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Internet giant Google says it is considering how it can use artificial intelligence (AI) to help doctors in Africa tackle some of the continent’s most pervasive diseases.
The nascent technology, sometimes portrayed in films as the enabler of intuitive robots that could destroy mankind, is expected to transform industries from healthcare to transport.
“We’re actively looking to see what we can do” in Africa, said Katherine Chou, the company’s head of product for AI in healthcare.
Chou said her team would consider launching pilot projects with Google’s new AI research centre in Ghana, though Google would first “get a better understanding” of the types of diseases it could target on the continent.
“We do have a division working on things like malaria and dengue, so there have been thoughts of how we can help there.”
According to the World Health Organization, there were about 212-million malaria cases and 429,000 deaths in 2015 – with more than 90% of those in sub-Saharan Africa.
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