The question on everyone’s mind is whether Kenya is prepared for an advanced discussion on artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to drive economic growth. Although AI is crucial in enhancing innovation, few sectors are adequately utilizing it.
According to the Government AI Readiness 2022 Index Report, Kenya ranks 90th out of 182 countries worldwide, trailing behind Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, and Morocco, with a total score of 40.36%.
Peter French, the general manager for Africa and the Middle East at Acronis, a technology firm, notes that the incorporation of AI into the Kenyan financial sector would make companies more competitive with regard to product development and customer experience.
Furthermore, utilization of AI would enable lenders to enhance their digital banking strategies, by detecting and preventing frauds, as well as other emerging threats. The use of AI in financial institutions’ fraud detection and cyber-attack prevention is one of its most significant benefits, particularly in the era of heightened online banking.
On the other hand, Michael Kangethe, a technical consultant and lecturer, believes that Kenya is ready for AI, especially in the education and health sectors. He suggests that record digitization and process automation facilitate adequate data collection that AI can analyze and externalize, thus providing actionable intelligence.
He points out that AI is not an alternative to humans but rather a tool that should simplify processes and enable better analysis and prediction results.
The broad applications of AI in every sector give Kenyans the opportunity to adopt and adapt the best solutions available globally.
Robi Koki, a USIU-Africa lecturer, argues that the introduction of AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, can be tailored to suit the education sector, thereby enhancing learning tools in the classroom.
Additionally, AI technologies such as machine vision can assist the agricultural sector in diagnosing soil defects and pests, thereby increasing food production rates.
With the growing population, there is a need for adequate healthcare specialists, and AI can assist in addressing this scarcity by automating routine tasks.
Furthermore, AI can tame cyber-crime by identifying and detecting attacks in real-time, as well as automate the incident response process.