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Kenya’s Surging Interest in AI Brings Promise and Concerns


Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) has surged in Kenya, with Google searches up 400% over five years. Many Kenyans are seeking to understand this emerging technology, asking questions like “What is AI?” and “How does it work?” have spiked. 

The proliferation of new generative AI models has also led tech companies to quickly build solutions for content creation, customer service, productivity and more. After launching its conversational chatbot Bard in Kenya, Google has advocated pursuing AI’s development responsibly through thoughtful regulation, ethical principles and collaboration.

In addition to learning about AI, Kenyans want to harness it. Searches related to using AI to enhance careers and productivity have skyrocketed this year, with interest in AI jobs up 5000%. Many are exploring integrating AI into resumes and taking courses to build relevant skills. 

This enthusiasm comes from Kenya becoming Africa’s third most targeted country for global cyberattacks. Accordingly, searches for cybersecurity terms like “DNS hijacking” have increased as people seek protection.

With misinformation spreading, interest checking has grown exponentially over the past decade. To help address these concerns, Google uses AI to detect threats and partners with fact-checkers to combat misinformation. The company’s research highlights common AI questions from Kenyans.

When did AI emerge, and how is it used today? While its foundations began in the 1950s, AI’s capabilities have accelerated, powering everyday tools from translation to driving. What are its risks and benefits? Like any technology, AI brings both promise and peril depending on its applications. Regulations and ethics are essential to ensure its responsible development.

And will AI eliminate jobs? While disruption is likely, experts predict AI will also create new jobs and enhance existing ones by augmenting human productivity and efficiency. As this powerful technology advances, managing its risks while harnessing its benefits will be crucial for Kenya and beyond.



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