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April 15, 2019
GHANA - Africa will soon become home to its first AI research lab following the opening of a new artificial intelligence center in Ghana by Google.
The lab, which will open in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, will be similar in structure and intent as Google's other AI research centers in global destinations such as Tokyo, Zurich, New York, and Paris.
It will aim to address critical economic, political, and environmental issues across the African content using the power of AI and machine learning.
"Africa has many challenges where the use of AI could be beneficial, sometimes even more than in other places," said Google's Head of AI in Accra, Moustapha Cisse, at the center's official opening last week.
Cisse went on to outline Google's partnerships with universities and startups in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa to build a regional AI ecosystem, saying that he hoped specialist engineers and AI researchers would collaborate with local organisations and policymakers.
"We just need to ensure that the right education and opportunities are in place. That is why Google is sponsoring a lot of these young people for their degrees... to help develop a new generation of AI developers."
The new lab, he said, will deploy AI across use cases in healthcare, education, and agriculture - such as helping to diagnose certain types of crop disease. It will also aim to enhance Google Translate's efficacy in translating African languages effectively.
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