Google's first Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab in Africa is now open for business. Google first announced plans to open the AI reasearch in Accra in 2018 stating that they are committed to collaborating with Ghana's universities and other research centers while working with policy makers on the potential uses of AI across Africa.

Google has said that its team in Accra is working on building AI-powered solutions to real-world problems, including helping communities in Africa and beyond to improve their lives.

Google AI Accra Ghana
Moustapha Cisse, Head of Google AI research center in Accra, Ghana.

"Google’s AI Centre was opened in Ghana because in order to build technology that benefits people everywhere, it needs to be built by people with a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints. The researchers of Google AI centre in Accra bring a fresh perspective and expertise to build new technologies in Africa that can contribute positively to life here, as well as around the globe, " reads a statement from Google.

Artificial Intelligence and diversity

We often complain about how Artificial Intelligence and digital technology solutions are biased against Africans. Whether it be heart rate monitors that don't work on darker skin shades or facial regnition technology that barely correctly identifies faces of Africans, there is no denying that diversity and inclusion in designing digital technology solutions, especially those that use AI, is important.

This is why it's encouraging to hear Google state that Google AI Accra forms part of its structured efforts to explore and integrate more diverse experiences / learnings beyond present-day centres of innovation. ‘AI by Africa, for the world’ helps us highlight the crucial role that this new centre will be playing in our vision of using AI to solve problems for everyone, in every part of the world.

Google’s AI for Social Good program includes projects such as flood prediction, earthquake aftershocks, environmental protection, healthcare, and more.

Cover image credit: Indepence Sqiare, Accra.

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