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Former president Kgalema Motlanthe attends foundation's AI bootcamp

17 March 2019 9:39 AM
Motlanthe tells Africa that technology can help challenge pupils to find innovative solutions to social problems.

The Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation is playing its part in helping children in disadvantaged communities gain skills relevant to the future.

The former president's foundation has already run what it calls an artificial intelligence bootcamp in Soweto.

Now the programme's been brought to Mitchells Plain, offering young girls the opportunity to develop their skills in technology.

Motlanthe explains the goals of the 'AI in Mitchells Plain' bootcamp on Weekend Breakfast.

The old method of teaching, which regards the teacher as the centre of knowledge and the learners as empty receptacles can no longer work. In terms of this new approach of artificial intelligence, the learners are themselves challenged to find solutions to a number of social problems that they face.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Former president

In the bootcamp in Soweto for instance, they were able to come up with innovative solutions to cyber bullying.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation

Motlanthe says he'd like the workshops to remove any fear young people have about technology and to stimulate their imagination.

They walk away with the skill to use modern methods, to find solutions to social problems - it could be problems within the family or within the community and of course the idea is that they would thirst for more skills, for instance coding, so that they become employable going forward and they can also create their own employment opportunities.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation

Asked whether it's not more important to address the more basic challenges in our education system, Motlanthe had this to say:

AI and basic education and literacy are not mutually exclusive. We've got to tackle both at once rather than trying to do it sequentially. We can't wait for people to be basically qualified before you introduce them to new technology.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Former president

Listen to the full discussion with Motlanthe below:


17 March 2019 9:39 AM