A continent which is untouched by even basic of advancements in science and technology. A continent which has been exploited since centuries, till date by major powers. A continent which has seen scores of genocides, famine and millions of deaths with hardly more than a movement of eyelid by greater powers.
But there is a sudden interest by technology giants to establish AI labs in Africa.
A continent where basic literacy comes in a very hard way. A continent where much of the population lives below a dollar a day. A continent where no technology giant tried to impart literacy or computer literacy for greater good.
It seems like the repeat of colonial stories, except now the powers involved are not the nations but the technology giants.
And yet again they are after the cheap labour, without which their technology is dirt.
Google is building an AI lab in Ghana and now Nigeria is also on the cards.
Head Google AI, Ghana, Moustapha Cisse,said that that there are ongoing plans to see that Artificial Intelligence, AI, helps in managing Nigerian and other African economies, particularly in the areas of flood, disaster management, technological inn ovations, and health among others.
What he has not mentioned is the vested interest of Google in doing so. After South and South East Asia, the only next continent available with cheap English speaking and computer literate labour is African countries like Ghana and Nigeria. There are already companies operating, cleaning massive datasets. All for the major technology giants, employing hundreds of people. The schlep job which only humans do, like labeling images , so that the algorithm can make the sense of it.
Data was the king earlier. Then ML and AI came in. it was learnt in a hard way that, cleaned dataset is what counts. Rest is garbage, making the algorithms and massive computing powers redundant.
Countries like Nigeria and Ghana would now be unleashing a new wave of outsourcing. The one to do dirty and mean jobs of cleaning datasets, for blind algorithms. Algorithms, which cannot see it for themselves and yet called ‘artificial intelligence’.