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Epnet Live Streaming watch SA Institute of Electrical Engineers

65th Bernard Price Memorial Lecture


presented by Prof Tshilidzi Marwala

At the National Museum of Military History, Erlswold Way, Saxonwold, Johannesburg

The first industrial revolution which occurred in Britain in the 17th and 18th century was an epoch in economic development which ushered the use of machines in production and they were powered by steam engines. The second industrial revolution gave us electricity, automobiles and airplanes. The third industrial revolution gave us the digital age as well as internet and was spurred by the discovery of the transistor.


The fourth industrial revolution is characterized by making systems as well as machines intelligent and connected. The underlying technology of the fourth industrial revolution is artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence is a paradigm where physical and social phenomena are programmed to solve complex problems. AI enables machines to learn, adapt, evolve and optimize and has had a profound impact in diverse fields such as engineering, medical sciences and social sciences.


Some of the AI paradigms that are discussed in this talk include machine learning algorithms such as neural networks which have been inspired by the mechanism in which the human brain works, evolutionary programming techniques which include genetic algorithms which are inspired by the mechanism of natural evolution, as well as social programming such as particle swarm optimization which is inspired by the way in which birds flock together.

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