Building the Unimaginable — The Odyssey Hackathon — Part 1

In the first part of this series, we discuss the vision of the Odyssey Hackathon and introduce the team members that will represent us in its Nature 2.0 track.

Alethea AI Official Announcements
8 min readApr 5, 2019



On the 11th of April, 100 teams from all over the world will arrive in Groningen, a vibrant young city in the Netherlands, to participate in the world’s biggest blockchain and AI hackathon: Odyssey.

Their goal: to build shared solutions to complex challenges and commonize the public digital infrastructure.

The Odyssey hackathon is the crown jewel of several months of preparation through summits, meetups, and various deep dives. Odyssey is backed by several key players — including the government of the Netherlands. Raymond Knops, State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations of the Netherlands, highlighted the importance of the Odyssey Hackathon in the following words:

“There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to digital developments, a government cannot afford to simply wait and see. As a member of the government, I want to be in the thick of things and where the innovation is happening. That means leading the way and staying up-to-date on relevant developments. We want to work together with experts. New technologies and opportunities, such as blockchain, data-driven policymaking, and artificial intelligence can help improve government service provision. This requires experimentation and the Odyssey Hackathon is a place where this happens.”

Odyssey’s vision is based on the belief that blockchains and tokens can play a critical role in the infrastructure layer of our digital economy. According to Odyssey, tokens and blockchains offer us an opportunity to create an alternative infrastructure — one that is not “proprietary” and owned by centralized entities. Through its own experiences, Odyssey has realized that building a “common infrastructure,” can level the playing field, and deliver to the community a much larger share of the value that will be created.

Through the hackathon, Odyssey aims to connect governmental, corporate, and non-profit launching partners with breakthrough technology — so that everyone can co-create new solutions to complex 21st-century problems. The participating teams will compete for €200K in total cash rewards and a chance to access the Decentralized Business Incubation Program, which will enable them to scale their solution with the help of a committed ecosystem of more than 6000 members.

Nature 2.0: Ownerless Ecosystems of Abundance

This year, the Odyssey Hackathon will feature 10 Tracks.

Each track has a core focus, which helps to group the various teams interested in a common issue — so that they can benefit from each other’s resources. Examples of this year’s tracks include Fossil Free Future, Nature 2.0, Digital Citizenship, Inclusive Banking, Feeding the Future, Future of Cargo Insurance, and so on.

Due to our synergy with its values, vision, and goals, the SingularityNET team will participate in the Nature 2.0 track.

The Nature 2.0 track seeks to create ownerless ecosystems which are inspired by nature. Such ecosystems eschew the ideas of ownership, identity, and money. They are not based on the principle of scarcity but rather cooperation — resulting in abundant resources, that can be utilized for free.

In the Nature 2.0 track, the SingularityNET team will rethink some of our current systems, and attempt to create such ownerless ecosystems of abundance. These ecosystems exist in nature all around us, and the Nature 2.0 track seeks to build such unimaginable ecosystems by utilizing blockchain, AI and autonomous assets.

In his TEDx Talk, Jan-Peter Doomernik, the lead architect of Nature 2.0, and Senior Business Developer at Enexis Netbeheer, shared his views on building the unimaginable and the vision of the Nature 2.0 track (see video below). We invited Jan-Peter Doomernik to the AGI Podcast which you will soon be able to enjoy.

The SingularityNET Team

Despite the daunting task of the Nature 2.0’s track, we believe ownerless ecosystems can fundamentally change how our future communities operate. To meet the challenge, we selected six members from our team to represent us at the Odyssey Hackathon. It is rare for us to participate in a hackathon, given that we have been a sponsor at several others and have conducted workshops at other leading events. This hackathon however is an exception, particularly because of the vision we share with Nature 2.0.

Here’s a short introduction to each member of the team:

Drs. Ibby Benali (Team Captain)

Ibby Benali is our Marketing Manager and Data Protection Officer. She is leading a team of content creators, designers, marketers, and technologists to decentralize AI and to democratize the access to it via SingularityNET. Ibby holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utrecht and a Master of Science in Digital Business from the University of Amsterdam.

Ibby has played a critical role in several discussions and roundtables where she presented her perspectives on digital transformation and the impact on society, education, and businesses, such as with the Dutch Royal Family and at the European Parliament. Ibby’s focus for the hackathon will be to demonstrate how decentralized AI can help transform our current economic models and ways of thinking, to models of economic abundance, co-creation, and ownerless functioning.

