The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering held its inaugural workshop on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning on Wednesday 22nd November 2017. The goal of the workshop was to raise awareness among the staff and student body on the concepts of machine learning and latest trends and research in that area.
During the event, the Intel Ambassador program was also introduced. This program seeks to drive awareness and adoption of AI at the academic level by showcasing and highlighting the expertise, inspiration and innovation of students, and Intel Student Ambassadors, and their successes.
Four students from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology have so far been selected as Intel Ambassadors in Makerere University. These students belong to different academic programs at the College, namely: Telecommunications Engineering, Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering.
According to Mr. Roy Allela, Software Engineer at Intel Kenya and lead facilitator at the event, the Intel Ambassador program will enable the company engage, educate, recruit, support and coach students and ambassadors across universities worldwide.
The workshop also introduced the self-paced, hands-on learning courses for developers and students who are looking for the technical foundations of machine learning and deep learning that Intel has developed.
During the workshop, Mr. Allela also showcased an innovation by intel called the Movidius Neural Compute Stick. This tiny device, very similar in build and size to a flash disk is highly specialized to carry out enhanced deep learning and can be used to learn AI programming at the edge.
The Movidius Neural Compute Stick enables rapid prototyping, validation and deployment of Deep Neural Network (DNN) inference applications and allows deep learning developers to profile, tune, and deploy Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) on low-power applications that require real-time inferencing.
This device is very cheap and has been made available to CEDAT’s Intel Ambassadors for free. To the outside world, the device can be purchased at USD 70.
Why Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence such as visual perception, speech recognition and others. It is important because it automates repetitive learning and discovery through data, adds intelligence to existing products, adapts through progressive learning algorithms to let the data do the programming and analyzes more and deeper data using neural networks that have many hidden layers. This in the end leads to end users getting the most out of BIG data that’s already available to them.
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