Singularity NET is a project focused on artificial intelligence that looks to integrate AI with blockchain technology, thereby decentralizing AI and directly competing with AI behemoths like Google and Facebook. What sets Singularity NET apart from its competition in the centralized world is the very aspect of decentralized AI. All tech companies big or small are looking to and already have integrated AI into their business operations as a competitive advantage. Not every company has the knowledge or resources to do this though, Singularity NET looks to create a decentralized AI that anyone can use for their own specific needs. Additionally, the open source protocol of the platform allows multiple AI’s to be developed on it and have them communicate with one another thereby increasing the depth of the solutions that can be presented.
AI is complicated, creating programs that mimic the human mind and consciousness, two things we as humans have little understanding of, is a huge task. WIthin the AI market, there is currently a disconnect between the businesses who want the AI for their operations and the academic researchers who are building the tech. On one hand you have AI researches testing various protocols and implementations of AI, on the other you have businesses that require specific and customized AI for their needs. Singularity NET looks to bridge this gap in supply and demand by connecting the businesses to the researchers through a decentralized network.
The Importance of AI
In order to understand the importance of any business, you first need to understand the importance of the industry in which that business is operating out of. A groundbreaking business in the production of wheat isn’t worth very much if the wheat industry is only worth $20 billion. Understanding the importance of AI and how big the industry is will help paint the picture of Singularity NET’s opportunity.
As time goes on, the amount of time and money invested into AI grows exponentially. There is a ton of research being done in the field for specific cases such as advertising, business analytics, machine learning etc. What is lacking in the AI space right now is the development of a broad stroke AI to be used by multiple businesses – Singularity NET is a predominant player in solving this issue.
In order to truly understand Singularity NET’s mission you have to understand “What is the singularity”. The Singularity is a hypothetical point in time in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence thereby changing humanity forever. The book “The Singularity is Near” describes it as “It’s a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Although neither utopian nor dystopian, this epoch will transform the concepts that we rely on to give meaning to our lives, from our business models to the cycle of human life, including death itself.” For those that aren’t familiar with AI and what it represents, this is most certainly overwhelming. AI looks to revolutionize everything and everyone, a machine with the knowledge and thinking potential of the human brain without the biological restrictions of the human body means infinitely new possibilities. AI is a BIG deal, and there’s a lot of concern around it, justifiably so. Singularity NET looks to harness the abilities of AI and allow all to benefit and implement it rather than keep it in house and use it solely for one company’s gain. So how does Singularity NET work?
How does it work?
SingularityNET looks to combine the world of blockchain with the world of AI. AI and blockchain are arguably the two most revolutionary technologies of the next few decades. Therefore, it’s safe to say that SingularityNET is a very complex and ambitious project. A project of this scope should be looked at and invested in with a long term mindset, you’re not going to see massive progress with this overnight. This is a project where, if it succeeds, it is potentially the biggest network in the world, or it will fail and become overshadowed by other AI initiatives. Only time will tell.
SingularityNET looks to accomplish this goal of decentralized AI by becoming a marketplace for AI applications and services in the short term and expanding into a “self-organizing AI network” in the long term. In its early stages, the team at SingularityNET are focusing on 3 main aspects: Cloud Robotics, Biomedical Research and Cybersecurity.
The marketplace that they are creating will allow developers to monetize off their AI creations. The system allows developers to accrue AGI tokens for the AI services or trade their AI service for another. On top of that, the platform uses smart contracts for systems like governance issues.
SingularityNET Agents: The agents within SingularityNET have a crucial role in the ecosystem, with their importance only growing over time. Agents are AI entities that execute smart contracts within the system. The most common form of NET agents are network nodes which provide consensus for the system. Maintenance of the network validity is a very important task for the agents and they accomplish this through binary rankings from 0 to 1 and rank each other after every network transaction. Agents have other factors included in their ranking:
Benefit Ranking: based on the actions of the agent in regards to its improvement on the ecosystem. These actions typically have no monetary value, generally involves charitable and community service actions.
