While the practical notebooks we used in 2018 were already amazing, my colleagues and I worked hard on expanding and improving them for the 2019 Indaba. In case anyone wants to check them out, here's a full list of the practicals (the links go to Google Colab notebooks)
1a: Machine Learning Fundamentals, http://bit.ly/2nfeu4W
1b: Build your own TensorFlow, http://bit.ly/2obD1rK
2a: Deep Feedforward Networks, http://bit.ly/2oQSjSQ
2b: Optimization for Deep Learning, http://bit.ly/2nqkyHB
3a: Convolutional Networks, http://bit.ly/2nqdQRX
3b: Deep Generative Models, http://bit.ly/2nnkisU
4a: Recurrent Neural Networks, http://bit.ly/2ncgYkx
4b: Reinforcement Learning, http://bit.ly/2oO4lMK
They're also available on the official github page: https://github.com/deep-learning-indaba
We'd love any feedback on the practicals to improve them for next year!
If you have some ML expertise and would like to volunteer to be a tutor at next year's Indaba, which will be held in Tunisia in late August 2020, drop me a mail at contact (at) taliesin.ai. I also encourage anyone to apply to attend as a student!
I don't understand the rather negative introduction in the article. Indaba seems to be about getting people up to speed with the basics of ML, NeurIPS and other ML conferences are about cutting-edge research. Both have an importance place. Why the distinction about Western vs non-Western AI?
This isn't an alternative, it's a way to bootstrap research in Africa. And that's amazing. But the narrative that there's tension between the two and that somehow African AI is "other" and won't find a place in "Western AI" when the research is world-class is totally absurd and does African researchers a massive disservice.
Yes, Africa is under-represented at international AI conferences. But that's a consequence of many things (imperialism, oppression, economics, etc.), not the somewhat-impartial double-blind review system we have.
I wish people would tell a more inclusive and positive story rather than manufacture some conflict where there is none.
For those who are unaware visa policies are extremely discriminatory to people from African countries. You will not even be granted a tourist visa or even be allowed to attend a tech conference. You are stuck where you are born.
This tension doesn't really come from the specific communities, it comes from the freedom to travel as mentioned in other comments (i.e. it's incredibly difficult not only financially but also in terms of visas and access to countries where conferences take place). That just (unintentionally or not) automatically excludes African "voices", thereby turning them into the "other".
It's therefore a little disingenuous to say that there's no conflict or that it's manufactured; any African academic or tech speaker can tell you there's plenty of conflict in simply applying for a visa to Europe, for example.
African researchers can still publish and read in English, it would be extremely unlikely for the two areas of research to evolve independently. Look at American and Soviet research during the cold war - there was a huge language and political barrier, but the Soviets didn't end up with a unique scientific system.
During the Stalinist era it was well-nigh impossible to cite contemporaneous publications from non-Communist countries, as it was seen as aiding the bourgeois enemy. (It was more acceptable to cite pre-1917 publications from the West, though.) Even after the Khrushchev Thaw, there was still a policy that researchers cite mainly their compatriots, and cite Western publications only when absolutely necessary.
In some fields of linguistics and archaeology, this did result in the USSR taking a very different course in those disciplines than in the West. In fact, the divide is still palpable today, though now it is no longer a matter of not being allow to cite Western works, rather it is down to 1) the influence of elderly Communist-era faculty who by inertia preserve the old restrictions, and 2) Russian universities being unable to afford Western academic books that can cost into the hundreds of euro.
If the results can be changed by changing the underlying philosophy, then what you're doing isn't science. Science will always arrive at the same results no matter how you choose to metaphysically interpret them or embed them in to your national consciousness. Soviet physics and chemistry tracked their western counterparts very closely and later merged back in without any great surprises. Once the central government released its grip on biology it returned to its natural path, the same path that was being independently followed in the west.
It did mention a few African-specific projects: controlling malaria and identifying African wildlife. So, perhaps, it means not that the tech is different, but the applications.
