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RSG Praat Saam, US Woordfees Wednesday, 8 March 2017

woordfees 3.jpg In this photo (from left to right): Heinrich Wyngaards, Prof Rachel Jafta, Pieter Geldenhuys and Jodi Hendricks

With Heindrich Wyngaard as presenter, the question was asked: "Artificial Intelligence, education and jobs of the future".

Will artificial intelligence and robots have the same impact as the industrial revolution of the previous century? Or is this the end of noble work? Should we not rather wait and see what the machines can do and what not, before we condemn it?

The reaction to the question from a panel of experts was shortly as follows:

Prof Rachel Jafta of the economics department at US, said artificial intelligence (AI) is a playing field that changes constantly. It will not help to be angry about it. We will just have to adjust and play the game as it is presented to us.

This "revolution" is faster and on a larger scale with no comfort zones. We cannot anymore say we understand it, have a strategy and know what to do.​

While there is a concern about losing your job, AI will nevertheless mean a lot for education. We will need to package AI in such a way for students to learn from it and that they can adjust to a fast changing world.    

Pieter Geldenhuys, futurist and lecturer in technological strategy at North-West University, said we will have to be brave and innovative with AI. Innovation is the basic building block of wealthy nations and countries.

AI and so-called machine learning is currently giving us unbelievable new insights. While it can destroy on the one hand, it brings major opportunities on the other. It brings a huge potential for economic growth, particular in countries where AI is embraced.

We are moving in a direction where computers will become more "intelligent", but it is another type of intelligence. It will never replace the creativeness of human beings.

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