowering Africa’s AI future through High Performance and Cloud Computing
  • GeoAI for a Sustainable Future in Africa 
  • Envisioning Humans in a Safe, AI Future
  • AI regulation in Africa : rationale, considerations and way forward

More about the workshops

Robot Learning for Africa

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/robotlearningforafrica2024 

Abstract: The objective of the Robot Learning for Africa workshop is to grow a community in robotics and machine learning research and applications on the African continent. Building on the success of the first instalment of the workshop in 2023, this year, we plan to go beyond outlining the latest trends in the field and distil practical skills in robot learning to attendees, empowering them to start their own research projects. This year we start strong with a secured sponsor (Lelapa AI) for the networking session and are collaborating with a cloud-robotics company (Scale-Up Robotics) to provide access to real robots to workshop attendees.

Empowering African Voices in AI: Data, Models, and Innovation

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://chrisemezue.github.io/empowering-african-voices.github.io/ 

Abstract: The transformative potential of AI and ML is immense, reshaping sectors from healthcare to finance. However, the pace of AI development and its benefits are not uniformly distributed, with under-resourced communities, particularly those historically disadvantaged, experiencing a lack of access to the rewards of AI. This disparity highlights the need for responsible, ethical, and community-centric approaches to AI development that prioritise local needs, cultures, and languages. This workshop aims to address these disparities by focusing on the human aspects of AI. It seeks to move beyond the technicalities of algorithms and computation to delve into the foundational elements of AI, the data itself. Doing so emphasises the importance of data practices that are efficient, ethical, culturally aware, and inclusive. Participants will engage in discussions and practical sessions that explore data generation, annotation, legal frameworks, and sharing protocols. Special attention will be given to creating culturally contextual datasets that reflect African communities’ linguistic and societal nuisances. The workshop will also cover critical topics such as data governance, synthetic data implications, and cross-cultural data safety challenges and opportunities. The goal is to equip researchers, ML practitioners, and policymakers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement AI projects that are ethical, inclusive, and impactful, thereby fostering an AI ecosystem that truly benefits all, especially those in marginalised communities. Through this endeavour, the workshop will contribute to shaping a future where AI development in Africa is driven by African voices and directly addresses the continent’s unique challenges and aspirations.

Uniting for a Climate-Resilient Africa: Fostering Climate Data and Knowledge Exchange

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://www.africlimate.ai/events/workshop-dli-2024 

CFP:  https://forms.gle/ccpuQTdV9sU4y5Xc9

Abstract: Across Africa, the detrimental effects of climate change are being acutely felt. However, the continent’s ability to respond is hampered by a critical lack of accurate, accessible climate data. This workshop aims to bridge this gap by fostering collaboration between climate scientists, data practitioners, and machine learning experts. By working together, we can build a comprehensive climate data repository that empowers African researchers and policymakers with the tools they need to address the continent’s unique climate challenges. The absence of reliable climate data hinders effective decision-making. Farmers struggle to adapt to changing weather patterns, while infrastructure projects are more susceptible to climate-related risks.  This workshop will explore strategies to improve data collection methodologies and infrastructure across Africa. By leveraging advancements in sensor technology, data transmission networks, and data storage solutions, we can ensure that the data needed to model and predict climate patterns is available, accessible, and accurate.

The NeuroAI Workshop

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://dlineuroai-workshop.github.io/neuroai-2024/

Abstract: Computational neuroscience seeks to understand brain function through mathematical models and simulations. In the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence (AI), the integration of computational neuroscience and machine learning presents a frontier rich with potential for groundbreaking advancements. Artificial intelligence can help us deepen our understanding of the brain and by examining how the brain processes information, we can develop more robust and efficient AI systems. Despite the significant contributions of computational neuroscience to understanding the brain and behaviour, Africa contributes less than 2% to global computational neuroscience research. The NeuroAI workshop aims to explore the interest in computational neuroscience in the African community through the Deep Learning Indaba (DLI). The workshop will review various topics at the intersection of neuroscience and AI, including the cognitive foundation of learning algorithms, emphasising neural representations and biologically plausible learning systems, and AI’s application in decoding and analysing neuroscience data. To the best of our knowledge, this workshop will be the first of its kind at the DLI and will be important to introduce the burgeoning field of NeuroAI to the DLI community. It will also allow NeuroAI researchers to share their work with people with similar interests. Through a series of talks and interactive sessions from experts in computational neuroscience, the workshop aims to encourage participants to investigate how these two fields can complement each other.

Data Science for Health in Africa workshop (DS4Health Africa workshop) 2024

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://ro-ya-cv4africa.github.io/homepage/event_workshop.html 

Abstract: to be updated soon

Weakly Supervised Computer Vision

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://wscv-indaba.github.io

CFP:  https://wscv-indaba.github.io/2024#call-for-papers

Abstract: Since the acquisition and annotation of real-world data is complex, computer vision datasets only capture a fraction of our continuous world. To cope with unseen conditions, fight biases of the training data, or simply reduce our dependency on data, algorithms may be trained in a weak-/un-supervised fashion. Recently, novel avenues of research have emerged to relax supervision (less labels, less data) for example using multimodal models, generative AI, transfer learning, continual learning, etc. This lets us foresee new frontiers of computer vision, holding immense potential for the African society. This 3rd WSCV edition will gather leading computer vision figures with keynotes and lightning talks on various topics like: zero-shot training, multimodal models / foundational models, open-vocabulary, self-/un-supervised training, diffusion models, robustness and uncertainty estimation; as well as talks on african initiatives.

