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Artificial Intelligence and Political Science

The future of representative democracy is uncertain. The gradual consolidation of its institutions, procedures, cultural and ideological references, was directly congruent with the evolution of the industrial age economic and social compound. But th…

Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How Machines are Affecting People and Places

The power and prospect of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) initially alarmed technology experts, for fear that machine advancements would destroy jobs. Then came a correction of sorts, with a wave of reassurances minimizing their negative…

Harnessing the 4IR in SADC: Roles for Policymakers

This paper maps SADC countries’ readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution from a strategic policy perspective. It focuses specifically on the digital connectivity and skills components of the 4IR, given their role in creating an enabling enviro…

An African Perspective on Gender and Artificial Intelligence Needs African Data and Research

Research on the gender dimensions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other frontier technologies in Africa is still in its infancy. Compared to other world regions, Africa has little or no gender-disaggregated data on digital access, skills and par…

4IR and Water Smart Agriculture in Southern Africa: A Watch List of Key Technological Advances

This paper considers the relevance of the recent wave of technological advances – so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies – for the agricultural sector in drought-prone countries of Southern Africa. The resulting ‘watch list’ of technolo…

The Public-private: A Key Legal Nexus for South Africa's AI Future

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here; but what ‘here’ means is very different according to the country in which it is being implemented or explored. In South Africa, a data controversy relating to the commercial use of the national social grants dis…

Africa's Expansion of AI Surveillance - Regional Gaps and Key Trends

Many African states are deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) surveillance technologies to monitor citizens for various purposes, but seldom in ways that are rights-respecting and particularly privacy-respecting. Today’s AI surveillance technologie…

The City Surveillance State: Inside Johannesburg's Safe City Initiative

South African cities are increasingly turning to technology-aided surveillance to police public spaces. Conceived of as ‘safe city’ projects, they are linking cameras to form wide area networks that increasingly use artificial intelligence (AI) to i…

Intelligence Artificielle et Cyber-colonisation: Implications sur l’Afrique / Artificial Intelligence and Cyber-colonization: Implications for Africa

Technologies related to Artificial Intelligence have an influential and transformative power that is increasingly felt by African populations and therefore constitute an important lever for development. However, this digital ecosystem, even though i…

A Gender Perspective on the Use of Artificial Intelligence in the African Fintech Ecosystem: Case Studies from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) based systems complements the time-sensitive and data intensive nature of many activities in the financial services industry (FSI)—Specifically, in FinTech Ecosystems (FEs) that have disrupted many financial s…

AI4D - Digital and Biometric Identity Systems

This policy paper examines issues emerging around the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Digital and Biometric Identities (BDI) being rolled out across Africa as a central part of digital strategies to meet the UN 2030 Sustainable Develop…

Case Studies on AI Skills Capacity Building and AI in Workforce Development in Africa

The project conducted case studies on AI deployment across the African continent, and the associated policy and governance implications. It explored AI in relation to four thematic areas – biometric identity, computer vision and surveillance, skills…

Work in Progress in Computer Vision and AI Surveillance in Africa

Computer vision is at first glance simply technology with general applications so that the political implications are not immediately apparent, unlike technologies such as bio-identity in which purpose is fused with the technology. The political val…

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