• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigerians’ interest in AI surges over 17-fold in five years – Google

Google, an American multinational technology company, has said Nigerians’ interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) rose by 1,660 percent in the last five years.

New search trends released by Google show that search interest in AI has reached an all-time high in Nigeria, according to a statement.

“The trends show that people have searched for AI more than ever in 2023 so far, with interest rising 310 percent since last year, and by 1,660 percent in the last five years,” it said.

It said the most frequently asked questions about AI in the country include what it is, how it worked when it started, and how it would replace people’s jobs.

“Google’s research shows that AI is still a relatively new concept for many Nigerians, but there is a growing curiosity about its potential applications.”

According to Olumide Balogun, director of Google West Africa, AI is a groundbreaking technology capable of learning from its environment, experiences, and human interaction.

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“AI is a technology capable of learning from its environment, experiences, and human interaction. It excels at recognising patterns and making predictions. Human engineers train AI models by inputting data, enabling them to perform tasks like recognising objects. Once trained, these models can be deployed for various applications,” he said.

AI has its origins in the 1950s, with Alan Turing’s pioneering work on computing machinery and intelligence. The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ gained prominence in 1956 during the Dartmouth Summer Research Project in Artificial Intelligence. While not new, AI research has accelerated, especially in the past two decades.

“AI’s strength lies in pattern recognition and prediction. It has applications in healthcare, disaster monitoring, language tools, and more. Many people unknowingly use AI in their daily lives, from online language translation to navigation,” Balogun said.

He added that like any technology, AI’s impact depends on its use as it has the potential for both positive contributions, like spam prevention and flood forecasting, and negative consequences, such as spreading misinformation.

“Responsible development and regulation are essential to ensure its benefits outweigh its risks.”

He noted that the technology represents the next wave of technological advancement and will create new jobs while automating repetitive tasks and sparking creativity.

He added: “As technology has developed, so too has the job market. We’ll see a whole set of jobs that can grow – but the most profound change will be how many of our jobs will be assisted by technology.

“AI will become a partner to many of us, helping us not just to make the repetitive tasks of our work more efficient, but sparking creativity and enabling us to spend more time on the bits of our jobs that we love and that challenge us.”