SingularityNET Telegram AMA with Dr Ben Goertzel

On Saturday the 21st of September 2019, SingularityNET held a live AMA (Ask Me Anything) Event within our telegram community where Dr Ben Goertzel could answer some of the communities most burning questions.

This AMA session lasted for a little over an hour and a half where Dr Goertzel attempted to get through as many of those questions as possible. We’d like to say a huge thank you to each and every member of our community who sent in your questions, we were inundated and we are sorry to those of you whose questions we were unable to get to.

Given the live nature of the AMA, we have created this thread where we can put those questions and answers in a place that can be referred to in the future.


We've seen SingularityNet partner with some massive Chinese companies, this is awesome. What has the reaction been from US-based enterprises? Are they more reluctant to jump on board?

China hmm. Our China collaborations haven’t come up in our discussions w/ Western companies, to be honest. We have some amazing work going on with large US enterprises, including a project with Cisco that hasn’t been publicly announced in a formal way yet, but that we’ll start talking about more soon. I haven’t found US companies to be at all skittish about the fact that we’re also doing business in China, nor vice versa. No issues at all of this sort have arisen.

In general, it seems to me, the politicians have shut off or slowed down a few US/China business avenues recently, but overall US/China business interaction remains highly active.

Unfortunately the standard public SingularityNET marketplace can’t be used in mainland China though due to cryptocurrency restrictions… the stuff we’re doing in China now is more private-network stuff… how to best deal w/ launching a public network in China is still TBD but definitely something we want to do in 2020.


Sophia is a great asset and one of the reasons you had so much attention at the TGE, why are you not using her so much now?

Well, this is a long story, much of which I’m not at liberty to disclose, unfortunately…But yeah it’s a fair observation, which however seems likely to reverse a bit in 2020 :wink:

Relatedly though, I’ll be on stage at the Web Summit in early November with the Philip K. Dick robot that David Hanson built years ago, running PKD using OpenCog and SingularityNET software…

PKD is more fun to work with, in some ways than Sophia … Sophia has a very carefully controlled personality these days, she’s a media star with a quite particular character etc., whereas with the PKD robot we’re allowed to run wild with creative Ai approaches.

So there’s indeed been a bit of a lull in that collaboration but it looks like it may start moving forward interestingly again toward the end of the year…

There’s a meeting scheduled for later this fall to figure out how best to use the latest and greatest OpenCog/SNet AI to help Sophia as well…

(btw SNet and Hanson Robotics teams…)


When will you get more Algorithms on the market?

For sure growing utilization of the network is our top priority for 2020 …

In terms of actual hands-on work done by Singularity Foundation staff, rather than aiming to put more and more algorithms in the market willy-nilly, we are focusing in some corporate contracts and with the Studio on building polished enterprise applications that draw on AI services in the marketplace…

In the course of doing this, we will put more AI services in the marketplace, and post more RFAIs to incent and encourage others to put AI services in the marketplace…

Also, in 2020 we are going to do some really fundamental improvements to the OpenCog AGI engine as well, and these will get rolled out steadily as uniquely powerful OpenCog-based services on the marketplace…

But definitely we know we need to seed the network effect in which more AI algorithms lead to more users and vice versa – right now we have some cool AI widgets on the platform but the critical seeding of the network effect isn’t really there …

… yet…


When will there be real usage on the market, can we know how many calls are being made currently?

Not sure how many calls are being made but exposing this information (and more) may be a good idea…makes sense…

Right now I think the services we put on there are basically being pinged by people interested to check out the platform… nothing on there yet is being used significantly for commercial purposes

That’s the next big step tho… (commercial or research purposes I should say)


You announced Beta V2 but the roadmap is still at V1? Why?

Because we didn’t get around to updating that part of the website yet, whoops… ;p
Focusing on other stuff but ur right, that should be done ASAP


What are your plans for AGI in 2020?

It’s mostly about growing utilization of the platform, on both supply and demand sides.

