What is SingularityNET?
Will SingularityNET build its own blockchain?
Why does SingularityNET need a blockchain?
What is the utility of the AGI Token?
Why was there a delay in the Beta release of the Platform?
Should we be afraid of an AGI? Is there an existential risk to creating an AGI?
What is the revenue model of SingularityNET Foundation? Will there be enough funds to build the platform?
What is the role of DAIA and how is SingularityNET involved with the alliance?
Why doesn’t SingularityNET approach Exchanges to list AGI Token?
1.What is SingularityNET?
SingularityNET is a decentralized network of AI agents that can communicate with each other to exchange information. Not only will SingularityNET allow anyone to create, share and monetize AI services, it will allow for its AI agents to connect with each other and form federations to offer services that they cannot provide individually. The network is being designed such that its collective intelligence will be incentivized to be benevolent, to allow for a positive technological singularity.
A more technical definition can be found in our White Paper:
“At its foundation, SingularityNET is a set of smart contract templates which AI Agents can use to request AI work to be done, to exchange data, and to supply the results of AI work. These also include contracts to be used by external, non-AI Agents who wish to obtain AI services from AI Agents in the network. Anyone can create a node (an AI Agent) and put it online (running on a server, home computer or embedded device) and enter this node into the network, so that it can request and/or fulfill AI tasks in interaction with other nodes, and engage in economic transactions…. SingularityNET is a radically innovative economic mechanism, designed to catalyze human and machine intelligence toward a new form of ethically beneficial self-organizing intelligence. The SingularityNET of AI Agents is designed to provide valuable AI services to customers across the Internet, while, in the process, self-organizing toward its lofty goals. A highly successful SingularityNET may very plausibly play a major role in the transition of humanity toward a positive Technological Singularity.”
If you would like to understand SingularityNET further, we recommend that you read our blog posts and listen to this podcast by Dr. Ben Goertzel. The community also found this analysis to be very helpful.
2. Will SingularityNET build its own blockchain?
The initial implementation of SingularityNET is being built on Ethereum. However, SingularityNET is being designed to be blockchain agnostic, and the network will be able to interface with multiple blockchains.
Although our initial beta platform release will be on Ethereum, the design is such that if we were to change blockchains (or switch to some other infrastructure layer that is technically not a blockchain), then the AI Agent code would remain the same and work. Therefore, SingularityNET can be built on any open and decentralized framework that satisfies certain basic requirements.
However, as of now, we are not building our own blockchain for launch. We are more focused on building the platform and getting it ready for a Beta launch - but at a later stage, we may revisit this option.
In our research lab, we are exploring a Proof of Reputation mechanism that aims to replace Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake consensuses. We are also evaluating already existing blockchains, and have a partnership with Nexus.
3. Why does SingularityNET need a blockchain?
SingularityNET is being designed such that most of the interactions between AI Agents will not need to occur on any blockchain - however, it does use blockchain to allow for the creation of an Open Access Network. Such a structural design has certain benefits over a centralized network but comes with challenges that we discussed in this blog post.
As we state in our white paper: “Blockchain technology is a means of transferring money over the internet without an intermediary such as a bank or payment processor. It uses a distributed ledger that is updated by consensus among the community, rather than held privately. Smart contracts are self-executing pieces of logic that run on the blockchain. The smart contract contains some if-then logic that two parties agree on, and the contract automatically executes payment when the conditions stipulated in the contract are fulfilled. SingularityNET is a protocol and a structure, implemented in smart contracts to create a Decentralized Self-Organizing Cooperative of AI.”
The ability to transfer value over the internet without an intermediary is the most significant use case of a blockchain (as is evidenced by the rise of cryptocurrencies). Such a mechanism of value transfer within SingularityNET, made possible through our native utility token, allows for a higher level of connectivity between its participants and removes the need to share sensitive data or information with a centralized party.
Being an Open Access Network is a significant technical advantage of SingularityNET, for it encourages participation in the network and allows SingularityNET to benefit from the emerging ecosystem of decentralized AI networks - as is evidenced by our various partnerships and the DAIA.
