Google Brings the Magic of Artificial Intelligence to Africa

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Many of the products, apps and devices we use on a daily basis have been hugely improved by the use of machine learning technology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.

In order to bridge the gap in the use of AI to solve problems in the Western world, Google Africa has launched a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence Center in Accra.

Moustapha Cisse, Head of AI Google Africa emphasized on the importance of this new laboratory and what it means for Africa.

“This center will bring top machine learning researchers and engineers dedicated to AI research and its applications”, Cisse said at the launch.

The AI lab will focus on problems that are peculiar to Africans and their immediate environment.

Cisse also said, “The office will be based in Accra but we will collaborate with institutions across Africa. The team is international and it is made up of ten people coming from different countries.”

In farming, devices that will be able to do quick diagnosis of crop diseases in order to allow farmers across Africa to increase their yields will be given a priority.

The center will also focus on using machine learning to do analysis of satellite images of the major cities and towns on the continent. This will fill the information gap with alternative data sources and as well as help support population policy decisions of countries in Africa.

In June last year, Google announced the opening of the centre with its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sundar PichaI saying, “we’re committed to collaborating with local universities and research centers, as well as working with policy makers on the potential uses of AI in Africa”.

The new AI center in Accra joins the list of other locations where we focus on AI, including Paris, Zurich, Tokyo, Beijing, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle, Cambridge/Boston, Tel Aviv/Haifa, New York, and Google’s Mountain View/San Francisco headquarters.

The Accra team include Jorg Doku (Software Engineer), Sara Hooker (Google Brain Researcher) and Mohammed Nassar (Software Engineer), Andrea Frome (Software Engineer), Yann Dauphin (Research Scientist) and Nyallen Moorosi (Software Engineer) and four other researchers and engineers.


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