I’m also really psyched about an initiative to majorly refactor OpenCog’s core systems, partly to make it massively distributed and more fully integrated with SNet platform, partly to make it more amenable to deep-learning/symbolic-reasoning integration and flexible meta-reasoning (reasoning about reasoning)… But this is more with my AGI researcher hat on than my SNet CEO hat on…


When can we expect to see the RFAI actually implemented? Can users also back existing requests and what would be the reward for doing so?

Hmm… Staking on requests is an interesting idea but won’t be part of the initial RFAI version launched

We had an early version of RFAI implemented but after creating some actual specific RFAIs and trying to put them into it, we realized it needed some changes; those are on the roadmap for a little later in 2019…

The early version required verification of fulfilment of an RFAI (to trigger reward dispensation) to be fully automated, the new version will allow this also to be done via approval of a set of nominated agents (could be humans or AIs)

This means that the criterion for success at fulfilling the RFAI doesn’t need to be gaming-proof, which makes it easier to write RFAIs …

I guess the high-level answer is: coming soon, and the delay is not because we weren’t working on it, but because it turned out trickier than initially envisioned not implementation-wise but in terms of the logic of it…

Yeah I’m very psyched about the RFAI portal, it will be a meaningful step toward leveraging the potential of AGI tokenomics for building AGI :wink:


What are the current ideas for coin staking? And when does it start work?

Staking is on the roadmap … we have just been prioritizing stuff aimed at making the platform more usable by AI providers and AI service users, rather than stuff aimed at tokenomics and reputation management. (Though we have made and thoroughly tested-in-simulations a prototype of the Weighted Liquid Rank reputation system and integrating it into the platform is now a reasonably high priority on the roadmap…)

We are discussing various ideas for staking and will experiment with some in simulation models of the SingularityNET ecosystem. I sort of hesitate to throw out specifics here because then someone will take whatever I say as a promise, and we’re not 100% sure what the model will be yet.

It’s clear though that staking can potentially have a very significant value to the ecosystem, because (in the right staking model) staked tokens can be made available for usage in transactions on the platform, and users of the platform (even if paying in fiat that is then converted to token on the back end) will need tokens from somewhere to carry out their transactions…


There was someone on Telegram who said they were an ex-employee, they said you were bankrupt and sacking people, were they right?

Ah…well first, no the Foundation is not bankrupt… we are not as rich as we would prefer to be sure but we are definitely solvent :wink:

We have in fact downsized a bit in the last couple of months, with a bunch of downsizing around the end of August …

It was painful but necessary because we really wanted to decrease the Foundation’s costs to the point where, according to our projections, we’d be able to cover most of our expenses via revenue from corporate relationships by around the end of the year…

We had close to 90 full-time team members in mid-summer and now it’s around 60 …

We’re also expanding in some regions tho, eg our China joint venture Singularity Intelligence Technology is hiring blockchain and AI devs in Beijing.

Laying people off is never pleasant but it’s a normal part of the evolution of a business. At our current size, we have what seems a pretty clear path to having our expenses fully covered by our revenues month-by-month by early next year.

I guess as a general comment, if a company downsizes a little, it’s pretty believable that some disgruntled ex-employee would go around saying not-quite-right things on social media … this happens in most industries, not just crypto…

We made every effort to be compassionate and open in our dealings with every one of our team members but well…


There’s been some FUD recently in some SingularityNET related Telegram groups; do you think that’s people trying to drive the price down so they can buy the dip before the price goes up due to all the amazing things you’re working on?

I don’t want to comment specifically on SingularityNET public token markets. However, in crypto markets in general, it seems to me pump and dump schemes are common and these schemes include trashing a project and spreading a lot of nonsense about it, so as to make sure the price goes down as far as possible – so one can, as you say, buy the dip and make a fast profit when the price goes back up (either for fundamental reasons or due to pumping activity). I tend to ignore both online FUD and the ups and downs of the altcoin markets on exchanges so I don’t want to comment on SingularityNET specifically, but for sure the kinds of dynamics you mention are common ones.


You had an election for a supervisory council, what happened to them, we’ve not heard anything from them?

