The Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) is a South African national research network that conducts foundational, directed and applied research into various aspects of Artificial Intelligence. CAIR has nodes at five South African universities: the University of Cape Town, University of KwaZulu-Natal, North-West University, University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University. It is coordinated and managed by the Meraka Institute at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
CAIR was founded by Prof. Tommie Meyer and Dr. Deshen Moodley in November 2011 as a joint research centre between the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In 2015 CAIR expanded to four other South African universities with the CSIR playing a coordinating role. CAIR is primarily funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), as part of the implementation of South Africa's ICT Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap. Advances in ICT supported by the RDI Roadmap aim to guide South Africa to a state of digital advantage that will strengthen economic competitiveness and enable an enhanced quality of life for all South Africans. The CSIR Meraka Institute, as an implementing body of the RDI, established CAIR as a National Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence Research.