Raam Baranidharan

Raam Baranidharan is SingularityNET’s VP of Engineering. Raam lives in Bangalore, India, and holds a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and a Master’s in Software Systems. Raam began his career working for Essbase, a database management system, and later moved to Oracle after they acquired him and his team. Before joining SingularityNET, he worked at BuildDirect and Treebo. He has been active in the software development space for over 14 years.

Raam’s motivation to participate in the hackathon stems from his desire to build something tangible that addresses problems on a global scale. During the hackathon, he will provide guidance and support to the other team members and will help them in the incorporation or utilization of AI services on the SingularityNET platform.

Vitaly Bogdanov

Vitaly Bogdanov is one of our senior AI developers and a prominent member of our tech team. In 2002, he obtained his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the Saint Petersburg State University. Before joining the AI Lab at SingularityNET, he worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Ectaco, Envion Software, SPIIRAS, Motorola Mobile Devices, and Deutsche Bank.

Vitaly’s core focus for the Odyssey Hackathon is to demonstrate that services published via SingularityNET can be used as building blocks to create more complex services. He believes SingularityNET will add immense value to the hackathon because it allows for the creation of software which uses other software — a feature which is tightly coupled to the creation of machines that can communicate with other machines.

Valerio Versace

Valerio Versace (affectionately known as our Italian stallion) is one of our core platform team members. Before joining SingularityNET, he founded Soluzioni Futura, a software development company that offers state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure services. He studied Psychology at the University of Geneva and Università degli Studi di Parma.

Valerio’s desire is to show how multiple AI services can work together to add exponentially more value in ecosystems with each extra AI service. The idea of co-creation in the Odyssey Ecosystem and working on moonshot aspirational goals inspired him to participate in the hackathon. He believes that SingularityNET’s ability to incentivize all of the parties involved in the creation of autonomously coordinating AI services will be of great value to the teams participating in the hackathon.

Marco Argentieri

Marco Argentieri is a prominent tech team member and a seasoned software developer with experience in mobile payment systems, AI and blockchain solutions. Having launched his first Bitcoin startup when he was 19 years old, Marco is a serial entrepreneur with a focus on decentralized applications and game theory.

In 2014, Marco founded Later on, he founded Vulpem Ventures; a technology R&D lab focused on cybersecurity of digital assets and blockchain applications development. He is a Bitcoin Evangelist and has organized Bitcoin Developers Meetups starting 2019. Marco’s entrepreneurial background and technical knowledge will be of immense help during the hackathon to the team and to other participants alike.

Artur Gontijo

Artur Gontijo is one of our Senior Software Engineers. He has served as the IT Director at GP Painel, as a Project Manager and Software Engineer on Freelance jobs, and as the CEO at nextAgro. He has been involved with Software and Hardware development for more than six years and is based in Brazil.

Artur has a strong entrepreneurial drive that led him to participate in the first season of Shark Tank Brazil.

In the hackathon, he will not only bring his knowledge and experience as an entrepreneur but will also contribute as a Backend and AI Service developer.

Build The Future With Us

At the backend, the SingularityNET platform relies on a decentralized network of AI services. Anyone can upload their AI services onto this decentralized network without seeking any permission or approval from a centralized privileged entity.

As the services that are available on the SingularityNET platform will increase in numbers, their cognitive synergy will experience similar growth. Higher-level AI services will be able to utilize the numerous lower-level AI services to not only improve their performances but also to offer services that they cannot do so on their own. This presents the early adopters of the platform with the opportunity to provide AI services that may very well become the cornerstone of the SingularityNET ecosystem in the future.

We believe the creative potential of our platform lies in its ability to facilitate synergy. In turn, the enhanced cooperation mechanisms of the platform are bound to increase the number of AI services being offered exponentially. We invite you to become a part of this movement to redefine the market for AI services and reveal the latent qualities of decentralized networks.

If you are looking to monetize your AI services or create new ones, we invite you to learn more about the nature of our platform and what its Beta version has to offer by visiting the SingularityNET developer portal.

We are proud of our developers and researchers that are actively publishing their research for the benefit of the community; you can read the research here. For any additional information, please refer to our new roadmap. To stay informed about all of our developments, please subscribe to our newsletter. You can connect with our passionate and talented community by visiting our Community Forum.