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Poly students shine at Indaba

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   September 6, 2019
PIC: Dzonzi and Masikini pose with other students at the Indaba
The Polytechnic students who went to attend the machine learning Indaba workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, are back in the country.

The trio, Thanda Mtegha, Brenald Dzodzi and Sam Masikini went to represent the Polytechnic at the Indaba and showcase some of their projects they have been working on.

According to one of the participants, Sam Masikini, the Faculty of Applied Sciences Deputy Dean, Dr Amelia Taylor who happened to be one of the organisers of the local IndabaX that took place in Malawi, is the one who arranged for their participation.

Masikini showcased his project of counterfeit banknote detection, which he has been working on, and scaling it up.

“The entire event was well organised and coordinated, no randomness and improvisations as far as I saw it, organisers were ready for almost anything. I personally enjoyed the practical sessions on optimisation for deep learning, reinforcement learning and sessions on Generative models and recurrent neural networks,” Masikini said.

Masikini further explained that apart from learning and showcasing various projects, they were able to socialize with other students from other cultures, universities and all corners of the world.

“Machine learning brought us together and we shared what we have been studying, the limitations we are facing due to political and cultural background and the future of machine learning in Africa,” he added.

While Brenald Dzondzi learned that Africa needs to build their own artificial intelligence solutions because some of the western technologies are not compatible to the environment and set up hence problems and challenges.

“The conference is geared at engaging the African content to start thinking about intelligence solutions to our own problems. For example Google maps navigator doesn't work properly in Nairobi because of its traffic and other roads that feed into the main roads,” Dzondzi added

The students thank all the sponsors, organisers and everyone that took part in making the Indaba 2019 an unforgettable memory. They are looking forward to attending the next Indaba.

 

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