We discuss this in the white paper in the following words: “The open, decentralized nature of SingularityNET gives it more potential for dynamic, effective intelligence than any more closed, monolithic system could possess, while also aligning the incentives of the network as a whole with the greater good.”
4. What is the utility of the AGI Token?
The native token of SingularityNET is called AGI, which is an ERC-20 Token. The AGI Token is a crucial aspect of SingularityNET, and it can be utilized in a variety of ways. It will allow for transactions between the network participants, enable the AI Agents to transact value with each other, empower the network to incentivize actions that the community deems ‘benevolent’ and will allow for the governance of the network itself.
We believe the governance aspect of AGI Token deserves special emphasis. As we wrote in this blog post: “The token holders will be able to vote on the evolution of the network. They will be able to decide, among other things, which benevolent project to incentivize, which agent deserves a higher reputation, how the network allocates its resources and what the laws of the network will be. In doing so, they will have the power to shift the end goal for AI from increasing shareholder value to more benevolent causes.”
If you would like to learn more about the utility of the AGI token, please read this blog post.
5. Why was there a delay in the Beta release of the Platform?
When we started on our journey, one of our commitments to the community was to be fully transparent about our activities. When we published the White Paper, we had given the deadline of July 2018 for a Beta version of the platform; but in the light of the details of the system design as currently understood, this was an overly ambitious goal. As of now, the software is in a rapidly advancing alpha state rather than beta.
In the Progress Update, that we released at the end of July, Dr. Ben Goertzel had this to say:
“All of us on the SingularityNET tech team are acutely aware of the eagerness of our community members, as well as others in the AI and blockchain world, to have a fully polished and scalable SingularityNET platform out there to use. I also have to note that, in hindsight, it was a bit too enthusiastic to do what we did in the original SingularityNET whitepaper, which was to cite July 2018 as a specific date for the beta release. In Fall 2017 when we put that whitepaper together, we knew what we needed to build, but we hadn’t yet broken down the platform design in detail the way you can see on our platform roadmap now. Additionally, in the fall my co-founders and I didn’t anticipate the amount of time and work it would take to recruit and on-board a large high-quality team. While we started expanding shortly after our Token Generation Event in December, our team in its current form only came together in late March and early April and since then it’s been full speed ahead.”
We have a far more detailed design for SingularityNET now than we did in late 2017, and a better understanding of what are the major challenges involved in bringing the vision to reality. So from the inside, our perspective is not one of a "delay" but rather one of radically greater and rapidly increasing understanding of what software structures and processes are actually going to make SingularityNET work as envisioned.
What we can guarantee the community is that the entire SingularityNET team is actively working toward fulfilling our commitments to the community. The community can track the progress of the SingularityNET platform over here.
6. Should we be afraid of an AGI? Is there an existential risk to creating an AGI?
According to the White Paper: “the founders of SingularityNET have expressed the view that the best way to militate toward generally positive outcomes will be to encourage the application of practical AI technologies to positive causes; and to ensure that AI, as it grows, is deployed in a way that is inclusive and supportive of as wide a swathe of humanity as possible.”
Dr. Ben Goertzel has thoroughly expressed his views concerning AGI and its risks through the following articles:
We also recommend the work of another AI researcher at SingularityNET, V. Kabir Vietas, on open-ended intelligence:
To quote Dr. Ben Goertzel:
"I generally tend to be an optimist, including about advanced technology and about the future potential for human and transhumanist growth. I think we’re going to create superhuman thinking machines and that some of us will merge with them and explore incredible new forms of mind, society and embodiment and experience. I think we will create radical material abundance that will end the era of working for a living and end disease and death."
7. What is the revenue model of SingularityNET Foundation? Will there be enough funds to build the platform?
As well as an ambitious project to create AGI and democratize AI generally, SingularityNET is also an actual business, albeit one that is currently at an early (pre-revenue) stage.
