In anticipation of the influence artificial intelligence (AI) will have on its operations, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has established a new unit to focus on how the company can embrace the technology.
Liquid’s chief strategy officer, Willie Oosthuysen, stated that the company is carefully exploring the influence of emerging technologies such as AI on its business, and has now established a dedicated team for that reason.
The move comes as the majority of South African IT leaders expect generative AI to have a high impact on their organisations shortly, surpassing other emerging technologies.
This is according to Salesforce’s recent State of IT study, which includes critical trends from IT leaders in 28 countries, including 200 from South Africa.
Over 4 000 IT leaders from around the world were polled for the report to learn about the trends, priorities, and problems driving the business and IT landscape.
Speaking to ITWeb last week on the sidelines of African Telecoms Digital Transformation Strategy Summit in Cape Town, Oosthuysen said: “We have started a whole function at group level for the business that will only look after AI, machine learning and the application for our own network and also how we service customers.
“We are at a stage where we are identifying where we can apply AI. We are building AI and strategy team that focuses on emerging technologies to identify the impact on Liquid and our customers and see how we can leverage it and monetise it in future.”
According to Oosthuysen, the Cassava Technologies-owned Liquid, which has strong African footprint, has also built and internal AI platform to enable employees to learn more about AI.
“We are encouraging our people to start learning and play around with AI. We created a learning platform to allow employees understand more about AI,” he said.
The gathering in Cape Town was attended by African telecom executives focusing on digital transformation strategy.
According to the event organisers, NOVACOM Summits, Africa’s digital transformation path has gained momentum and presents a $100 billion opportunity to connect people across the continent.
The main speaker for the event was Juliet Ehimuan, former director of Google West Africa.
Ehimuan was a driving force behind Google’s transformational digital efforts, such as Get Nigeria Businesses Online and the localisation of Google Maps, Streetview, and YouTube.ng.
Ehimuan told ITWeb that digital transformation is gaining traction on the continent as more people connect, and that there has been a tremendous year-on-year increase in Africans going online, which has opened new opportunities, particularly in the digital economy.
“We should fully continue to lean on technology, African governments should continue to look at enabling the environment, accelerate and stimulate growth of digital economy. The internet needs to be a lot more affordable and available for the average user in Africa. There is a lot of work for governments to stimulate investments and help develop infrastructure,” she said.