Imagine a marketplace of Artificial Intelligence. What would that look like?
In short, in such a marketplace, you would be able to buy AI services and datasets. As an AI developer, you would be able to sell your AI services and datasets; your service would not be limited to just one company. Anyone who wishes to avail your services can approach you. Now imagine the transactions being carried out in this marketplace on a blockchain.
That is exactly what SingularityNET is hoping to create – a decentralized open market for AI. Essentially, it is “a product aimed at becoming a bridge between AI developers and business users.”
FAQ: What is @SingularityNet? “SingularityNET is a decentralized open market for AI, It’s a product aimed at becoming a bridge between AI developers and business users.” ~ @BenGoertzel https://t.co/KyKTUgm4VA #Blockchain #Technology #AI pic.twitter.com/r109dVQHrf
— SingularityNET (@singularity_net) February 20, 2018
More on this in a while.
Lets talk Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is the intellectual capacity demonstrated by machines. In simpler words, it is machines (but not limited to machines) thinking like human beings i.e. analyzing different aspects and making decisions based on that analysis.
In today’s world, artificial intelligence is drastically changing the work method in a lot of sectors – it reduces the labor required for a task, does it quickly and accurately, minimizing chances for mistakes or errors; therefore, its demand by businesses and other industries is on the rise.The global AI market is estimated by Information Age to be of $47 billion by 2020. It is being developed at rapid rates and will be used in almost every field, from military and industries to medical, healthcare and data science.
It can be acknowledged that the demand for artificial intelligence is enormous especially in business, however, there exists no proper infrastructure to accommodate those who need the technology. While those with the technology i.e. the AI developers also do not have any platform which would allow them to market their tech. This condition at hand is very well explained in SingularityNET’s white paper:
Many state of the art AI tools exist only in GitHub repositories created by grad students or independent researchers. This puts them out of the reach of anyone without the skills to install, configure, and run them. Most AI developers are academics, not business people, and have no easily-accessible marketplace to monetize their clever AI code.
On the other hand, although, every business needs AI, AIs rarely match a business’s needs. There exists a big pool of unexploited resource – artificial intelligence and a market – 99% of the businesses that need it.
SingularityNET is the link which connects this unexploited resource i.e. AI to those who need it.
It is a sharing-economy marketplace for AI, that encourages collaboration between these tools and decentralized sharing of information, democratizing access to the benefits of AI.
It will do this by allowing AI developers to exchange their AI service for a token – the AGI token, or in return for another tool or a service. SingularityNET itself, will not charge a transaction fees. Parties offering AI services, referred to as AI agents, and conversely other parties called non-AI agents will use a smart contract to request for AI services. The blockchain infrastructure of SingularityNET is built upon ethereum with an ERC20 token, with its smart contracts written in Solidity.
The key types of service exchange in SingularityNET are:
• Exchange of software or hardware services for other software or hardware services;
• Exchange of software or hardware services for SingularityNET’s AGI tokens;
• Matchmaking to determine favorable combinations of exchanges among Agents;
• Requesting, or providing, a vote on a specific governance issue.
Anyone can create a node (an AI agent) and put it online – it is open-source, and enter this node into the network so that it can request and/or fulfill AI tasks in interaction with other nodes, forming a large network that will include a broad engagement of economic transactions. Essentially this network can be used by:
- A non-AI agent to ask an AI agent for an AI service
- An AI agent to ask another AI agent for an AI service or a dataset
However, the project is a bit more complex. It will start as an AI-as-a-Service marketplace, but the team plans to eventually evolve it into a completely self-organizing AI network.
What that means is that, SingularityNET will eventually become a network performing various AI agent interactions on its own. How will it to do that?
Lets say AI agent ‘A’ requests AI agent ‘B’ for a service. However, AI Agent B cannot provide that service on its own, and further need services from other AI agents, lets call them C and D. Now, C and D will be paid for AI services by B who will be paid by A for the overall service. All the while, each of the agent involved in one main service will update their own AI with the information gained from other nodes, combining it with its previous knowledge. Moreover, AI agents will later produce new AI agents from the information that they obtain overtime. The network hence expands and self-organizes on its own.
In doing so, SingularityNET will take the assistance of the OpenCog Foundation.
In its whitepaper, the company says:
“The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain for AI services provides a number of advantages. It allows AI Agents to exchange work and subcontract with a high degree of flexibility, and also enables AI-based microservices to be offered to any customer via easily accessible APIs (enabled by smart contracts under the hood). Currently there are very few flexibly available AI microservices; most commercial AI-as-a-service is dispensed via lengthy contracts that bundle various services in rigid ways, and end up limiting the amount and variety of intelligence that any given customer can obtain. The open, decentralized nature of SingularityNET gives it more potential for dynamic, effective intelligence than any more closed, monolithic system could possess,”
For the first two years, SigularityNET will be working on the following fields of AI:
1. Cloud Robotics
2. Biomedical Research
Its whitepaper was released in December 2017. SingularityNET targeted July 2018 for a beta version of the platform; however, in a blog post the company says that the goal was too ambitious, and that they are still working on the alpha version. The company also released a road map in June this year. The roadmap can be read here.
The team is currently working on the architecture of the platform, which has taken more time than what was anticipated. However, according to the founder of SigularityNET, Dr. Ben Goertzel, they have a “much more detailed plan for the platform development than we did in 2017 and so we can chart out the future with a lot more precision.”
Regarding moving on to the beta version, Dr. Goertzel also said:
The precise breakdown of features that will be needed to constitute the transition from the Alpha to the Beta is still being determined by the tech team and their advisors, but it is anticipated that in the coming months there will be strong progress in moving the various components of the Alpha toward Beta status.
This September, SingularityNET is expected to initiate developer workshops. This is to draw a broader community to seed the network with diverse and interacting AIs.
SingularityNET raised $36M (of that time) through their ICO which lasted for only a day, 22nd of Decmeber 2017. With the value of $0.044576 USD (at the time of writing) the AGI token is ranked at 180.
The SingularityNET team has over 50 AI developers and over 10 PhDs. Dr. Ben Goertzel is the CEO and Chief Scientist of SingularityNET. He is the chairman of the OpenCog Foundation and the Artificial General Intelligence Society, and also the chief scientist at Hanson Robotics.
The engineering and artificial intelligence company, Hanson Robotics, famous for the development of the humanoid robot, Sophia is the partner company of SingularityNET. Sophia too is a member of the SingularityNET team.
Dr. David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics, is the Robotics Lead at SingularityNET. Meanwhile Cassio Pennachin is serving as the CTO.