Google holds maiden AI training for 25 Lagos female journalists

Thu, Apr 18, 2024
By editor


Google Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos held its maiden Artificial Intelligence (AI) training for 25 female journalists, under the umbrella body of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), to keep them abreast of new trends.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training had participants drawn from various media houses.

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

Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Head of Communications for Google in West Africa, handled the physical session of the various Google AI tools.

Kola-Ogunlade said that AI was taking the centre stage and changing the way individuals work, live, communicate and do things generally in the tech industry and globally.

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

“If there is any technology that people in 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 in a more efficient way,” he said.

He said the training delves into the world of AI and the world of Google as well as how journalists could navigate the tools to make their work better, faster, and more efficient while avoiding the tech pitfalls.

He said that the training was part of Google’s drive to keep African media professionals abreast of current technology.

He added that about 200 journalists from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have so far participated in the maiden AI training.

“This is the first time this training is done across Europe, Middle East and Africa and again it’s because Africa is very important to Google.

”The African team at Google were one of the first to say let’s just do it because we have a lot of journalists who continue to reach out to say what’s going on in the world of AI.

“As more and more people learn about the transformative power of AI and as more tools begin to come out, the people who again serve as the conscience of our nation, and  tell us the stories that others don’t want to tell to unveil all the happenings in our nation, need to also be aware of  the tools that can help them even improve the work that they are doing.

”On the fears that AI will take away jobs, when new technologies come up, people express fears which are justified but the advice is for them to improve their capacity.”

Alhaja Bunmi Yekini, NAWOJ Vice Chairperson, Lagos chapter, said:  “As an association that prioritises  development and upskilling of its members, the Google-led generative AI and Digital Skills training for NAWOJ members couldn’t have come at a better time.

“The training exposes our members to both existing and new tools that’s available on Google such as Google lens, Gemini search, Google photos with its magic eraser and many more.

“With what has been learnt today, I believe that our journalists have been empowered to tell stories in innovative ways, reach wider audiences, and navigate the rapidly evolving media landscape.

“Adapting to emerging technologies is non-negotiable in this era that has become increasingly digitalised.”

One of the participants, Mrs Julie Ekong, Deputy Director, New Media, FRCN, said the training was an opportunity to catch up with AI trends and having a deeper understanding of it.

“I think it is going to help on the job by making the work faster,” she said. (NAN)


April 18, 2024 @ 10:40 GMT