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


Accra, Ghana | AFP | by Kent MENSAH

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.

A journalist stands next to a Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) poster during the presentation of the first AI centre in Africa at Marriott hotel in Accra on April 10, 2019. – This centre is the first AI centre established in Africa by Google. (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP)

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

“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.

Read: Will artificial intelligence be the future of music?

Similar research centres 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 organisations 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.

Read: Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia

“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.
Related:
Bose QuietComfort 25 noise-canceling headphones hit an all-time low: $120

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.

Read: How Pac-Man Might Make Artificial Intelligence Even Smarter

“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.

str-joa-ek/dcr/boc/kaf

© Agence France-Presse


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format