Google Nigeria Launches AI Training for Female Journalists in Lagos

Google Nigeria Launches AI Training for Female Journalists in Lagos

Google Nigeria has begun providing Artificial Intelligence (AI) training to journalists. 

With a commitment to inclusivity, Google Nigeria hosted its first Artificial Intelligence (AI) training in Lagos, ensuring that 25 female journalists, all esteemed members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), stay abreast of the latest trends.

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According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), participants in the training came from various media outlets.

Claudine Beaumont, who anchored the training session virtually from Johannesburg, led the participants through various practical sessions. 

Training Journalists

Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Head of Communications for Google in West Africa, physically demonstrated the various Google AI tools.

Kola-Ogunlade stated that artificial intelligence (AI) is central to the tech industry and alters people’s daily lives, work habits, and communication styles.

He says, “As people who do media, media people are the conscience of the society and the nation; they teach us and tell us what is going on in the news.”

He added, “If there is any technology that people in the press and people who are journalists must know, it is introducing them to the new forms of using AI to do their work and to tell better stories; what AI tools are available; how to use them to communicate and use them more efficiently.”

According to him, the course explores AI and Google and how journalists can use these resources to improve, expedite, and streamline their work while avoiding technological pitfalls.

He claimed that the training was a component of Google’s initiative to keep media professionals in Africa updated on emerging technologies.

He continued by saying that about 200 journalists from South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria had participated in the inaugural AI training.

This training is being conducted for the first time in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and Mr Kola-Ogunlade believes that Google values Africa greatly.

He said they have many journalists reaching out to them to report on developments in the AI space, so they were among the first at Google with an African team to say, let’s do it.

NAWOJ responds

The assistant secretary of NAWOJ Lagos, Omolola Olamijulo, released a statement on April 18, 2024, stating that the purpose of the Google-led training was to provide female journalists from various platforms with the knowledge and abilities needed to use AI for content creation and storytelling. The training was held at the company’s Ikoyi office in Lagos.

In her speech, Vice Chairperson of NAWOJ, Lagos Comrade Bunmi Yekini, stated that the organization values the growth and upskilling of its members and is glad to have opportunities for members to participate in Google-led training. “The training exposed our members to both existing and new tools available on Google,” Yekini said. The capabilities of tools like Google Lens and Google Photos are fascinating to learn about.

“And then the Gemini Era where you have the ‘Gemini Search,’ ‘Circle to Search,’ and other new tools that would not just make your job easy but also give you the power to be more imaginative and creative” ” she added.

The program’s goal is to empower women in the media by providing them with the knowledge and self-assurance to recognize the potential of AI and apply it to improve their work.

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