Journals

Silent China, Loud China: iCog Makers’ Long March

By: Hruy Tsegaye

The first thing I thought after I left the airport in Guangzhou was that Evolution Theory must be ridiculous! The mainstream evolution theory affirms that the skin colour of humans has changed from black— darker skin— to white— lighter skin— over the past 75,000 years as they migrated from the mother continent—Africa— to the rest of the continents suggesting the lesser the intensity of the sun light, the lighter the skin colour becomes.

When I left the airport and the comfort of its shade and the air conditioner, the sun over Guangzhou welcomed me with unforgiving burning rays and the scourge of the heat was worse than some of the deserts in Africa are. Evolution my foot! I cursed while covering my head with Selamta Magazine– Ethiopian’s complimentary in-flight magazine. Under such a sun, why aren’t the Chinese pitch black? Before I reach to a conclusion, I remembered some of my lessons from my high-schooldays about UV radiation. Okay maybe this sun, even though it is burning my skin more than the sun in Africa, has a lesser UVR.

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Journal from Nairobi: Boda Bodas, iCog Makers and Terrorism

by: Hruy Tsegaye

From where shall I begin? My six hour jail time in Juja Police station, my dramatic door to door salesman experience with Kenyan Universities, or how the Ethiopian Government officially advises its travelling citizens to buy dollar from the black market instead of providing it through its commercial banks? Though it’s customary to follow the chronological order, I think I will start from the middle.

Nairobi, adorned with the dying sun’s reddish light, looked a little less scary this time. On my first visit in 2016, I was so startled at the site of the city’s monstrous traffic jam; the entire freeway from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the city centre, with hundreds of cars stuffed, looked like a graveyard built for cars in the middle of a swamp.

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iCog in Nigeria

By Hruy Tsegaye

My one-month trip in Nigeria, on behalf of iCog Labs, was full of drama. Yet, here, I am allowed to write only the ‘not too exciting’ part of it and unfortunately, this does not include ‘the horse, the girl, and I’ incident on Elegushi beach.

iCog Labs was invited to attend the Disruptive Africa Expo and I arrived in Lagos Muruthalah Mohammed International Airport midst a very hot and sunny day. August 21 is usually a rainy day in Nigeria; it is the rainy season there. However, on that particular day, the sun was out with all her kinship.

Thinking that it would be rainy, I had packed two jackets and a sweater;  my punishment for complaining about Addis Ababa’s recent climate change via a cruel jock for I had never got the chance to wear those. Nigeria is hot through and through and you will feel hot while standing in the middle of the rain wearing nothing but a t-shirt.

After passing through the usual boring boarding process, I am now standing in front of the sign that says “Welcome to Lagos”

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OpenCog In Ethiopia

By: Hruy Tsegaye

Once again, Ben was in Addis. This time, some of the OpenCog team members from Hong Kong (Ruiting and Scott) and Cosmo (from Seattle, Washington) accompanied him along with the documentary filmmaker, Roy Cohen (from Israel).

Our first visitors came to Ethiopia! It was a long-awaited event and the Pioneers of the Ethiopian Singularity had spent the whole week learning, sharing, theorising and sometimes arguing (of course the tone was that of a friendly one) on the concepts of AGI.

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Four Days at the Frontiers of Ethiopian Futurism

By Ben Goertzel (October 25,2012)

Last month I spent 4 days in Ethiopia — Addis Ababa and surrounds — soaking up the culture and getting to know the nascent Ethiopian futurist community.   Inspired by this expedition, I’ve written an article for KurzweilAI on some of the potentials for AI and software development in Ethiopia.   But I also thought it would be worthwhile to post a more personal record of what I saw and learned on this whirlwind tour; hence the current article….

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