Moustapha Cisse positions Google first AI company in Africa

By ridhigrg |Email | Apr 15, 2019 | 1050 Views

An application is used by the farmer on TensorFlow, Googles Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine through which developers are benefited with creating the solutions for the problems of the real world. 

The words of John Quinn, an AI researcher, Artificial Intelligence is viewed with a perspective of science fiction movies but if we see the reality, it applies to everyday life from virtual assistants to language translation on Google.

Google now wants to position itself as an AI first company and with research centers across the globe in places such as Tokyo, Zurich, New York, and Paris.
And last week, the technology company opened its first center in Africa in Ghana's capital city, Accra.

Benefits of AI
Use of AI  is in multiple sectors like agriculture, health and education and Googles AI efforts are headed by the research scientist Moustapha Cisse and the main aim is to provide the meaningful research which is needed for building the products through which problems faced by Africa can easily be solved. 

He said that most of what we do in our research centers at Google and not just in Accra, we publish it and opensource code so that everybody can use it to build all sorts of things.

An app is told by Cisse through which cassavas disease can be mentioned and this app is used by Tanzanian farmer. 
A team of Pennsylvania University and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture using TensorFlow to build new artificial intelligence models that are deployed on phones to diagnose crop disease.
It is done by the people using the tools which are built by us.

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.

Cisse, an expert from Senegal, says the center directly engages with researchers in African universities by providing grants to those interested in the various fields of AI and giving Ph.D. scholarships.
He added that Google also supports graduate programs in Machine Learning at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in South Africa.
Cisse leads a team of nine others that include research scientists and software engineers. Team members come from nine different countries such as Lesotho, Uganda, and Ireland, among others.
It is a diverse team, and Cisse says it is important that Africans are at the forefront of providing solutions to problems on their continent.

Algorithmic bias
Diversity problem still occurs in the Silicon Valley companies. And it is also noticed that there are multiple employees wanted real change from their companies even after paying the lip service to the issue.
Because AI fundamentally works based on the data that is fed into it, it sometimes displays a real-world bias that is not inclusive and representative of all end users, says Nyalleng Moorosi, a software engineer at the center whose work focuses on making AI more diverse.

Privacy concerns
A huge amount of data is there that is why artificial intelligence works, and through which the concern for privacy is seen over where large companies like Google are handed over by the people. 
The principles of Google's artificial intelligence aims to build trust between the people and the end users said by Cisse. The fair algorithms need to build and the privacy of the user needs to respect as it is transparent.
With the center now operational after starting a few months behind schedule, Googles bet on AI having a transformational effect in Africa will now be put to the test.

Source: HOB