AI searches surge in Kenya – Google reports
Google has disclosed that searches related to artificial intelligence (AI) have reached an all-time high in Kenya in 2023.
The search giant’s data highlights a remarkable surge of interest, with searches for AI surpassing previous records by 270% compared to the previous year and a staggering 400% growth over the past five years.
Kenyan internet users are avidly seeking knowledge about AI, with search terms such as “how to use artificial intelligence?” (+350%), “what is an AI?” (+300%), “how AI works” (+200%), and “how to make artificial intelligence” (+200%) all witnessing notable trends.
Google introduced its conversational AI service, Bard, in Kenya in English in March and subsequently in Swahili in July.
The company views AI as a transformative force with the potential to benefit individuals, businesses, and communities.
Google has also committed to advancing AI responsibly, emphasizing responsible regulation, collaborative efforts to ensure AI’s ethical use, and a focus on leveraging AI for the public good.
Beyond just seeking information, Kenyans are also actively exploring ways to harness AI to enhance their productivity, spark creativity, and advance their careers.
Notably, search interest in AI-related job opportunities has surged by an astonishing 5,000% this year.
Additionally, searches related to using AI in CV or resume building have increased by 1,150%, and AI course searches have doubled (+100%).
The trend extends to AI-driven tools, with searches for “free AI image generator” (+2,500%), “AI music generator” (+2,200%), “AI website builder” (+1,600%), “AI video generator” (+1,400%), and “logo maker AI” (+1,150%) all on the rise.
Agnes Gathaiya, Director of East Africa at Google, expressed enthusiasm for Kenya’s burgeoning interest in AI and its potential.
She emphasized Google’s commitment to fostering responsible AI development in Kenya, ensuring that the technology is harnessed for maximum benefit while mitigating misuse.
In addition to AI, Kenyans are increasingly focused on career development and skill acquisition. Searches for AI courses have surged by 100%.
Other trending searches include “online business from home” (+250% since last year) and “how to register a business” (+200%).
Kenyan individuals are also strongly inclined to gain certifications, particularly in digital skills.
Searches for courses related to virtual assistance (+450%), data analysis (+200%), digital marketing (+200%), and cybersecurity (+100%) have all seen significant increases this year.
Google, a proponent of digital skill development, has trained over 7 million people across Africa through its Grow with Google program since 2015.
The company’s Career Certificates offer job seekers opportunities to reskill without needing a college degree or prior experience, offering certifications in data analytics, UX design, and digital marketing.
Cybersecurity remains a top concern for Kenyans, with searches for terms like “DNS hijacking” (+350%), “click fraud” (+150%), and “voice phishing” (+100%) all trending upward.
Moreover, Kenyans are increasingly vigilant against misinformation, with searches for “fake news” up by over 5,000% over the past decade. During the same period, searches for “fact-checking” and “disinformation” have also risen by 2,700% and 1,150%, respectively.
Searches for “how to identify fake news” have grown by 200%, while searches for “types of disinformation” have increased by 60%.
Google has been employing AI to tackle security challenges and misinformation.
Gmail, for example, utilizes AI to automatically block 99.9% of malware, phishing, and spam, protecting over 1.5 billion inboxes.
Engineers collaborate with fact-checkers and publishers through the Google News Initiative to employ AI-enabled tools to identify and combat misinformation.