SingularityNET Foundation received the funds from its Token Generation Event in a combination of USD, Bitcoin and Ethereum; and in the months after the TGE converted some of the ETH to fiat. Combined with ongoing treasury management and financial engineering, this is expected to allow the Foundation to fulfill its commitments as laid down in the white paper in either bull or bear market conditions.
SingularityNET Foundation is preparing a more in-depth information package on its financial position and future financial plans for dissemination in Q4 2018.
Besides the funds collected in the Token Generation Event, the SingularityNET Foundation will also offer some of its own AI services for sale on the platform. If these are done well, the AI services can be a considerable source of revenue and also drive broader usage of the platform.
It’s important to understand that the SingularityNET revenue model is not predicated on the logic of “create AGI first, become profitable after.” The model is designed to enable profitability based on narrow AI and the creation in this way of a platform that can both fund itself, and foster/accelerate progress to AGI. However, SingularityNET’s business model does not require human-level AGI to achieve massive success, both financially and in terms of human and transhuman goodness.
8. What is the role of DAIA and how is SingularityNET involved with the alliance?
In May of 2018, SingularityNET along with AI Decentralized announced the Decentralized AI Alliance (DAIA), an open industry alliance trying to foster the development of decentralized AI technologies.
DAIA will provide a medium for member organizations to coordinate regarding standards, protocols, interfaces and other technical matters, along with organizing community events, providing networking opportunities, and giving legal and management guidance. DAIA will also foster the creation of funds to support AI blockchain-powered projects. The initial DAIA plan involves an affiliated fund that will support 100 projects over the next two years, with funding allowances of $2 million for each of the first 50 projects.
As Dr. Ben Goertzel discusses in the SingularityNET Podcast, the vision behind DAIA is to create an ecosystem of interconnected decentralized AI networks, within the greater ecosystem of decentralized networks. Through the DAIA, the different decentralized AI projects will interoperate and allow the various networks within such an ecosystem to leverage the strengths of the other networks. Such a synergy will allow the individual networks to be much more agile and evolve faster than their centralized counterparts.
To quote Dr. Ben Goertzel:
“To me, DAIA is more than just another industry organization. It’s a movement — a movement by a network of adventurous technologists and entrepreneurs around the globe, aimed at wresting control of the world’s AI and the data and computing power that feeds it from the handful of big tech companies and big governments that are currently threatening dominance.”
9. Why doesn’t SingularityNET approach exchanges to list AGI Token?
While we are aware that the AGI token is currently being traded on some exchanges, we do not encourage or facilitate this exchange trading in any manner. Speculative secondary trading is against the spirit of the AGI token and SingularityNET project. We strongly discourage speculative secondary trading and officially ask AGI token holders to act accordingly.
We emphasised this policy in the white paper in the following words:
“We have decided to make no formal arrangements with exchanges and to not support or otherwise facilitate any secondary trading or external valuation of AGI tokens. Major exchanges, however, could list AGI tokens as they list many other tokens including some utility tokens, but in full independence from us.”
Since the AGI Token is not pegged, we are aware that the necessity of letting the free markets efficiently decide upon the value of an AGI token means that it will be susceptible to volatility. However, a high volatility in the value of AGI Token will be problematic for both customers and service providers.
One solution to this volatility problem, that we have mentioned in the white paper, is that: “…the process of buying and selling AGI tokens can be left to the market, in the form of centralized brokerages who make rapid buy and sell orders according to the needs of the customer. These entities play the roles of market makers in active financial markets: they can get in and out of positions rapidly, reducing their exposure risk to a volatile asset while satisfying customer needs for AI services. This lets corporate customers purchase AGIs for processing on demand with almost no volatility risk.
To support a free and open market for AI, we are designing a smart contract dedicated to buying and selling AGI tokens in this way. Any existing brokerage or exchange will be able to take SingularityNET’s open source code and spin up their own AGI token payment processor in minutes. SingularityNET will encourage the development of AGI brokerages and payment processes that enable rapid transactions. The precise way in which these will develop, will be left up to the open market as it evolves.”