Monday
Apr222019

AI for Good, at Scale? How can AI help address climate change, poverty, hunger and other sustainable development goals?

The growing “AI for Good” movement is about using AI (artificial intelligence) to catalyze sustainable development for the planet. This article explores how AI for Good might scale. It starts with community, including AI Commons. Then, it describes a funnel to track ideas from inception to deployment at scale. Finally, it describes the gap between problem owners and problem solvers, and how to close the gap.

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
Mar052019

Ocean is Decentralized Orchestration. And Other Framings of Ocean Protocol

People often ask: “What is Ocean?” Since Ocean Protocol is a new concept, I’ve found that it’s useful to build hooks to people’s existing mental models. This article describes a few, from narrow to broad scope:

  1. Decentralized orchestration
  2. Inter-service network
  3. Network of networks, for AI stack
  4. “SABRE” (travel database) for data itself
  5. Substrate for a Web3 data economy

Full post is [here]

Tuesday
Feb122019

Ocean on PoA vs. Ethereum Mainnet? Decision-Making Factors that led to PoA (with bridge to Ethereum)

This article describes how we arrived at the process to ship the first version of Ocean network as its own Proof-of-Authority (PoA) network. In the end, we chose to ensure that our data science users had a network with decent performance; it was worth the extra effort to set up PoA for this.

To maintain many benefits of the Ethereum mainnet, Ocean will have a TokenBridge to it. Therefore Ocean PoA can be seen as an Ethereum sidechain. This aligns Ocean with the “multi-chain” vision of the blockchain ecosystem, as envisioned by PolkadotCosmos, and ETH 2.0. We look forward to integrating to these networks as technology matures. Similarly, we plan to go more fully permissionless as technology matures.

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
Feb122019

The Ratchet of Governance Design Spaces: A 10,000 year view of technology’s effect on coordinating humans

Civilization ratchets its advances with new infrastructure for the public good. It started with nature: the soil, the water, the air, the flora and fauna. Humanity has augmented this with electric grids, public roads, and the Internet itself — public utility networks. On these networks both businesses and public goods organizations have grown and thrived. With blockchain we are seeing an explosion of new public utility networks, like Bitcoin for store of value or Ocean Protocol for data.

As civilization has ratcheted upwards, so have the means for organizing humans — aka governance. To be precise, the design space for possible ways of organizing humans has increased. Let’s take a journey from the distant past to today and tomorrow.

Full post is [here].
Friday
Nov232018

How Ocean Can Benefit Data Scientists: More data, crypto-secured provenance, new income avenues

Data scientists will be key users of Ocean Protocol. We’ve been designing & building Ocean to give them three main benefits. Let’s first discuss how we envision data scientists using Ocean, then explore the three benefits in detail.

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Nov222018

The Web3 Data Economy: Towards a Transparent, Permissionless Ecosystem to Spread the Benefits of AI

Let’s move from a shadow data economy that is opaque with concentrated power, to a Web3 data economy that is transparent and permissionless.

The Web3 data substrate fulfills the base layer of the data economy in terms of reserve currency /store of value, unit of exchange, and funding platform. On top of this base layer are the economic and utility “last miles”, as shown below. 

Full post is [here].


Thursday
Aug302018

ArtDAOs, Curation Markets and TCRs: Simon de la Rouviere and Trent McConaghy in conversation with Erik Torenberg

This article is an edited transcription of the Venture Stories Podcast with Simon, Trent, and Erik. Here’s the audio version.

... One specific idea that emerged was the ArtDAO, where it can generate art automatically using technologies like genetic programming or deep learning, and then sell it to online crypto platforms like OpenBazaar. Then, it can accumulate wealth over time, getting wealthier and wealthier. ...

Full post is [here].

Monday
Jul232018

Mission & Values for Ocean Protocol: Democratizing data while retaining privacy rights

Web 1.0 had democratic ideals. The unsung heroes of NSI and ICANN helped to keep it that way. Web 2.0 promised social but it delivered silos. In connecting people, it people farmed. We’re now on the cusp of Web 3.0. Can we swing the pendulum back and  lock it open, for good?

