ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Taking a cue from Google’s artificial intelligence lab in Ghana [ICT Clinic]

Later this week, one of the major technology giants will be hosting what is now looking like an annual event that is designed to enable it share some new developments and plans for the country.
The event is, actually, not the reason for this piece but the need for Nigeria to feel the greater presence of some of these tech giants.
Yes, I am aware that many of them are spending thousands and millions of dollars to provide capacity building programmes and support in many of our higher institutions, start-ups and NGOs.
Notwithstanding, I believe that we are at that point where we should begin to ask for certain physical investments such as the IBM’s research lab in Kenya or Google’s planned artificial intelligence lab in Ghana.
It’s not all bad news because the likes of Facebook and GE have setup physical spaces in Lagos. These should go beyond just setting up cool spaces.
We actually need to see some level of ‘real’ activities coming out of these spaces such that there will be a lot of knowledge sharing and transfer in the process. For example, despite reservations and issues around the Andela model, it might play out well on the long run because after some years, some individuals will graduate and move on with the experiences and skills garnered, which hopefully will be used to solve bigger problems.
I am not an economist but I really enjoy reading economic theories. To date, I am not sure what economic model I believe in the most. Yes, I love capitalism because it has proven to be more sustainable; but then, I dislike the fact that the winner takes it all plus the fact that in today’s world of gross capitalism and advancement of technology, there is an ever-widening gap between the haves and haves-not.
That said, one cannot deny the fact that capitalism has brought quite a lot of benefits to the world. One of such benefits is that we are now witnessing massive value that many smart entrepreneurs are pushing to the world, riding on technology.
One company that has brought immense value to the world is Google and like all other tech giants, it was not setup for charity. It is a for-profit-business; therefore, it is understandable, if it chooses to make certain decisions, like preference for setting up an AI lab in Ghana, which has an estimated population that is a little higher than Lagos State.
I am a member of a forum that houses some of the most respected technology experts in the country today. One of the members is the — Finish Reading on the Punch