Well, they are alive and well, I have been using the Supervisory Council as a resource, we’ve had a few conference calls and I have bounced a few questions and decisions off them.

However, I agree it will be good if they can play more of a public-facing role going forward.

This sort of council is a new twist on formal organizational governance and we’re definitely going to be exploring how to make it most meaningful during the next years…

I think David Orban set up a Forum topic for interaction w/ the Supervisory Council btw, no?

I think that’s a good way for community members to interact w the Council, as a start anyway… on Telegram, things tend to get lost and I don’t expect the Council members to track the Telegram lists thoroughly, they are busy people etc. etc.


When you plan to launch Studio?

Singularity Studio is incorporated as a Dutch for-profit company and already doing some business. We are talking to a number of very interested investors but have not yet closed a funding round for the firm. Currently it is a subsidiary of SingularityNET Foundation, but once capitalized it will be minority-owned by the Foundation.


What’s the most exciting service on the Beta so far?

Well, the neural net Twitter bots are pretty funny, but I have a weakness for longevity biology.

If we can use this AI network to help people not die, that will be even better than creating a perfect digital simulacrum of Trump’s tweets… ;p

The service I’ve actually been playing with is the Genomic Annotation Service, because I’ve been helping the bio-AI team with analyzing some data on the genomics of supercentenarians, and this service – while in essence simple in what it does – is actually the easiest way available on the internet right now to cross-correlate genomic data results with a bunch of relevant bio-databases at once…

It only has a few databases integrated now but they’re useful ones, and it’s going to get a lot more…

Also, we’re about to integrate a new service on Beta V2 that uses OpenCog Pattern Miner to recognize surprising patterns in biology/medicine OpenCog Atomspaces… have been using this to help analyze the same supercentenarian genomics data, so now want to make the tool widely available…


Do you really think Rejuve is going to make a critical difference in progress toward curing ageing, with so many big players in that space?

Well yes for sure, if not I wouldn’t be spending any time on it (not that I’m finding terribly much time for it tbh, but it’s something I’m passionate about… and will be speaking about at Raadfest in Vegas in a couple of weeks…)

Solving the problem of death with AI is hard … we can do it but there are a lot of pieces … one aspect is actually doing the science to come up w/ key breakthroughs, which interests me as a scientist… another aspect is creating an open and collaborative data/processing/biology/medicine ecosystem to complement the big-pharma / big-government R&D establishment, much as Linux and OSS have complemented big tech in the software world… obviously the latter is what Rejuve is aiming at…


How is the Rejuve project going to benefit AGI token holders?

Rejuve will use SingularityNET platform, and thus the AGI token, for all the longevity-oriented AI data analytics it does…


You’ve talked about the AI longevity biology work the SNet team is doing .. what is that focusing on? What are the results so far?

Aha, we should have some interesting announcements on that over the coming months. The first one in a week or two, regarding our results applying some of our AI tools to genetic data on supercentenarians… Keep your eyes on the SingularityNET research blog :wink:


You signed a number of high profile partnerships, but we haven’t heard anything further are these partnerships still alive?

Each partnership is its own case. Some are not making any practical progress, some are involving in-depth technical collaboration or paying contracts that can’t be publicly discussed due to confidentiality concerns of the other part.


Do you have a plan when the marketplace starting to making money and become self-sufficient?

Well we have a very specific plan for the SingularityNET Foundation to become self-sufficient via helping Singularity Studio with corporate AI/blockchain projects leveraging the platform, but that’s not quite what you mean I guess

For the marketplace itself, there is no specific plan to start charging a fee for usage, though it’s possible we could eventually charge a fee for listing on specific marketplace UIs. For the time being at least the business model for the marketplace is simply to get usage of the marketplace, which will then likely increase the value of the AGI token (due to limited supply and escalating demand), which will increase the value of the Foundation’s reserves which can then be utilized to fund ongoing development.

i.e., what the whitepaper says, I guess.


At the TGE you received 36 million worth of ETH, but ETH was at ATH, did you convert that to fiat and if so when?

Yeah – that is a very reasonable question which we probably should have been transparent about before.

