Google has revealed that searches for artificial intelligence, or AI, are at an all-time high in Kenya. Search trends show that people have searched for AI more than ever in 2023 so far, with interest rising 270% since last year – and 400% over the last five years.
Searches for “How to use artificial intelligence? (+350%), “What is an AI?” (+300%), “How AI works” (+200%), and “How to make artificial intelligence” (+200%) are all trending.
Google, which released their conversational AI service Bard in Kenya in English in March and Swahili in July, sees AI as having huge potential to help people, businesses, and communities. Google has committed to pursuing AI responsibly, which includes advocating for responsible regulation, working in partnership with others to get AI right, and prioritizing the technology’s purpose for the public good.
As well as turning to Google Search to better understand AI, people in Kenya have begun to look to use AI to increase their productivity, capture their imagination, and build their careers. Search interest in AI about jobs increased by over 5,000% this year – while searches for AI about CV or resume building increased by 1,150% and searches about AI courses doubled (+100%). 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 also increased.
Agnes Gathaiya, Director, of East Africa said: “It’s great to see people in Kenya showing such a keen interest in the transformational technology that is AI. People in Africa and across the world are already using and benefiting from responsibly developed AI-based tools every day – but the speed of technological advancement is accelerating, and while it’s exhilarating to see these breakthroughs, we must get it right here in Kenya. We’re committed to working boldly, responsibly, and together with Kenya to maximize the potential of AI, while minimizing its abuse.
The trends, released today, also show that people in Kenya are increasingly interested in building their careers and learning new skills.
People in Kenya are also turning to Google looking for resources to build their careers. Searches for AI courses increased by 100%, while searches for “online business from home” have increased by 250% since last year, and “how to register a business” has increased by 200%.
People in Kenya are also looking to gain new certifications, particularly in digital skills – with searches for courses in virtual assistance (+450%), data analysis (+200%), digital marketing (+200%), and cybersecurity (+100%) all increasing significantly this year.
Google itself offers digital skills training – and has trained over 7 million people across Africa through its Grow with Google program since 2015. Google’s Career Certificates also offer a unique opportunity for job seekers to reskill, without the need for a college degree or prior experience: and offers certifications including data analytics, UX design, and digital marketing.
People in Kenya also care about protecting their cybersecurity and fighting misinformation.
The trends released by Google today also show that people in Kenya continue to be concerned about protecting their cybersecurity. Searches for “DNS hijacking” (+350%), “click fraud” (+150%), and “voice phishing” (+100%) are all trending, having increased significantly since last year.
Search interest in misinformation has also increased: with searches for “fake news” increasing by over 5,000% over the past ten years, while searches for “fact-checking” and “disinformation” rose by 2,700% and 1,150% respectively over the past ten years. Searches for “how to identify fake news” have increased by 200%, while searches for “types of disinformation” have increased by 60%.
Google is using AI to address security challenges and misinformation. Gmail automatically blocks 99.9% of malware, phishing, and spam, and protects more than 1.5 billion inboxes using AI – while through the Google News Initiative, engineers are working directly with fact-checkers and publishers to use AI-enabled tools to find and tackle misinformation.
Meanwhile, Jigsaw, a team within Google that develops technology to counter online harms, has partnered with local experts and academics to develop approaches to both directly counter disinformation and help people more easily identify and refute it.