IT devotees working on bigger ventures than “Sophia”
Poised to launch drone soccer games
The founders of iCog Labs, an Ethiopian IT company that focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to advance in areas of AI revolution and genetic data analysis which they believe is bigger than the humanoid robot, Sophia.
According Getnet Assefa, CEO of iCog Labs, there are several projects the IT Company has been engaged with in relation to research and development areas. Currently, iC0g Lab is collaborating with a Chinese client to develop a genetic data analyzing software to help medicinal and chemistry experimentations.
The genetic data project dubbed “Mozi” is sought to assist medical experiments determined to find a cure for cancer. The project is also helpful for animal breeding science and the like.
AI is an area of specialization which works in areas of machine learning based data analysis, computational linguistics, computer vision, mobile robots and cognitive robotics, cognitive architectures and artificial general intelligence.
Apart from that, iCog Labs is working with local universities to develop an AI curriculum. Addis Ababa University (AAU) is one of the clients of iCog Labs. Getnet said that a curriculum has been designed for students in the masters’ program. So far, training manuals and models have been prepared, Getnet added.
iCog Labs has become one of the IT startups making headwinds to educate IT enthusiasts. Currently, it has created a potential of absorbing 50 trainees annually.
Getnet, a young IT aficionado, had the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley and build valuable contacts that enabled him to jointly establish iCog Labs after his return from California. According to Getnet, iCog Labs was founded in 2013 with a USD 50,000 with three software professionals. Currently, the company has been able to have customers in the US, China, Germany and Hong Kong that require research activities related to artificial intelligence.
Last year, Getnet teamed up with Bethelhem Dessie – project manager and founder of Anyone Can Code (ACC) – to establish a new coding academy in Ethiopia and train children at a young age. Both Bethlehem and Getnet have received attention to win the backing of the US and others for their engagement in helping high school girls to code.
The well acclaimed human form Sophia Robot was featured during the second ICT expo held last week. Sophia’s operating system was mostly developed by iCog Labs professionals in Ethiopia. iCog Labs is also keen in hosting a robotic soccer among universities and that has been now extended to include Kenyan and Nigerian higher educational institutions to participate.
According to Getnet, his team is working on to debut a drone soccer tournament. He says the project is complex. Launched last year, the drone soccer project remains a work in progress.