For sure, we had a whole bunch of crypto optimists involved in the project in the early days…meaning that plenty of folks involved were optimistic ETH was going to rebound tremendously by early 2019 etc. etc. (myself included, but especially in the earlier stages of the project I was by no means the biggest crypto-economy optimist around)

Anyway, the ETH was converted to fiat at multiple points in the last 18 months… And all in all the $36M ended up netting roughly $15M for SingularityNET Foundation.

So not really $36M in the end but still a very meaningful amount that has let us get a lot done, and still is… Mostly it’s cashed now, at this point we have some BTC but not so much ETH

So yeah, between care and conservatism regarding some legal/banking issues, and a fair bit of crypto-economy optimism among various people involved, we didn’t convert ETH to fiat at the optimal time or price. … But in the scheme of things I can’t complain, we have accomplished a lot with the ETH we received at the TGE – there is a scalable and easily usable SingularityNET platform now with some cool AI stuff on it, this wasn’t the case before… and we’ve gotten some major corporations excited about using our tools, etc. etc. Now we have a mix of fiat, BTC and ETH but ETH is the minority.

Talking to other crypto projects I see that some did better than us in this regard but some did way worse as well… it was a tough period…


The price of the token has dropped a lot, to what extent do you think SingularityNET is susceptible to market manipulation by unscrupulous community members?

Hah… well a lot I guess…

I guess I don’t want to comment specifically on the SingularityNET public token markets … But I will say that in general, altcoin markets today seem to be very heavily driven by people with an opportunistic trading type methodology who are playing the markets.

It’s in some ways a ridiculous corner of the socioeconomy… and yet is nonetheless fostering some super interesting/important technologies…

In crypto markets in general, we see many many cases of “whales” manipulating markets up and down, while more naive “retail” traders primarily serve the role of getting screwed … I see a lot of dynamics similar to pink sheets (small cap) stock trading in the US – and even worse.

Anyway, we have done our best to deal with the peculiarities of having a utility token out there in the world, in an ethical and legally compliant way that works toward the goals of the project…

even when there are others out there acting from other sorts of goals and in other sorts of ways…


You say you are not interested in the price of your token, how come?

Well, we have to qualify that – on what time scale am I not interested in the price of the token.

In the long run, on the whole, if the AGI/fiat conversion ratio goes up, the Foundation’s token reserve will be more valuable and can drive more useful work on building and using the platform.

So in this sense, the price of the token in the longer term is meaningful for the project.

However current short-term fluctuations in the token price are irrelevant …and pretty much a waste of time to pay attention to.

People day trading the token and such are making the AGI/fiat conversion ratio more volatile which then makes AGI token more awkward to use as a payment token for services on the platform, and increases the frictional costs involved in using fiat as a payment method with AGI on the back end.


You said you don’t support secondary speculative trading, but why are you responding in the price group explaining that the price will increase through utility? Isn’t that oxymoronic?

I enjoy engaging with the SingularityNET community on social media when I can find the time – but in order to do this, I need to take a bit of a “loose” perspective when chatting on Telegram or other social media… I.e. I need to let myself just be human and unscripted in that context, rather than speaking like a corporate mouthpiece….

I note that most CEOs don’t choose to engage w/ their company’s community as openly as I do… which is probably because they’re worried about choosing their words wrong and having something held against them. I assume I am going to choose my words wrong sometimes and that I will have a lot of things held against me, and I’ve just decided to live with that… Elon Musk has made a similar decision, which is one of the many things I respect about the guy (in spite of us having some disagreements about the future of AI) … and he has caused himself a fair bit of trouble via being free and open and unscripted on Twitter…

Anyway, the position of SingularityNET as a project and Foundation is: We don’t want anything to do with AGI token price speculation. Volatility of the AGI/fiat exchange rate is generally bad for the project, and the purpose of the token is for usage to buy AI services on the network.

