BONGANI SIT­HOLE (37)

Destiny Man - - ED’S NOTE -

Co-founder and MD: Black­Beard Tech­nol­ogy, Jo­han­nes­burg

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) has the po­ten­tial to dou­ble SA’s growth rate, and ac­cel­er­ate the rate of prof­itabil­ity by 35% by 2035. But while this hap­pens, how will tech­nol­ogy drive new in­dus­tries and cre­ate new jobs?

That’s one of the ques­tions which fas­ci­nate Sit­hole, who co-founded Black­Beard Tech­nol­ogy – an or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vid­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions from ro­bot­ics to AI – with Wayne Zweirs in 2016. The com­pany’s since es­tab­lished an in­ter­na­tional of­fice in Ire­land and is cur­rently eye­ing Eastern Europe.

Sit­hole’s fo­cus is now on build­ing it into a glob­ally com­pet­i­tive busi­ness and then part­ner­ing with brands seek­ing to adopt tech­nol­ogy as a rev­enue-driver. “Although the pre­dic­tions for the im­pact of AI on the South African busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment are ex­cit­ing, the re­al­ity is that we aren’t ready to har­ness its po­ten­tial. There’s a lot of plan­ning, in­vest­ment and pol­icy-mak­ing to be done be­fore lo­cal busi­nesses and de­ci­sion­mak­ers can be­gin to use this trans­for­ma­tive tech­nol­ogy. The in­ter­est­ing thing about

AI is that it cuts through in­dus­tries, so the play­ing field is there for South African com­pa­nies to de­cide where to ap­ply the tech­nol­ogy: ei­ther to re­duce costs or in­crease their mar­ket share,” he says.

“The in­ter­est­ing thing about AI is that it cuts through in­dus­tries, so the play­ing field is there for South African com­pa­nies to de­cide where to ap­ply the tech­nol­ogy.”

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