AGI Token Staking: Agents are required to stake a certain number of AGI tokens in order to participate in the ecosystem. If their ranking drops below a certain threshold, their stake can be slashed causing them to lose various amounts of AGI tokens.
External Validation: Companies can be added to the ecosystem and then provide ranking bonuses to various agents.
Self Run AI Network
This is the most ambitious aspect of the Singularity NET platform, but if successful, will revolutionize everything. Singularity Net developed Sophia the Robot with the intention to use various agents to complete tasks. Sophia has become increasingly more complex and sophisticated as complex and sophisticated agents have been continuously added to her domain.
Here’s an example of the power of Sophia: Let’s say we give Sophia the task of summarizing a financial report and drawing financial conclusions based on the results. Sophia initially sends this request to a primary agent but the agent isn’t likely to be able to complete the task itself given its expertise. It reallocates the task to multiple agents, one agent specializes in financial literature and understanding, another agent then takes that information and applies it to the specific industry and then combines the info and hands it over to agent 3 to formulate a cohesive report.
Agent 3 will then send this report to Sophia and Sophia will delegate payments to each agent based on their contribution to the report. What’s even more groundbreaking about this process is that all agents will gain the knowledge from one another during this process. For example, agent 1 will update its system with the knowledge on financial literature and writing a report. All of the agents working and learning from one another progressed the system faster than if one agent was working on the task by itself. This framework is exponential, as each agent develops the entire system becomes exponentially more sophisticated and more efficient, overtime SIngularity NET believes the network will be able to self-organize and won’t require any additional inputs to function.
Cardano and SingularityNET
If you read this blog consistently, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Cardano and you can read the reason why here. Singularity NET announced in September 2020 that it is collaborating with IOHK, the leading company behind Cardano to port SIngularity NET to the Cardano blockchain. This move coincides with the team’s designer for SIngularity NET to be as agnostic as possible, therefore the ecosystem should be accessible on as many platforms as possible.
Up to this point, SIngularity NET has only been available on the Ethereum network. Given Ethereum’s gas fees issues, it’s important for the project to expand beyond Ethereum. Dr.Ben Goertzel, the CEO and chief scientist at Singularity NET, has spoken up about Ethereum, he says
“Current speed and cost issues with the Ethereum blockchain have increased the urgency of exploring alternatives for SingularityNET’s blockchain underpinning. The ambitious Ethereum 2.0 design holds promise but the timing of rollout of different aspects of this next-generation Ethereum remains unclear, along with many of the practical particulars”.
This is huge news in my opinion, both Cardano and Singularity NET are very promising projects, both with huge upside. Collaboration between the two can mean nothing but good things for the future of both projects.
It’s evident through my research that Singularity NET as the potential to be a once in a lifetime investment. Similar to investing in Bitcoin in 2010, a small investment of $100 – $1000 can make you a millionaire in 10 years if the scope of this project is achieved. Singularity NET is an extremely unique, ambitious and complex project and so the risk of failure is evidently high. With great risk almost always comes with the potential of great rewards, the following Jeff Bezos quote outlines how I evaluate investments at Spectacle:
High risk with high reward investments are what I love, the bet to lose a few thousand dollars with the opportunity to make a few million is a risk I’m willing to take everytime. And so with this biased outlook, I’m very bullish on Singularity NET despite the fact that the project is in its early stages and it’s impossible to determine if the project will become what it has set out to be. There are still several concerning factors regarding SIngularity NET, I.e. can they overcome their competition and become of the dominating forces in the AI centered world? Will a self sufficient AI network surpass human intelligence and therefore result in us becoming obsolete? What are the dangers associated with having an AI network that can be altered or used by anyone? All of these questions are yet to be addressed and most likely won’t be solved or well understood until the following decade. Given all the uncertainty regarding this project, it is one that you shouldn’t invest in unless you have the stomach to hold for years and/or decades. Given the potential scope of the vision of SIngularity NET, I have high hopes that the payouts for this project will be life changing for those that invested early.
As always, do your own research and come up with your own conclusions!