The establishment of IIS is gives a more optimistic vision for the future of humans and machine, particularly about augmented human intelligence. IIS aims to bring together the foremost academics and researchers, intellectual leaders and experts to develop innovative ways of integrating South African thought and research through leading-edge sciences and engineering.
Speaking ahead of the official launch, Professor Paul Babu, the Director of the new Institute, pointed out that South Africa is continuing its transformation journey as it responds to the disruptions and opportunities of the technological revolution.
“The current transition sees the country increasingly emerging with a dual role: stimulating the fourth industrial revolution and embedding its initiatives into its operations. In this context, the role of research and innovation towards a coherent, fact-based response to 4IR can never be overemphasised,” said Prof Babu.
He said several collaborations and partnerships are being pursued, with the aim of aligning the drive to embed 4IR in the South African context and breaking the silos hindering integration between government, academia, industry and other relevant stakeholders.
Prof Babu concluded that serious challenges in society and industry – such as fraud-prevention, better water resource management, efficient and inexpensive energy, advanced education and better health care – are some of the challenges that IIS aims to tackle more effectively, using a combination of big data and intelligent systems designed to analyse, act and improve. “These intelligent systems are creating new opportunities for industry and business, and new experience for users and consumers,” said Prof Babu.