'Maletšabisa (Tšabi) Molapo is a Research Scientist and the Technical Lead for Natural Language Processing at IBM Research - Africa (Johannesburg lab). Her research interests lie at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence (AI). She designs, builds, deploys and evaluates AI solutions for rural and low-income urban areas in Africa, with applications in education and healthcare. Within AI research, she is interested in Natural Language Processing, AI Ethics and fairness, and human-centred machine intelligence.
She completed a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT), based at the centre in ICT for Development (ICT4D). At UCT, she conducted research on the co-design of data-driven health-education solutions for rural areas, working with Community Health Workers in Lesotho. She also holds an MSc in Computer Science from UCT and a BEng in Computer Systems and Networks from the National University of Lesotho (NUL).
Before joining IBM, she worked at Praekelt.org, conducting user research, experience design and the evaluation of mobile solutions for girls, mothers and youth in various African and Asian countries. She also spent several years as a Computer Science lecturer at NUL.
Among others, she is a Mandela Rhodes scholar, a Google Anita Borg Memorial scholar, a Canon Collins scholar, a Schlumberger Faculty for The Future fellow and a fellow of the Moremi Initiative for Women's Leadership in Africa. She has been awarded the Queen's Young Leaders Award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the South African Women in Science Research Award, and the World Bank/MMMF Award for her commitment to improving the wellness and education of African women and children.