Timnit Gebru was wary of being labelled an activist. As a young, black female computer scientist, Gebru – who was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but now lives in the US – says she'd always been vocal about the lack of women and minorities in the datasets used to train algorithms. She calls them "the undersampled majority", quoting another rising star of the artificial intelligence (AI) world, Joy Buolamwini. But Gebru didn't want her advocacy to affect how she was perceived in her field. "I wanted to be known primarily as a tech researcher. I was very resistant to being pigeonholed as a black woman, doing black woman-y things."
Newly elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia was elected on a mandate of transformational change and has promised a new era for Ethiopia and the African continent. Ethiopians are jubilant and excited about the future as Abiy launches significant political and economic reforms. Abiy Ahmed and his team are building towards a vision that embraces all Ethiopians and facilitates their effective participation in the global economy. When our team visited the beautiful city of Addis Ababa two weeks ago, we were energized by the passion of her people and also their unwavering optimism and faith in the future. Sophia echoed our sentiments too and Dr. Ben Goertzel had in-depth discussions with Abiy and his team.