Wonders of the World: NVIDIA Emerging Chapters Program Spurs AI Innovation Across Developing Countries

The new program supports local communities in emerging markets to build and scale their AI, data science and graphics projects.
by Kate Kallot

Two artists, if given the same paint set, would create distinct works — each showcasing their own points of view. This is especially likely if the artists were to hail from opposite ends of the world.

Similarly, developers across the globe use the same tools to create different AI-based applications, each solving challenges relevant to their local community.

Give an NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit to an AI enthusiast in San Francisco, for example, and they will create an AI-based app that analyzes yoga poses. With that same tool, developers in the tinyML Kenya community are building AI systems for wildlife monitoring and conservation. Innovation is happening in each place, so long as the developers have access to technologies and enablement tools.

NVIDIA Emerging Chapters is a new program that enables local communities in emerging areas to build and scale their AI, data science and graphics projects. It provides technological tools, educational resources and co-marketing opportunities for these developers.

Members of Emerging Chapters have access to training and development opportunities through the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute (DLI). This includes free passes to take select self- or instructor-led courses on AI and data science. Upon course completion, developers can receive an NVIDIA DLI Certificate to highlight their new skills and help advance their careers.

Since the program’s launch this year, 30+ African developer community groups — including seven founded by women — have joined Emerging Chapters, fostering a growing network of AI experts. The program is now expanding to Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and other emerging markets that are hungry for more AI and related technology.

Reflecting the World’s Diversity

With Emerging Chapters, NVIDIA hopes to help mend what’s called the technology fracture — the gap between developers in the global North and those in emerging markets.

“This program is not about charity, it’s about innovation and business,” said Amulya Vishwanath, strategic program lead on NVIDIA’s emerging areas team. “It’s crucial to get communities in emerging areas access to AI technology, which they can then use to make their own, ensuring the developer community is more reflective of the world’s true diversity.”

By spurring innovation in collaboration with local communities, the program can cultivate AI solutions that most pertain to grassroot developers and their direct ecosystem, while also democratizing the global AI movement.

“With Emerging Chapters, NVIDIA is taking active steps toward positively contributing to the growing trend of technology in emerging markets,” said Michael Young, co-founder of the Python Ghana community. “NVIDIA helped us bring growing AI engineers from across the country together for live, online training sessions with experts.”

Fueling Innovation in Africa

Africa is an emerging market in which the AI revolution is underway. African developers are using AI and NVIDIA technology, for example, to maximize crop yields and honor Olympic athletes.

Early members of the Emerging Chapters program include DeepLearning.AI Kenya, an education technology company that empowers individuals in the AI workforce; NERD Ethiopia, a youth center that provides a hacker space and educational resources for AI research; and tinyML Kenya, a community of machine learning researchers and practitioners.

“TinyML Kenya joining NVIDIA Emerging Chapters was such a timely, game-changing move for our community,” said Clinton Oduor, the foundation’s lead organizer. “The program has allowed our members to meet industry leaders, learn new skills, earn certifications and solve real-world problems.”

Zindi, Africa’s first data science competition platform, is also a member. The organization has an ambassador program made up of data science community leaders from 20+ African countries.

“It’s great to be able to support people doing such excellent work with the help of the Emerging Chapters program,” said Celina Lee, Zindi’s co-founder and CEO.

Allowing AI Access for All

To bolster individuals who seek to work with AI, HPC, graphics and more, NVIDIA offers a range of opportunities including the NVIDIA Developer Program — which has more than 2.5 million members — and NVIDIA Inception, which offers go-to-market support, expertise and technology for AI and data science startups.

In addition, the company’s GTC conference, running Nov. 8-11, will feature a track focused on emerging markets. The conference is virtual, free and has sessions 24/7.

Over 20,000 developers from emerging markets tuned in to learn about AI innovation at our last GTC — and the appetite for developer resources is only growing.

For more on global AI innovation, register for GTC.

Read more stories about NVIDIA Emerging Chapters and join the program.