Nvidia teams up with UN to boost data science in 10 African nations

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Nvidia has teamed up with the United Nations to boost data science in 10 African nations.

The public-private effort gives nations with data science workstations and AI training
to assist census, public well being, local weather tasks and data analytics, mentioned Geoffrey Levene, director of worldwide AI Initiatives at Nvidia, in an interview with VentureBeat.

Nvidia is collaborating with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to equip governments and developer communities in 10 nations with data science coaching and know-how to assist extra knowledgeable policymaking and speed up how assets are allotted.

(*10*) Levene mentioned. “You really can’t train people to use GPUs unless they have access to GPUs.”


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The initiative will empower the international locations’ nationwide statistical places of work — businesses that deal with inhabitants censuses data, financial insurance policies, healthcare and extra — by offering AI {hardware}, coaching for data scientists and ecosystem assist, Levene mentioned.

Known because the United AI Alliance, the initiative is led by the UNECA, the Global Partnership for
Sustainable Development Data (the Global Partnership), which facilitates data partnerships for public good, and Nvidia.

Future Tech, a Long Island, New York-based IT answer supplier and member of the Nvidia Partner Network, is the alliance’s inaugural funding and international distribution companion.

“Population data is critical information for policy decisions, whether it’s for urban planning, climate action or monitoring the spread of COVID-19,” mentioned Oliver Chinganya, director of the African Centre for Statistics at UNECA, in an announcement. “Without a strong digital infrastructure, many of these nations struggled to collect and report data during the pandemic.”

Better public well being data will help international locations monitor real-time COVID an infection charges, detect hotspots and goal their response efforts. And past the pandemic, strengthening data programs will enable native specialists to join inhabitants statistics to agricultural data, local weather developments and financial indicators.

Laying the groundwork

Future Tech is overlaying the price of procurement and overseeing the distribution and deployment
of Nvidia-certified programs and data science workstations powered by Nvidia RTX and Nvidia Quadro RTX GPUs for every nation — beginning with Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Up subsequent shall be Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Togo.

“Public-sector institutions play a critical role in providing the data used for policymaking at all levels. But often they face huge gaps in infrastructure and expertise required to tap the benefits of the data revolution,” mentioned Future Tech founder and CEO Bob Venero, in an announcement.

To additional assist the international locations’ data science capabilities, Nvidia is teaming up with native universities, analysis institutes and data science communities to construct a pipeline of builders that may extract insights from census info and different data sources.

Nvidia is placing collectively a curriculum of free Deep Learning Institute programs — beginning with fundamentals comparable to accelerated computing with CUDA Python and accelerated data science workflows — tailor-made to the wants of every nation’s nationwide statistical workplace. It’s additionally offering entry to workshops and data science instructing kits for every of the nations.

This work extends the corporate’s assist of AI and data science in Africa by means of the Nvidia Inception startup program and the Nvidia Emerging Chapters initiative, which bolsters developer communities in rising markets with training and technical assets.

Using data to drive environmental and social progress

Around the world, the pandemic has accelerated the transition to digitization. The United AI Alliance is supporting this transformation by working with grassroots teams on the core of AI improvement in Africa, with the objective of enabling data practitioners in each area to construct significant options to native challenges.

Many of the continent’s builders are a part of native know-how communities, together with teams just like the Kenya-based AI Center of Excellence or nonprofit group Data Science Africa, Nvidia mentioned.

United AI Alliance is pairing many of those builders with governments to drive new data evaluation tasks.

“To help countries fully harness the data revolution for sustainable development, we must meet developers where they are,” mentioned Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership, in an announcement. “This
collaboration is a great example of the Sustainable Development Goals in action, with technology creating a path to quality education and providing meaningful work as well as individual economic growth.”

While the venture’s preliminary focus is in Africa, the collaborators plan to roll out the identical mannequin in
Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Levine mentioned the partnership took place final 12 months as Nvidia was discussing how to broaden its capabilities in Africa, and it had a relationship with the Global Partnership. Nvidia and Future Tech determined to be the first companion and fund this program to truly carry {hardware} infrastructure to Africa.

“The mission is pretty simple. It’s starting with data science and national statistical offices of at least 10 nations, but we want to expand beyond these 10 nations. And we’re going to expand across all of Africa, but also Southeast Asia and Latin America as well,” Levene mentioned. “The idea is to uplevel capabilities for AI and science and emerging nations. And right now, there is a focus on national statistical offices.”

He added, “We’re hoping a better policy is developed from that census data. for instance, between census surveys, you might have shifts of where poverty pockets might be in the nation. And with the insight that data science can bring to the data, you can see how populations might be flowing. And therefore you might be able to make better policy that can have better intended consequences.”

In the 10 highlighted international locations, flooding is usually a serious drawback. With data science, these international locations shall be higher in a position to plan infrastructure and sort out huge engineering challenges. It may also assist with farming, local weather change, and meals shortages.


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