South Africa’s public is invited to enrol in two free, fully online courses at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
The courses, titled: “An introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR)” and “African Insights” are short-term learning massive open online courses (MOOCs). According to a statement, members of the public can choose to enrol in either or both of the MOOCs.
There are no entry requirements or classes to attend, and all assessments are in the form of multiple choice questions. There are eight course programmes to complete in each MOOC, and a digital certificate will be issued on successful completion, which may be viewed and shared with third-parties or possible employers through the UJ Digital Certificate platform.
UJ vice-chancellor and principal professor Tshilidzi Marwala explains the introduction to AI course offers an AI module for all its participants. “The module covers what AI is, what it can do, how it’s used and some of its implications, ethically and productively. The course won’t teach you how to code, but it will show you how you can expect AI to impact your life.
“Our vision is to position UJ in 4IR, within the context of the changes in the social, economic, and political context of the African continent.” In terms of the African Insightscourse, it introduces students to intellectual traditions and debates in Africa, says Marwala.
Developed by the division of Academic Development and Support, UJ initially introduced the MOOCs for its students in 2019.
According to Marwala, the modules are part of UJ’s strategy to prepare students, staff and the community, in numerous ways, for the 4IR, as well as ensure the university becomes Africa’s epicentre of critical intellectual inquiry and a leader in 4IR.
“There can never be the African renaissance unless we are active agents of 4IR. The important ingredient that will ensure we are participants and not spectators of 4IR is education; education that is correlated to the demands of the fourth industrial age and that is grounded in the Pan-African agenda.”
Marwala points out the 4IR offers huge opportunity to transform and realign the education system, economics, politics and societies, as it integrates the physical with the biological and the digital.
“4IR is a catalyst which will transform society and its inclusion in the curricula is therefore required. Be adaptable, because 4IR is really about adaptability,” he concludes.
To enrol for the free online courses, click here.