South Africa's Pelonomi Moiloa Builds AI Tools for Africa 

By : Melchior Koba

Date : mardi, 21 mai 2024 16:03

After her  biomedical and electrical engineering studies, she developed an interest in artificial intelligence. Today, she is considered one of the most influential figures in the AI field worldwide.

Pelonomi Moiloa (photo) is a South African entrepreneur. As the co-founder and CEO of Lelapa AI, she is dedicated to developing artificial intelligence products.

Founded in 2022, Lelapa AI is an AI research lab focused on Africa. By creating this company, Pelonomi Moiloa, convinced that developing countries need their own language models, uses AI to aid in the natural language processing of African languages.

"Language models created elsewhere lack an understanding of the local context. They can harbor perspectives that can be damaging to the communities that use them. If there is anyone who should benefit from profit generated from a language — a cultural heirloom — it should be the people to whom that language belongs," she explains.

One of Lelapa AI's innovations is Vulavula, an application that performs transcriptions to facilitate reading and allows for quick analysis of the emotional tone of voice messages. Translation features are being developed to enrich the platform.

In addition to her responsibilities at Lelapa AI, Pelonomi Moiloa is the director of The Ungovernable NPC, an organization that offers programs and projects to rethink entrepreneurship. She graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in 2015 with a degree in electrical engineering and from Tohoku University in Japan in 2019 with a master's degree in biomedical engineering.

Pelonomi Moiloa worked at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) between 2014 and 2016 as a data science intern. From 2019 to 2022, she was a data scientist and team leader at Nedbank in Johannesburg.

In recognition of her achievements, Pelonomi Moiloa was named by Time magazine in 2023 as one of the 100 most influential people in AI worldwide.

Melchior Koba



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