Blockchained enabled ICOs are pumping cash into the field of AI, fuelling innovation that previously just could not connect with funding.
High tech, including AI, is one of the future-forward technologies getting a bump from the cryptocurrency boom. In fact, combining the two is also catalysing the pace of innovation in not just these two verticals, but has implications for industries far beyond.
How, where and why? Blockchain can help fuel crowdfunding efforts for AI projects. In turn, AI can help blockchained projects and platforms become more efficient – from energy consumption to stock market predictions and automation of all kinds, starting with payments.
Plus of course, blockchain makes access to AI more affordable in the first place. The scalability, security, and privacy that blockchain can also add to all of this mean that an integration of technical ability, the machines capable of performing such tasks on their own, cheaper, decentralized computing and the ability to literally fund such efforts with fiat or cryptocurrency is not only pie in the sky. It is literally becoming real.
The combination of blockchain and AI, will also, according to industry analysts, will absolutely accomplish two things. First, it will lower the barriers to access that currently hamper development. Second, no surprise, this lower barrier to access will create a great deal more innovation across all the industries that these two technologies touch. That is exciting news indeed.
The AI industry is projected to hit $15.7 trillion dollars by 2030, becoming one of the most important markets in the world. It will impact commerce, communication, transportation and almost every aspect of the human experience as it evolves. And blockchain technology will also, inevitably, play a huge role in that, in several different ways.
The last five years have seen an explosion of AI algorithms in practical use. Smart services – including self-driving cars, face and voice recognition and image translation are now possible and mainstreaming. This is the result of major advances in machine learning and the availability of much cheaper cloud computing.
While academic achievements in this space are available to the public, most are being developed by large corporations with deep pockets. This means that AI is in danger of being a “black box” technology, for the most part, that benefits only a select few.
Effect.ai proposes a radically different, blockchained alternative.
They are creating a private, decentralized ecosystem for AI development and AI related services called The Effect Network. The network will be empowered by smart contracts deployed on the NEO blockchain.
The Effect.ai team will deploy this network in three phases, powered by the system token called the EFX and then a separately dedicated token called the AIX.
The first phase is to build a Mechanical Turk (comparable to similar services in the market now offered by Amazon, Fiverr, One Space, and Guru). The platform will connect a supply and demand of tasks on a decentralized network. Completion of these tasks will create the data sets that people need to teach the AI algorithms.
The second phase is to create the Effect Smart Market. This is planned as a decentralized exchange where people can purchase, exchange and improve each other’s AI services. The algorithms will also be able to communicate and offer services to each other.
The third phase of the deployment will be to distribute both via the Effect Network. This will decrease costs involved with running the algorithms. It will also allow algorithms on the network to run globally without a single point of failure.
The platform will be immediately competitive with current services available in the Mechanical Turk space. This means Effect.ai will offer a private, decentralized marketplace for work that (for now) requires human intelligence. In other words, it is a global, on-demand workforce platform.
Unlike existing centralized models, however, the Effect Mechanical Turk is a peer-to-peer system, meaning that supply and demand connect more directly and efficiently.
The crowd-sourcing technology enables those with requests to create tasks that can be completed by workers in exchange for compensation. The tasks are described and compiled through smart contracts. The job offers are called Human Intelligence Tasks or HITs. When a worker completes one of these tasks, they are paid through the platform token, the EFX.
How does it stack up with say, Amazon in direct metrics?
First are costs. The Effect Mechanical Turk will be free to task requesters (in comparison to a 20-40% chunk taken by Amazon). More countries are included (195 in Effect.ai to 43 in Amazon). Fund withdrawal from Effect.ai is instant. In Amazon’s M-Turk, this process can take between 4-21 days.
Workers are also paid more. The average hourly rate of an Effect.ai worker will be about $9.40 compared to Amazon’s $2.13.
It all starts with Effect Requesters. These are people who register their tasks on the Effect Mechanical Turk. They can decide how much EFX will be paid to Workers who complete the tasks. Requesters can retrieve the results of such work when completed from the Effect Mechanical Turk and use them to train their AI algorithm. This creates an on-demand, scalable and distributed workforce at prices set by the employer and met by anyone for whom this is economically feasible.
Workers in turn, can choose from tasks on the platform that are made available to them by Requesters. They might be either included or excluded from tasks based on criteria such as location, age, gender or other criteria. Workers will be able to claim payment after task completion automatically via the smart contract created to request the work in the first place.
Tasks are essentially job offers, posted on the platform. They require human, rather than machine intelligence to complete. They will be managed by a database of smart contracts that both Requestersand Workers can utilize to organize job posting and payment. At some point, human workers will not be required for all tasks. The platform will also enable Requesters to rent Bots to perform some tasks. The creators of the bots and the algorithms behind them, in this case, would be compensated for their use.
Here are the details of the upcoming Effect.ai token sale:
Token name: EFX (with AIX token planned)
Token base: ETH and NEO
Token supply: 650 million tokens
Token sale target: €4.28 million (soft cap), €14.820 million (hard cap)
Token sale date: 18 days in March, exact days TBD
Accepted currencies: NEO and ETH
Investment criteria:Minimum investment of €50 euro and a max of €25,000