After its announcement in July, Google has officially opened its first African artificial intelligence lab in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Prior to the new lab, Google already had AI labs in New York, Paris, and Tokyo.
Moustapha Cisse leads Google’s AI teams in Africa and also serves as the founder and director of the Masters in Machine Intelligence at African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
“Most of what we do in our research centers at Google and not just in Accra, we publish it and open-source code, so that everybody can use it to build all sorts of things,” Cisse told CNN.
Google has been building out its AI efforts, which have also caught the attention of civil rights groups claiming technologies like facial recognition endanger minority groups.
Google’s presence in Africa also highlights the continent’s booming tech scene. Africa-based startups like Kobo360 and OneFi have recently expanded throughout the area. South Africa’s government even created a fund to bolster up tech companies in the country and boost its economy.
“When we do science, the results of our research, usually and hopefully, because it is of good quality, goes way further than we expect and we are hoping to see the same things happen here in Accra and across Africa,” Cisse said to CNN.