Google has observed a substantial increase in searches related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Kenya, signifying a heightened curiosity and enthusiasm for the technology.
Search trends reveal that Kenyans have been actively seeking AI-related information in 2023, marking a remarkable 270% surge compared to the previous year and a significant 400% increase over the past five years.
In a press statement released on Monday, Google disclosed that Kenyan users have been particularly interested in queries such as “how to use artificial intelligence,” “what is an AI,” “how AI works,” and “how to make artificial intelligence.” Google attributes this surge in AI interest to the introduction of its conversational AI service, Bard.
Initially launched in English in March and later followed by a Swahili version in July 2023, Bard has played a pivotal role in fostering the growing fascination with AI within the Kenyan digital landscape.
Beyond seeking information about AI, Kenyans are increasingly looking to integrate AI into their lives to enhance productivity, creativity, and career prospects. Search interest in AI-related job opportunities has skyrocketed by over 5000% this year. Additionally, inquiries related to AI in the context of CV or resume building have surged by 1,150%, and interest in AI courses has doubled (+100%).
Queries related to creative applications of AI have also witnessed substantial growth, including “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%).
Agnes Gathaiya, Google’s East Africa Director, expressed the company’s commitment to collaborating with Kenya to harness the potential of AI while ensuring responsible usage. She emphasized the importance of getting AI implementation right in Kenya amidst the rapid pace of technological advancement.
The data further reveals that Kenyans are increasingly focused on career development and acquiring new skills. Searches for AI courses have surged by 100%, while queries related to “online business from home” have risen by 250% compared to the previous year. Interest in “how to register a business” has also seen a substantial 200% increase.
Moreover, there is a growing interest in obtaining certifications, particularly in digital skills. Searches for courses in virtual assistance (+450%), data analysis (+200%), digital marketing (+200%), and cybersecurity (+100%) have all witnessed significant growth in 2023.
In terms of cybersecurity and misinformation, Kenyans are displaying heightened awareness. Searches for “DNS hijacking” (+350%), “click fraud” (+150%), and “voice phishing” (+100%) have all experienced increases, indicating an increased consciousness of online threats.
Misinformation is also a concern, with searches for “fake news” surging by over 5,000% in the past decade. Queries related to “fact-checking” and “disinformation” have risen by 2,700% and 1,150%, respectively. Searches for “how to identify fake news” have grown by 200%, while those for “types of disinformation” have increased by 60%.