Personally, as an individual, I offered on Telegram my mathematical observation that as the usage of the token increases, the AGI token should increase in exchange value relative to fiat, all else equal. This definitely does not mean I want people to day-trade the AGI token. But it is a meaningful consideration for SingularityNET, in that we hold a bunch of AGI token reserves, so if indeed the fiat value of an AGI token is going to increase a bunch in the future (due to limited supply and escalating demand for usage), this has implications for the value of the Foundation’s AGI token reserves, and what the Foundation will be able to get done with them. So obviously this sort of issue is relevant to the Foundation independently of the existence of token price speculators right now…


It appears you are selling your tokens by sending them to Binance, is this true? And if so why are you doing that?

Ah, I guess there are a few sorts of transactions recently that might have given that (false) impression to folks tracking AGI token movements…

As I think I said on this channel before though, the recent direct-to-Binance transactions from the Foundation’s wallet – that seem to have alarmed a handful of community members who have nothing better to do than follow such things – were transfers of tokens to an Advisor who has been with us since before the TGE.

He requested that we transfer the tokens owed him for his advisory role to his Binance wallet, and thus we did so.

As this Advisor noted to me in personal informal communication, this does not imply he plans to sell his tokens in the near future on that exchange, it’s just where he prefers to keep his tokens.

Given the negative perception this transaction has caused, we will work with our advisors (not all of whom are crypto-fluent, some are AI gurus with limited knowledge of cryptocurrency practicalities) to avoid further direct-to-exchange payments whenever possible.

As a separate point though, it is true recently we have begun using tokens to compensate some of our team members for doing development on the platform …

But mostly this wouldn’t take the form of transfers directly to Binance or other exchanges as these team members probably don’t use their exchange account as their main wallet anyway…

I note, these tokens used for compensating developers were ones set aside for that purpose in the first place, so this has always been part of the plan…


When is the financial report expected to be released? This would ease a lot of the anxiety felt by the community.

That is still TBD… definitely a subject of active discussion w/ the Board and Supervisory Council and our advisors

Most recently after some careful conversations with our business advisors plus the Supervisory Council, we decided it makes more sense to do that a little later, as things are in so much flux right now with some large corporate contracts likely to close soon, and Singularity Studio funding potentially going to close soon, etc.

TBH this has been a difficult issue for me because my personal bias is to be as open as possible at all times, but we have a complex situation here with all the different public-facing aspects of the business …

To be noted, as a Dutch nonprofit SingularityNET Foundation (formally, Stichting Singularitynet) doesn’t have any legal requirement to file financial statements this year or announce them publicly…

https://www.kvk.nl/english/filing/am-i-required-to-file-annual-reports-and-accounts/

“Associations and foundations with an enterprise that achieve a turnover of at least € 6 million per year in two successive financial years;” have to file financials w/ the Dutch government. We’re not at that threshold in sales, yes, but will hopefully be in 2020.

But I realize this isn’t mainly a regulatory issue it’s a community-relations issue…


As the massive gap between the northern and southern parts of the world keeps widening in every respect, how do you think AGI would help solve the behemoths problems confronting the southern continents, especially Africa?

So our ethos has always been to democratize AI and offer open access to the world. Clearly an advantage of a decentralized AI marketplace like ours is that it is open to AI developers and users from anywhere on the planet – if you’re an AI dev in the Congo, you don’t need to get a job at a big US or China tech company to make a living from your skills, you can just create new things and sell them directly on a decentralized platform. For this promise to be realized we need a large and flourishing marketplace…which obviously is the plan…

Also in terms of immediate stuff – We are partners with Unesco and are working extensively in places like Ethiopia where we support many projects to help young people get a step on the ladder towards a career in AI. Not to mention we have an AI team based there…


You’ve been working on AGI a long time and AGI is finally starting to get taken seriously now. Do you think SingularityNET has pushed forward your quest to create AGI in a big way or has it been more of a distraction?

A little of both I guess?

I mean – SingularityNET platform has the potential to form a key part of the infrastructure of the emerging Global Brain … so it certainly is designed to be part of a self-organizing AGI system, where the different services on the platform are interacting and forming parts of the same overall AGI mind.

However, a part of me would certainly like to be focusing more time on meta-reasoning and core AGI algorithmics rather than decentralized infrastructure.

