BONGANI SITHOLE (37)
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.”