Anecdotally, when I was in Zambia every construction company was Chinese, and every job site was a Chinese foreman with Zambians doing the work.
* Chinese firms are hiring plenty of locals and not importing labor as commonly accused of from your own personal experience
* Chinese investments are investing plenty, even in AI, and not just extracting commodities
* By investing, Africans are building real skills and developing their own AI talent pool
Really makes you wonder why we here in America just ignore Africa.
Top government officials in the science space speak Russian.
Also Chinese have been involved in SSA since the 60s e.g. South African Boarder War (aka Namibian War of Independence), which Zambia was also involved in. 
Finally most of east and southern Africa was Socialist from 50s/60s until the 90s (many still are), so it makes sense for them to be trading with China, the world power that is closest to their political inclinations. 
Other side is UK/US/EU axis, who are the ones who royally fucked it up in the first place (pun intended). 
I know who I would choose, if I were in their positon.
I wouldn't say this is really true.
But either way I haven't heard of them investing in intellectual capital anywhere, just infrastructure.
Which is amazingly great, they are rapidly improving quality of life in so many countries the west has in many ways abandoned.
As an anecdote, I recently had to put up $1,500 of my own money to travel to a conference in Italy because my advisor doesn't have any funding and my department only paid for registration. Luckily my wife works and it wasn't an issue paying for the trip, but it was still a frustrating experience.
I took a remote class on globalization from Wharton Business School several years ago and one of the messages was that Africa would become an economic superpower.
While much of the world has benefited from globalization, I like to see each country and region strongly maintain their own culture and national identity. I would find a world that was more or less the same to be a sad thing.
I've joined HN in hope to see interesting IT content, not to be fed by big portals with general news from yet another side.
I'd rather have paywalls than widespread ads. At least it's the normal arrangement that way: you create something valuable, I pay for it. Very clear cut. With ads that relationship is blurry.
IMO most bloggers are not living by writing blogs, the blogs post are used usually for promotion or other reasons and not to make a few cents.
Newspapers are a different thing.
In that case, if their content is just self-promotion and doesn't have a lot of value, fewer people will pay.
EDIT: Really puzzled by the downvotes, care to elaborate?
Still weird that some person wants to promote some conference and fine volunteers and puts it under a paywall.
2) I can't speak for others, but paywalls have convinced me to give money to zero entities. I do subscribe to a couple, but making me delete my cookies was not their sales tactic.
3) Completely aside from all that, none of this says anything about HN, and is worth discussion. If I post a link to one of the sites I subscribe to with a larger price tag, where's the line? At what point does it damage conversation? I wonder if, on average, there's less discussion of paywalled links, or if the participant pool is different.
Just as one datapoint, I think Google News should not include WSJ links in the default feed. It is nothing but an ad, which is ironic considering the rest of news.google.com is ad-free.
I would be very surprised. ML is basically advanced applied mathematics and requires a high level of technical literacy. Africa in general lags the world in most fields of STEM. There are plenty of examples where some developing country has better cell networks than the US but fails to come close to Western cutting edge research.
The list of Nobel laureates is full of hyphenated-American scientists who were born and educated elsewhere.
- Kenya has a dominant electronic currency, M-Pesa
- South Korea rapidly developed into a globally competitive developed country, despite being poor in the middle of the 20th century (same applies to Japan, just slightly less so).
I would have loved to have seem some photos of this industry out of Africa though.
Like the pass extraction of PNG  would make it somewhat possible, but you'd need to be dropping packets which you might as well receive. I don't think you'd be able to break after the first pass.
JPEG is probably worse.
However, the super-modern formats that are still gaining popularity, like WebP absolutely do support this. At the core of WebP is block prediction, so a low-bandwidth application might actually assume the values of certain blocks so it doesn't need to fetch them.
Besides, there are areas in Germany today where you can't get >1Mbit connections.
That said, running these images through any basic image compression utility will probably cut down the size by 50-70%
In some sites/blogs it's good to put many pictures. It really depends on your readers.
In HN people look more for content based articles and they don't care if an article is mostly text without pictures