The AI sector in Africa might have just gotten a boost as tech giant, Google, has just announced it plans to launch an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research centre in Africa later this year in Accra, Ghana. This was made known in a blog post yesterday.
Today, we announced a Google AI research center in Africa, which will open later this year in Accra, Ghana. We’re excited to combine our research interests in machine learning and our experience in Africa to push the boundaries of AI. https://t.co/pBs4tcp62V
— Google AI (@GoogleAI) June 14, 2018
This development is as a result of the continent’s increasing interest in machine learning research and a continued growth of the computer science research community in Africa. And to drive the centre’s efficiency, Google would be bringing together top machine learning researchers and engineers to this new center – people who are dedicated to AI research and its applications.
The blog post stated:
We’re excited to combine our research interests in AI and machine learning and our experience in Africa to push the boundaries of AI while solving challenges in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, and education… AI has great potential to positively impact the world, and more so if the world is well represented in the development of new AI technologies. So it makes sense to us that the world should be well represented in the development of AI.
If you're a machine learning researcher interested in working in Accra, Ghana, apply: https://t.co/YgntDigTJt
— Jeff Dean (@🏡) (@JeffDean) June 13, 2018
Google said that the new AI research centre will work closely with local universities, other research centers, and policymakers on the potential uses of AI in Africa. As well as provide opportunities for machine learning researchers to join the centre in the capacity of a Research Scientist or a Research Software Engineer.
Why Accra and not Lagos or Nairobi?
Indeed, deciding on the location was a difficult decision. In the end, we chose Accra because of a strong ecosystem of local universities, 1/3
— Jeff Dean (@JeffDean) June 14, 2018
When the question was posed on Twitter as to why Accra was chosen ahead of all other technology-driven cities in Africa, Jean Dean, Senior Fellow, Google AI, responded saying:
Indeed, deciding on the location was a difficult decision. In the end, we chose Accra because of a strong ecosystem of local universities, its proximity to a branch of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (aims.edu.gh/ ), and our experience in the country, it is our hope that over time we can consider other research locations as well.
This is Google’s first center devoted solely to AI research in Africa and, and not only that its the first from any tech giant. This new AI research centre in Accra joins the list of all other Google AI centres including Paris, Beijing, San Francisco headquarters, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle, Cambridge, Tel Aviv, New York, Zurich, and Tokyo.
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