Artificial Intelligence takes centre stage in Nigeria’s Google search trends
February 3, 2023201 views0 comments
By Onome Amuge
New search trends released by Google have shown that Nigerians are more interested than ever in artificial intelligence (AI), as search trends relating to AI hit a record high in 2022 in Nigeria and across the world.
According to Google, top trending questions in Nigeria include “what is AI art”, “what is deep learning in artificial intelligence”, “how to become an AI engineer” and “when was artificial intelligence invented” – all of which have been searched 5,000 per cent more in 2022 compared to 2021.
Other related searches included “what is artificial intelligence all about” which rose 370 per cent; “is artificial intelligence a course” up 260 per cent; and “what is artificial intelligence”, rising 130 per cent in the year under review.
Google, who views AI as a solution for addressing significant societal challenges, like climate change, recently shared their approach to pursuing AI responsibly, which includes the need to prioritise building and testing for safety, and prioritising its purpose for public good. It is also using AI to address security challenges, including on Gmail, which automatically blocks more than 99.9 per cent of malware, phishing and spam and protects more than 1.5 billion inboxes using AI.
Matt Brittin, president of Google Europe, the Middle East and Africa said: “It’s great to see people in Nigeria showing more of an interest in the transformational technology that is AI. AI is already a key part of many of our lives – in fact, if you use Google tools regularly, you’re probably using AI without even realising: it’s what helps Maps give you the fastest or most fuel-efficient route, or Search to find what you’re looking for. We’re continuing to pursue AI boldly and responsibly – creating tools that improve the lives of as many people as possible.”
The trends, released by the multinational technology company, also show that Nigerians are increasingly interested in protecting their cybersecurity and online privacy.
In 2022, searches for “computer security” were the top form of security searched worldwide and in Nigeria, while “cybercrime” was searched at record levels globally. Google noted that Nigerians frequently searched for cyber security with “what is ethical hacking” increasing by over 5,000 per cent, while searches for “what is cybersecurity” and “what is a virus in a computer” rose by 200 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively.
Searches for “private browsing” also increased in 2022, rising by 70 per cent, while Nigerians searched for “one time password” more than any other country worldwide. In addition, searches for “password manager”, a Google tool that makes it easy to use a strong, unique password for all of your online accounts, also reached a 10 year high in the most populous African country.
Google’s search trend showed that with more people using the internet than ever before, to manage every aspect of their daily lives, people in Nigeria are gaining interest in increasing their privacy online.
2022’s economic uncertainty was also reflected in the search trends, as people in Nigeria resorted to Google to help them better understand the economy, learn new skills and build their careers.
Google noted that searches for inflation hit an all-time high worldwide, and a 10-year high in Nigeria, while searches for “causes of cost push inflation”, “creeping inflation” and “what is recession” increased by over 5,000 per cent. People also took to Google to understand the causes of rising prices and how to reduce them,with searches for “how to save heat”, “how to save water” and “how to save money” rising by 370 per cent, 80 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.
The search trend also indicated that people in Nigeria aren’t just turning to Google to understand these issues, but they’re also looking for resources to navigate these challenges and build their careers. This can be seen in the doubled increase in searches for “how to learn coding”, while searches for “how to learn video editing” rose 450 per cent, “how to learn web development” increased 350 per cent, and “how to learn photoshop” was 130 per cent higher in 2022.
People also turned to Google to prepare for job interviews and find new opportunities: with search interest for the topic “job” increasing by 50 per cent. To this end, Google has continued to offer training and advice to those in need, having provided digital skills training to 22 million people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2015 through the ‘Grow with Google’ programme.
Google found that people in Nigeria care about building a more sustainable future – and are using Google to understand how to do that.
The trends released recently also show that people in Nigeria value environmentalism and sustainability, as searches for “eco anxiety”, “greenwashing”, and “veganism” rose to an all-time high.
Google also noted that Nigerians are increasingly searching for “green energy”, “sustainable art” and “low emission vehicle”, all rising over 5,000 per cent. Searches for “renewable fuels” also rose 330 per cent, while those for “green growth” and “solar fuel” rose by 330 per cent and 240 per cent, respectively.