But it’s all part of the AGI picture for sure…

My personal aspiration is in 2020 to spend a larger fraction of my time on the AGI R&D side, after bringing in some new blood on the management side to help w/ coordination and business etc. Cassio and Arif and Hilen and Alberto and I are definitely doing toooo many things…

But I’m not complaining, what I’m doing now spending a lot of time coordinating the high level of SNet activities is also an amazing thing to be doing

I mean there are people on this planet spending 80 hrs/ week in coal mines digging up coal and getting asphyxiated and driven to an early death…

whereas I get to work with all sorts of brilliant people on building the tech to support a decentralized global brain… these are frickin’ amazing times, right?


Let's say someone wants to create an app that reveals people's personal data or a service aimed at harming people. How will these apps be limited on the marketplace?

So we can choose which apps we list on our Marketplace UI. However, anyone can create an app using our protocol and market it / provide it to others peer to peer.

It’s kind of similar to how Google can choose which websites they show in their search results – but anyone can put a torrent their computer and put their computer on the Internet and someone else can get to it peer-to-peer (unless blocked aggressively by government restrictions on Internet activity etc.)…

So, in short, we don’t stop folks from using our protocol to do bad stuff. But we don’t have to list bad stuff in the registries we maintain or show it in the user interfaces we manage.


Can you tell us exactly what level of involvement you had with Jeffrey Epstein and why have you not publicly denounced him?

About publicly denouncing him – I note the guy is dead, apparently, he hung himself. I am not sure the practical purpose that would be served by me making a lot of noise about denouncing him at this point.

For sure many of his personal-life activities seem to have been disgusting and reprehensible, from what I have read in the news etc. …

It is true that Jeffrey Epstein provided some research funds to me and some colleagues for OpenCog and related AI work over the years.

And I did meet Jeffrey F2F a few times but we weren’t personal buddies and didn’t hang out informally or anything like that… I didn’t fly on his plane or visit his island etc. etc.

Epstein was not a super major supporter of OpenCog, but his funds were useful at the time. His last donation to support OpenCog work was 2013 if I recall correctly. The founding donations for OpenCog were from Singularity

Institute for AI (now MIRI) and Novamente LLC (my and Cassio’s AI consulting company), and the largest financial support over time has been from Novamente LLC, Hanson Robotics and SingularityNET.

The main thing I guess it’s important to be clear about is – Neither I nor anyone else at OpenCog had any knowledge of Jeffrey’s personal life nor were we in any way involved in all these crazy rotten things being discussed in the newspapers now.

We simply accepted some research funding when it was offered, from someone we knew to also be funding Harvard, MIT Media Lab, Stanford and the Santa Fe Institute (so we figured we were in a reputable company).

Jeffrey’s and my discussions F2F focused on AGI and biotech research and didn’t touch his business dealings or personal life at all.

I just saw this news article giving an interview w/ Jeffrey on his approach to science funding btw,

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/what-kind-researcher-did-sex-offender-jeffrey-epstein-fund-he-told-science-he-died

It seems true-to-life from my experience.

To be crystal clear though, while my interactions w/ him personally were positive, I have definitely been utterly disgusted by some of the things I’ve seen in the recent newspaper articles about Jeffrey.

Neither I nor (I assume) many of the other scientists who accepted his funds were remotely aware he was a serial rapist. It’s really disturbing to know I was entangled with someone like that, even indirectly via taking his funds for my research…

Ah, also, while on this disturbing topic – there was some recent, misdirected article saying Epstein told some reporter he had funded Sophia. What is really absurd is that this is supposed to have happened in 2013, but Sophia was not created until 2015…

I mean it is entirely possible that Epstein lied to some journalist and said he had funded Sophia. But regardless, this is not true, and Epstein lying to a journalist is pretty weak news. No doubt Epstein told a lot of lies to a lot of people…

Epstein’s funding to OpenCog predated the creation of Sophia, and none of it was oriented toward robotics applications of OpenCog. Of course, some of the OpenCog code created w/ his funding was part of the OpenCog build that was occasionally used to control Sophia, but that is very different from him “funding Sophia.”

