Close  
  • share this

Google takes on ‘Africa’s challenges’ with first AI center in Ghana

/ 04:44 PM April 14, 2019
ghana google africa artificial intelligence

A worker of the Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) centre walks through a Google sign inside the office in Accra on April 10, 2019. – This centre is the first AI centre established in Africa by Google. AFP

ACCRA — An artificial intelligence research laboratory opened by Google in Ghana, the first of its kind in Africa, will take on challenges across the continent, researchers say.

The US technology giant said the lab in the capital Accra would address economic, political and environmental issues.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ: Google Workers Want Ultra-Conservative off AI Council

“Africa has many challenges where the use of AI could be beneficial, sometimes even more than in other places,” Google’s head of AI Accra, Moustapha Cisse, told AFP at the centre’s official opening this week.

FEATURED STORIES

Similar research centers have already opened in cities around the world including Tokyo, Zurich, New York and Paris.

The new lab, Cisse said, would use AI to develop solutions in healthcare, education and agriculture — such as helping to diagnose certain types of crop disease.

Cisse, an expert from Senegal, said he hoped specialist engineers and AI researchers would collaborate with local organizations and policymakers.

Google is working with universities and start-ups in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to enhance AI development regionally, he said.

“We just need to ensure that the right education and opportunities are in place,” he said.

“That is why Google is sponsoring a lot of these young people for their degrees… to help develop a new generation of AI developers.”

‘Clear opportunity’

Other tech companies, including Facebook, have launched initiatives in Africa and demographics are a key factor behind the drive.

Africa’s population is estimated to be 1.2 billion, 60 percent of them under the age of 24.

By 2050, the UN estimates the population will double to 2.4 billion.

As online social networks expand, that presents a huge market for US tech giants to tap into.

“There’s a clear opportunity for companies like Facebook and Google to really go in and put a pole in the sand,” said Daniel Ives, a technology researcher at GBH Insights in New York.

“If you look at Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, where is a lot of that growth coming from? It’s international,” he told AFP in a recent interview.

RELATED STORIES

Artificial Intelligence Black Box New Focus of Interest

Google Breaks up Artificial Intelligence Ethics Board

 

 

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Africa, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Ghana, Google, technology
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.