CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Jeweler Arto Hachikian donated a ring he specially made to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Daron Acemoglu on April 16 at the Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church. Acemoglu, widely considered as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Economics, first gave a lecture on “Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities and Challenges for the World and Armenia” as part of the Trinity Talks speaker series prior to the gift ceremony.
Acemoglu’s talk focused on various aspects of AI and only briefly specifically mentioned Armenia at the end. He noted that Armenia terribly underperformed over the last several decades economically, though it had been the human capital hub of the Soviet Union. That was lost but he suggested that if Armenia is able to retain its workforce, with higher quality investments in digital technology and AI along with a greater understanding of how these technologies are going to be used in the future, it may still be in a good position.
At the end of the event, Anais Jewelry owner Hachikian, spoke briefly about his own life. Born in the Armenian village of Gigi in Turkey in 1960, he soon moved with his family to Istanbul and after going to school, learned jewelry as a trade. At 17 years old, he got a passport and went to Greece, and after three years, decided to go to the US via Canada. He arrived in New York.
Everywhere he went, he saw that Armenians helped him and so he vowed when he would be able, he would help them too. He met his wife in New York, and later moved to Boston, where he opened his jewelry store. He had made special rings as gifts for people in the past, and when he learned about Acemoglu, he thought that he is our glory and pride (“bardzank”), and decided to make a unique ring with Armenian symbolism for him. Acemoglu accepted the ring with gratitude.
To watch Hachikian’s talk and the presentation of the ring on YouTube, see below.
To watch Acemoglu’s speech, see the following video.