Anyway, I could say a lot more about Jeffrey but it makes me sick to my stomach.


What do you dream about?

I have been dreaming about refactoring OpenCog Atomspace lately, actually … kind of about mind-uploading myself into Atomspace 2.0 and then re-organizing my brain/mind to be more orderly using infinite-order probabilities and dependent type theory ;D

I also have a recurrent fantasy that I have somehow become good enough on the keyboard to effectively participate in a jam band with mind-uploaded versions of Jimi Hendrix, Buckethead, Jaco Pastorius and Billy Cobham.

I had forgotten until this moment, but I also dreamed recently that my baby son Qorxi was romping somewhere inside OpenCog’s memory with an upload of my tragically deceased nephew Lev … http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com/2010/08/rip-lev-goertzel-mann-1995-2005.html


I have heard the co-founders left the business is this true?

Ah… So the 3 main co-founders of SingularityNET were me, Simone’ Giacomelli and David Hanson.

David Hanson was never involved in the day-to-day of SingularityNET … he was more of a conceptual co-architect of the platform and organization …

Simone’ was involved in the day-to-day very intensively prior to the TGE, and to a significant extent for quite a while post the TGE … but recently he has stepped back from formal involvement in the project and moved on to other things.

Simone’ and I are still good friends, and are also working together still in the DAIA (Decentralized AI Alliance), which is run by Toufi Saliba, Simone’ and myself…

While not one of the 3 publicly-announced cofounders, Cassio Pennachin, my AI and business collaborator since 1998, was also intensively involved in SingularityNET since August 2017 … and he is still very intensively involved, effectively acting as COO and CTO of the organization.

A bunch of other developers who were working with us back in the founding days of the project are still on board as well…

(Toufi Saliba from Toda Network btw – which we are doing a lot of stuff with now… I will have a blog post on that soon…)


Who is the CFO of SingularityNet?

Tommy Kwok is helping us out part-time in a CFO role… he has done this job for both public and private companies before

Alberto Wisbeck, our General Manager, is acting as Controller in consultation with Tommy


There has been some speculation that Simone is the person who had all the contacts that set up partnerships with these larger companies & the Malta government. Could you provide any insight on this?

Oh… hmm… well no that is not accurate at all actually

So Simone’ was certainly the key and instrumental guy in pulling off the Token Generation Event in 2017 (well, it was him and me and Sophia, you might say), and in pulling together our initial team for blockchain, community building, PR and more … and also in shaping the whole vision of what we’re doing, from the decentralized economy/society and privacy/security perspectives …

I mean it was me and Simone’ and David who came up with the vision for SNet, but me and Simone’ who really made the action plan to bring it into being… and then pulled together the team to start executing the action plan…

Fall 2017 was a crazy blur of me and Simone’ flying around and meeting with people and Telegramming etc. and somehow pulling together the crazy initial ideas into a real project and then the TGE etc. etc. amazing times.

I would add that Simone’ is one of the most exceptional human beings I’ve come across – he really has an amazing way of connecting with people, and spreading love and companionship and warmth around … of connecting people with each other and encouraging them to open their minds and hearts…

Right now like I said he’s stepped back from a formal role with SingularityNET but we are in pretty frequent contact and he remains our strong supporter…

All that said, however – So far as I can recall, none of our partnerships with “mainstream companies” came from Simone’ … Some of our crypto-world partnerships did come from him, though I think not the majority.

(E.g. our partnership w/ Ocean Protocol came about because Cassio and I knew Ocean founder Trent McConaghy from using his AI code in an earlier project of ours…)

The relationship with the Malta government had nothing to do with Simone’ … that came originally thru a PR agency we were working with, and that PR agency came to us via an intro from one of my connections from before SingularityNET

Please recall that Cassio and I ran an enterprise/government AI consulting company from 2001 thru 2017 … so we delivered a working AI code to a whole bunch of corporate customers. Through this experience, we made a hell of a lot of contacts in the corporate IT world.

