Southern African Conference for Artificial Intelligence Research

AI for Science, Technology and Society


6 - 10 December 2021

The Centre for AI Research is pleased to announce SACAIR2021, the Southern African Artificial Intelligence Conference: Artificial Intelligence for Science, Technology and Society.

SACAIR2021, will be hosted ONLINE, from 6 – 10 December 2021.
SACAIR2020 is the third international conference focused on Artificial Intelligence hosted by the Centre for AI Research (CAIR) – and the second to be held under the SACAIR brand. The conference will build on the successes of the past two conferences: the inaugural conference that was held in Cape Town in December 2019 and the virtual SACAIR2020 held on 22 – 26 February 2021.

The Centre for AI Research (CAIR) is a South African distributed research network that was established in 2011 with the aim of building world-class Artificial Intelligence research capacity in South Africa. CAIR conducts foundational, directed and applied research into various aspects of AI through its nine research groups based at six universities (the University of Pretoria, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape and North-West University).

The theme for this year’s event will be ‘Artificial Intelligence for Science, Technology and Society’ and will focus on the following areas of Artificial Intelligence: Philosophy and Ethics of AI, AI Information Systems, AI in the Humanities and Society, Applications and Theory of Statistical Machine Learning, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Quantum Artificial Intelligence, Applications and Theory of Deep Learning, and Computer Vision and Image Processing.

This multi- and interdisciplinary conference is expected to grow into the premier AI conference in Southern Africa and will bring together nationally and internationally established and emerging researchers from across various disciplines including Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, Informatics, Humanities and Philosophy. The conference will, as in the past, also focus on growing a formidable network of talented students working in AI from across Africa.

The programme includes an unconference for students on 6 December 2021 (a student-driven event for students to interact with each other as well as with sponsors and other possible employers), a day of tutorials on 7 December 2021 and the main conference from 8 – 10 December 2021.



SACAIR2021 will use the Zoom online meeting application and the Slack communication platform to encourage interaction before and between Zoom conference sessions. Please visit the Guidelines page for more information.