Kenya’s AI Frenzy: Google Unveils Soaring Search Trends in 2023

AI Interest Skyrockets in Kenya

  • Google reveals record-high AI searches in Kenya, with a 270% increase in interest compared to last year.
  • Kenyans seek AI knowledge, driving a 5,000% spike in job-related AI searches and a 100% increase in AI course inquiries.
  • Rising interest in digital skills, with searches for virtual assistance (+450%) and data analysis (+200%) courses soaring.
  • Kenyan users express cybersecurity worries with searches related to "DNS hijacking" (+350%) and "click fraud" (+150%).
  • Google deploys AI to combat misinformation, blocking 99.9% of malware, phishing, and spam in Gmail and partnering with fact-checkers to tackle fake news.

Google has unveiled compelling insights into the burgeoning interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) within Kenya. The search trends provided by Google indicate that Kenyan residents have been fervently searching for AI-related topics, with an unprecedented surge of 270% in 2023 compared to the previous year and an astounding 400% increase over the last five years.

Notably, several key AI-related queries have seen significant spikes in search activity, reflecting Kenyans’ eagerness to understand and harness the potential of AI. Searches such as “how to use artificial intelligence?” surged by 350%, “what is an AI?” by 300%, “how AI works” by 200%, and “how to make artificial intelligence” by 200% have all been trending among internet users in the country.

This heightened interest in AI aligns with Google’s commitment to responsibly leverage AI’s capabilities for the betterment of individuals, businesses, and communities. Google has been at the forefront of promoting AI ethics, advocating for responsible regulations, collaborating with various stakeholders, and prioritizing AI’s application for the public good.

Google introduced its conversational AI service, Bard, to the Kenyan market earlier this year, offering support in both English and Swahili. This move reflects Google’s commitment to democratizing AI and making it accessible to diverse communities.

Furthermore, Kenyan residents are actively exploring AI’s potential to enhance their productivity, stimulate creativity, and advance their careers. Searches related to AI jobs skyrocketed by over 5,000% this year, while inquiries regarding AI in CV or resume building surged by 1,150%. Interest in AI courses doubled, with a 100% increase in searches.

These trends also extend to AI-powered tools and applications, with searches for “free AI image generator” spiking by 2,500%, “AI music generator” by 2,200%, “AI website builder” by 1,600%, “AI video generator” by 1,400%, and “logo maker AI” by 1,150%.

Agnes Gathaiya, Director, East Africa at Google, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “It’s great to see people in Kenya showing such a keen interest in the transformational technology that is AI. We’re committed to working boldly, responsibly, and together with Kenya to maximize the potential of AI while minimizing its abuse.”

Google’s commitment to fostering digital skills development in Kenya is evident through its offerings in online courses. Searches for AI courses increased by 100%, while inquiries into “online business from home” surged by 250%, and “how to register a business” increased by 200%.

Moreover, Kenyans are keen on acquiring certifications in digital skills, with substantial growth in searches for courses related to virtual assistance (+450%), data analysis (+200%), digital marketing (+200%), and cybersecurity (+100%).

Google’s dedication to digital skills development is underscored by its “Grow with Google” program, which has trained over 7 million people across Africa since 2015. Google’s Career Certificates offer opportunities for individuals to reskill without needing a college degree or prior experience, covering areas such as data analytics, UX design, and digital marketing.

In addition to AI and digital skills, Kenyans have also been vigilant about safeguarding their cybersecurity and combating misinformation. Searches for “DNS hijacking” rose by 350%, “click fraud” by 150%, and “voice phishing” by 100%. Concerns about misinformation are evident with searches for “fake news” surging by over 5,000% in the past decade. Searches for “fact-checking” and “disinformation” rose by 2,700% and 1,150%, respectively, over the same period. Interest in “how to identify fake news” increased by 200%, while searches for “types of disinformation” grew by 60%.

Google, through its AI-driven tools, is actively addressing these concerns. Gmail, for instance, automatically blocks 99.9% of malware, phishing, and spam, protecting over 1.5 billion inboxes using AI. Furthermore, the Google News Initiative collaborates with fact-checkers and publishers, utilizing AI-powered tools to identify and counter misinformation. Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Google, works with local experts and academics to develop strategies to combat disinformation and enhance users’ ability to detect and refute it.

As Kenya continues to embrace AI and digital skills, Google remains committed to fostering responsible AI use and helping Kenyan individuals and businesses thrive in the digital era.

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