Voices of Africa: Building the infrastructure for African NLP

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/nlpdlindaba/2024

Abstract: This workshop aims to take stock of the state of African NLP and evaluate the most promising approaches for developing African language AI infrastructure. Building on the previous NLP workshops at DLI, this event will provide a crucial platform for the African community to actively shape and direct the next steps in enhancing African language AI. Participants will explore, with leading experts, how state-of-the-art NLP technologies can foster academic or applied research, to drive social impact that is crucial for the development of the African continent. Whether you’re an experienced data scientist, a language researcher, or someone passionate about technology’s role in societal transformation, this workshop offers valuable opportunities to learn, collaborate, and innovate. We particularly welcome students interested in NLP to use this venue to connect with each other and with leaders in the field.

Second IJCAI AI for Good Symposium in Africa

Workshop day: Sept 6th, 2024

Abstract: This workshop explores how Artificial Intelligence can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) from the unique AI research capacity and specific needs of the Global South. Participants will engage in discussions with a panel of speakers and will receive feedback on their papers and projects. This workshop constitutes the Second International Joint Conference on AI Symposium in Africa and aims to provide a platform for students and young researchers to publish in a special volume of the IJCAI proceedings. The workshop aims to spur discussions on how the AI research approach in Africa has the capacity to lead the movement on applied AI for good research internationally. The sessions will promote new partnerships at an international level, with the ultimate goal to change the rules of the game in AI research and focus on the most urgent societal challenges in collaboration with the local communities.

Empowering Africa’s AI future through High Performance and Cloud Computing

Workshop day: Sept 7th, 2024

Website: https://www.chpc.ac.za/deep-learning-indaba-2024/  

Abstract: This workshop highlights the sophisticated high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities in Africa, focusing on South Africa’s Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), a department under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Supported by the Department of Science and Innovation, CHPC serves as a pivotal resource for AI and machine learning (ML) applications across African academia and industry. Participants will engage with CHPC’s Lengau supercomputer—one of Africa’s most powerful systems—and its comprehensive OpenStack cloud infrastructure, Sebowa. The workshop is designed to enhance scientific research and big data management across the continent through AI-enabled HPC in the cloud. Featuring interactive tutorials, expert-led talks, and panel discussions, this event aims to equip researchers and IT professionals with the necessary skills to effectively utilise these cutting-edge resources.

GeoAI for a Sustainable Future in Africa

Workshop day: Sept 7th, 2024

Website: https://geoaiafrica.github.io/ 

CFP: https://openreview.net/group?id=DeepLearningIndaba.com/2024/Workshop/GeoAI#tab-your-consoles

Abstract: Geospatial AI (GeoAI) has immense potential to address critical challenges across Africa including food security, disaster response, urban development, climate action, public health, and more. Our workshop aims to provide a forum for practitioners, researchers, engineers, and domain experts to discuss the current challenges, advancements, and ethical considerations in applied GeoAI for Africa through a series of curated presentations, panel discussions, posters, and networking sessions. We also aim to organise an educational practical on the field of geospatial machine learning (ML), open to a larger audience. Key topics will include remote sensing, spatial analytics, and data-driven geospatial ML for sustainable development. This workshop is mainly organised by members of GeoAI Africa, a community dedicated to using geospatial data and ML technologies to tackle various critical challenges across Africa, from urban development and agriculture to climate action and disaster response

Envisioning Humans in a Safe, AI Future

Workshop day: Sept 7th, 2024

Website: https://www.sarahluger.com/workshop 

Abstract:This workshop explores the ethical, safe, and innovative application of artificial intelligence, focusing on human-centred approaches. Participants will engage in expert-led sessions, interactive discussions, and collaborative activities, addressing both established and emerging challenges within AI. Focusing on the Global South, the workshop aims to share innovative solutions, critically analyse methodologies, and foster impactful collaborations across academia and industry. Our sessions will stimulate discussions on controversial and emerging AI topics and promote new partnerships, shaping future research and practice in AI Safety.

AI regulation in Africa : rationale, considerations and way forward

Workshop day: Sept 7th, 2024

Website: https://indaba.qbit.africa/

Abstract: The past few years have been blissful for artificial intelligence (AI), both in scale and recognition. Although AI has been around for quite some time, recent advances in computing coupled with the shattering of an oblique user interface , have catapulted a once behind the scenes technology to centre stage. The increased prominence of AI has elicited diverse reactions : excitement , pragmatism and concern. Of these reactions, concern seems to have been the hallmark of 2023, as evidenced by increased AI regulation : President Joe Biden’s executive order on AI, the European Union’s AI act and China’s draft measures for Generative Artificial Intelligence Services. Concerns around regulation are no longer confined to AI powerhouses. Increasingly, the debate around AI regulation has garnered significant attention in Africa. Although regulation is acknowledged to be important, adopting a cookie-cutter approach does not augur well for Africa. Motivation, context and timing matter, and in this regard important questions beg: What is the rationale for AI regulation? What factors determine regulation readiness? Is Africa ready for regulation? How can Africa shape its own regulation agenda? This workshop aims to convene researchers and practitioners to discuss the aforementioned pertinent questions. Specifically, the workshop seeks to discuss the rationale for AI regulation, examine its relevance given the current state of the AI ecosystem in Africa, understand the nuances and considerations around regulation in Africa, and prescribe appropriate legislative and policy measures that can simultaneously address concerns around the technology whilst providing a conducive environment for innovation. Participants will have an enhanced understanding of the rationale behind AI regulation, the role of context in informing the regulatory debate , and important considerations when developing policy prescriptions on regulation.

More details about the workshops will be shared soon. Make sure to check our page regularly !

Contact Information

For any questions or inquiry, please contact the workshop chairs at : pc@deeplearningindaba.com.

Organizers

  • Henok ademtew
  • Yasser Salah Eddine
  • Aisha Alaagib
  • Lesego Makhafola