As Africa gears up to be the second-fastest growing region in the world, the continent’s expansion promises heightened innovation and a transformative shift in business practices and technology utilisation.

By Yesh Surjoodeen, MD of HP in Southern Africa

The ways in which we engage with our devices witnessed its early transformation with the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting our everyday devices with the internet and delivering seamless connection between people, processes, and various systems.

AI, once quietly automating processes in the background, has now entered a new era with the unprecedently fast adoption of generative AI. This evolution in human-tech interaction is more than just a trend; it’s a fundamental change that will permanently reshape our daily lives and work routines.

And as we usher in an AI era, this industry and life-altering technology could contribute up to $15,7-trillion to the global economy in 2030 – $6,6-trillion of which is likely to come from increased productivity.

While generative AI has been making headlines for its continued development of the way that content is crafted and consumed – its speed, effectiveness and efficiency are what make an even stronger argument for why it’s gaining popularity.

Africa may be lagging behind in comparison to the West in its uptake of AI, but through its ease of resource allocation, optimization of automation processes, and augmentation of the labor force – it is little wonder why it is proving to be more than just a fad and rather becoming a cause of genuine optimism of what is possible.

The era of the personal companion

AI is set to change the role of the personal computer – just as profoundly as the internet did – bringing forth avenues for increased creativity by empowering them with tools to create and not just consume technology.

In collaboration with our silicon and software partners, HP is redesigning PC architecture to suit an AI-driven world, aiming for users to get to experience this transformation on our latest models by 2024. Leveraging our engineering prowess, we’re crafting robust machines optimised for running local AI models.

These models can seamlessly utilize the hybrid cloud and local inferencing, ensuring offline functionality. Local inferencing not only reduces latency but also enhances data privacy, security, energy efficiency, and reduces the cost of access.

In October last year, we held our first HP Imagine event at our Palo Alto offices in Silicon Valley in the US, debuting a line-up of PCs, printers, workforce solutions and AI tools – among others – showcasing our engineering strengths and ingenuity.

As we reimagine what’s possible with the PC – we also need to reimagine what this era of flexibility and sustainability calls for, particularly for the African context. With hybrid working environments having created lasting transformation in the local business sector, our devices have also had to become optimised for intelligent yet also intuitive performance.

Human creativity takes centre stage

Recent studies highlight AI’s positive impact on knowledge worker productivity and quality in various daily tasks. ChatGPT-4, for instance, has shown remarkable improvements: a 25% increase in speed, over 40% enhancement in human-rated performance, and more than 12% improvement in task completion.

Imagine your personal companion integrating internal company data and personalized information, accelerating tasks like customer insights, financial assessments, and presentations with the efficiency of local AI and real-time delivery.

As AI boosts hardware performance, leading software applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, Audacity, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Microsoft Office suite are optimising for faster, more personalised support through local AI processing.

The dawn of AI has ushered in a new dawn for the PC – one where reinvention and innovation will make way for greater efficiency in the way we do business and live our lives.