Arif Khan and Hilen Amin on our exec team also have brought their own rolodexes to help out SingularityNET – both of them have a lot more contacts in the traditional corporate software world than Simone’.


Why are you spinning off Nunet into a separate project instead of just doing it within SingularityNET?

Why are you spinning off Nunet into a separate project instead of just doing it within SingularityNET?

Ah you know that reminds me that some of the really key ideas behind SingularityNET design originated over some wine in Brussels with my son Zar and Kabir and Weaver from the Global Brain Institute… this is where the “API of APIs” came from … and a bunch of other stuff like a design for a dependent type theory based API of APIs … the thinking we were doing at Global Brain Institute about how to architect an emergent mind from a diverse pool of software programs all doing their own things but interoperating

This came to mind as Kabir is now the one organizing the NuNet spinoff effort :wink:

So Kabir for sure is psyched about the whole SNet vision and is viewing Nunet as a part of that vision… just more focused on the compute resources for the Global Brain rather than on the interoperation of the AI algorithms…

Anyway, the main reason to split Nunet off into a separate formal business entity is focus – SingularityNET Foundation is doing so many different things, and so we’re generally pursuing a strategy of using it to incubate a bunch of smaller, more focused organizations.

Like Rejuve for life extension AI, Singularity Studio for enterprise AI applications of the platform, Singularity Intelligence Technologies in Beijing for China-based AI projects.

Also, of course, a spinoff has new possibilities for compensating key staff/founders, and for capitalization. Nunet might do an IEO with its own token … which would interact w the AGI token, with the design being such that the Nunet token system and the AGI token system will increase each others’ utility and value…

There are a lot of non-obvious decisions to be made in bringing our crazy vision to reality though … how to optimally split up the pursuit among various different synergizing formal legal entities is often not obvious … but having Nunet be its own thing does feel right

For one thing, Nunet platform can host AI agents from any DAIA organization (or other decentralized AI platform), not just SNet …


What happened with Kabir’s work on offer networks? How is that going to play into the SingularityNET economy? If the SingularityNET became an offer network, wouldn’t that kill the value of the AGI token?

Kabir has been focusing on the NuNet spinoff lately, so his offer networks work has basically been paused. But I look forward to it getting resumed for sure.

As I envision it, somewhat speculatively, a future SingularityNET will use a mix of token-based exchanges and offer network-based exchanges. Some exchanges are just done way more efficiently using a simple token. Others are more nuanced and best done via multiparty barter exchanges as Offer Networks mediate. For sure we are in the early stages and still, have a lot to learn…


Do you really think that SingularityNET and the other DAIA projects can compete with centralized big tech for control of the global AI ecosystem? Aren’t you hopelessly outmatched for resources?

Linux has long been hopelessly outmatched for financial resources against Microsoft, Apple, IBM, etc. But now look, Microsoft is becoming a Linux company… And Linux is running the majority of Internet and mobile (including Huawei’s Android without the Google Play Store thanks to politics)… This shows the power of quality software and passionate community and an organizational model friendly to network effects…


Ben, being an individual who believes in an inevitable intelligence explosion, what are your thoughts on the views of people like François Chollet, who are more sceptical of this possibility.

Science and engineering’s progress clearly has not been linear, I am with Kurzweil on this one

Counting the number of patents and research papers is very flawed and a bit silly, but Kurzweil focuses on measurements of physical capabilities of types of machinery, which are much clearer and less silly. Moore’s Law has been real and exponential, improvements in bio-imaging have been real and exponential, etc. etc.

The impact of science on human life can often be slower than the progress of science itself because human psychology and sociology and politics etc. can slow things down…

As for why human-level AGI entails superintelligence, it seems clear to me that if we have an AGI as smart as a human-computer scientist, that can copy itself a million times and study and optimize its own mind/brain, it’s going to be massively increasing its own intelligence.


Hopefully, as a whole, this has given a better sense for the community of where we’re at and where we’re going with the project. It’s been a wild ride so far but I think the next year (2020) is gonna be a legendary one for SingularityNET!! :wink:

Ben Goertzel