NEW YORK, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to Sub-Saharan Africa, the media always focuses on war, famine and disease. Little is known about the innovation and positive attributes stemming from the region. One such attribute, is the growth of computer science and artificial intelligence. Indeed, the field of AI has skyrocketed in developing nations with the advent of the home computer, but has recently found burgeoning roots, not in Silicon Valley, India or China, but in the bustling capital of Ethiopia.
Thanks to a leading AI group in Hong Kong called OpenCog Foundation, funding from the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation based in New York, and the Hong Kong government, the AI lab in Sidist Killo, Ethiopia called Addis AI Lab, has become the computer science pioneer in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"We are very excited by the programming coming out of the Addis AI Lab," Jeffrey Epstein remarked, founder of the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, which supports cutting edge science research around the world. "With education and economic growth rates as one of the highest in the world, it makes perfect sense to lay an AI foundation in the heart of Ethiopia's capital."
Indeed, in Ethiopia, an astounding 95% graduate from primary school, 60-70% from high school, and there are almost 100 universities. The software market has doubled in the past three years and the Ministry of Trade and Industry affirms more than 700 licensed companies in computer technology and 95 software and computer networking businesses.
Similar to OpenCog, its founder in Hong Kong, the Addis Lab provides open-source programming to the community and works closely with universities, schools and the government, such as the Addis Ababa Institute of Science and Technology. Established by Ben Goertzel, head of OpenCog and Getnet Asefa, Manager and co-founder of Addis AI lab, the team's specialty includes machine learning based data analysis, computational linguistics, computer vision, mobile robots and cognitive robotics, cognitive architectures and artificial general intelligence.
"Addis AI's mission is to advance sustainable and cutting edge development in Ethiopia and Africa by what's called, technology leapfrogging: jumping straight into advance technological applications to save time and keep up with the developed world," Jeffrey Epstein stated. "Ethiopia has the educational basis for this and to be catapulted into the future."