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Artificial Intelligence has grown to be one of the most widely used technologies today. The global economic returns of the fourth industrial revolution are expected to be close to $16 trillion. AI is predicted to be the driving force behind this revolution. 

The number of jobs available in the field of artificial intelligence is on the rise as recruiters are looking to hire individuals with AI skills. However, if we take a look at past trends related to revolutions, there has always been a temporary job loss. Post this job loss, and we move into a recovery period. What can Africa do to take steps to prepare themselves for the future of AI? Through the course of this blog, let us understand how Africa can take steps to embrace an AI-driven future. 

Leapfrogging aboard the AI train

In the present situation, none of the African countries is among the top 10 countries that are expected to benefit from automation or AI. But, there is immense potential for the continent to catch up with the rest of the world. All they need to do is to act fast. 

Taking advantage of the most powerful resource available to Africa, their human capital, can help them to catch up with the rest of the world. More than 60% of the overall population in the sub-Saharan region of Africa is under the age of 25, according to a report by WEF or the World Economic Forum. The youth has a higher tendency to create and work towards a future where humans and AI or automation can be used for the betterment of society. According to a recent survey published by the WEF Global Shapers, it is estimated that close to 80% of the youth or younger generations believe that the field of artificial intelligence will help in creating jobs rather than destroying jobs.

Also Read: Where Will The Artificial Intelligence vs Human Intelligence Race Take Us?

Staying ahead of the trends to remain employed

Although there may not be a loss in the number of jobs available, there is a chance that AI will impact the current positions as certain activities can be done at a more incredible speed using AI. In some instances, AI can also learn faster than humans. Upskilling in the field of artificial intelligence can help you stay ahead of the competition. 

It is essential to improve your skills and continue to expand your knowledge. Staying up-to-date with the latest technological changes and trends will give you an edge over the rest of the individuals and help you retain your job or even get much better opportunities. 

According to a study by Accenture, adopting AI may create several new job categories that can include trainers, explainers, and sustainers. Trainers are people who will teach AI to the systems and teach them how to perform. Explainers are people who will bridge the gap between a business leader and technologists. Sustainers are people who will ensure that the AI system is operating as it should. Integrating human intelligence and AI can help Africa go a long way. 

Combining STEM with the arts

If an individual is determined to work hard and learn new skills, it is easier for them to gain the necessary skills required for the new job roles. Thus, continually equipping ourselves with the right skills will ensure success in an ever-changing job market. 

We must also remember that as the division of tasks between a man and a machine changes, it is essential that the type of knowledge being imparted will also change. Technical skills are required for designing and implementing AI skills. And, emotional intelligence is crucial in giving an individual an advantage over machines. A forward-thinking approach is highly essential, and institutions such as Stanford University, have already implemented this approach by offering a CS+X program that integrates arts and science qualifications in one. 

Also Read: Top 20 Artificial Intelligence Interview Questions for 2021 | AI Interview Questions

Revisiting laws and regulation

To revisit laws and regulations, policymakers must evaluate the current state of the rules, and understand where changes can be made. It is essential to identify the groups of individuals who may be at the highest risk of losing their job. After doing so, we can come up with a plan on how to reintegrate them into the AI-driven economy. 

AI can be helpful in areas such as healthcare and education. Curbing poor healthcare access and improving diagnosis is one of the advantages of artificial intelligence. Closing the gap between the speed of technological changes and regulations is essential. Developing a code of ethics can help us ensure that technology is used in the best possible way. 

Preparing for the future

With the pace of technological advancements, and as we enter the future of AI, it becomes essential to overcome any limitations that can curb this growth. We must be open to technological changes and be prepared to adapt to the changing times. To avoid missed opportunities, business leaders, policymakers, and individuals alike must work towards and embrace an AI-driven future. AI is a tool that can be used to transform growth and enhance productivity. Africa has the choice of moving ahead with the changing times and embracing these changes if they are well-prepared. 

This brings us to the end of the blog on how Africa can embrace an AI-driven future. We hope that you found this helpful and informative. If you wish to learn more about artificial intelligence, you can join Great Learning’s PGP Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning course and upskill yourself today. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. 

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