Here is the mission of Ocean:

Ocean aims to unlock data, for more equitable outcomes, using a thoughtful application of both technology and governance.

Here are the values: unlock data, human right to personal data privacy & consent, spread of power, spread of value, work with the law.

...

Full post is [here]

Wednesday
Jun062018

Nature 2.0: The Cradle of Civilization Gets an Upgrade

This article is a possible vision of the future. A hopeful one. It combines and extends AI * blockchain into a symbiosis of biology and machine, for a future of abundance.

In this article I discuss Nature 1.0, blockchain, AI, and AI*blockchain (AI DAOs). Extending beyond, we get Nature 2.0. Abundance included. Let’s get started!

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
May012018

Towards a Hierarchy of Token Building Blocks

With Inspiration from Software Engineering and Analog Circuit Design

As fields develop, they gather a corpus of building blocks, organized hierarchically. Software engineering and analog circuits are two great examples. This can inspire us in Token Engineering — the design, deployment, and maintenance of tokenized ecosystems (aka public blockchains). 

Full post is [here].


Tuesday
May012018

The Layered TCR

This article introduces the Layered Token Curated Registry (LTCR), a new cryptographic building block. LTCRs are composed of layers of TCRs. They replace the rather harsh “you’re either in or out” approach of TCRs, with a step-by-step increase in rights and responsibilities as the actor adds more value and stake. They smooth onboarding and help maintain actor diversity. LTCRs can be applied to problems of access control, governance, identity, reputation, and more.

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Apr192018

Curated Proofs Markets: A Walk-Through of Ocean’s Core Token Mechanics 

This article describes Ocean Protocol’s token mechanics via step-by-step examples of how users earn tokens by curating data and making it available. It describes how Ocean maximizes a supply of relevant AI data & services. The appendix has video and slides.

Full post is [here].

Wednesday
Mar282018

Top Down? Bottom Up? A Survey of Hierarchical Design Methodologies

How do you optimize, synthesize, or evolve a design that has 10 thousand parts? 10 billion parts? Doing it flat could easily fail. There is a way! In many practical cases, we can recursively decompose the problem into many sub-problems. We then solve each sub-problem and stitch it together to solve the main problem. We can do this in a well-structured fashion: a hierarchical design methodology

Full post is [here].

Monday
Mar122018

Token Engineering Case Studies Analysis of Bitcoin, Design of Ocean Protocol. TE Series Part III.

In previous articles, I described why we need to get incentives right when we build tokenized ecosystems; and introduced ideas towards a practice of token engineering. We can use these tools to help analyse existing tokenized ecosystems, and design new ones. This article does exactly that with case studies in (1) analysis of Bitcoin, and (2) design of Ocean Protocol

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Mar012018

Towards a Practice of Token Engineering Methodology, Patterns & Tools. TE Series Part II.

How do we design tokenized ecosystems? This article is a first stake in the ground towards a practice of tokenengineering: the theory, practice and tools to analyze, design, and verify tokenized ecosystems.

The first section of this article relates token designs to other fields and explains why “engineering”. The rest of this article is an attempt to draw us closer to this goal, by leveraging existing fields in three main ways:

  • We can frame token design as optimization design, then use optimization design methodology.
  • Inspired by software engineering patterns, we can document emerging patterns for token design.
  • Simulators and CAD tools for circuit design have helped engineers analyze, design, and verify wickedly complex chips. We can look forward to similar tools for tokenized ecosystems.

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
Feb272018

Can Blockchains Go Rogue? AI Whack-A-Mole, Incentive Machines, and Life. TE Series Part I.

Arguably, the core feature of tokenized ecosystems, aka public blockchains, isgetting people to do stuff. Incentives are powerful. But similar to AI / optimizer design, getting incentives right is hard. Blockchains can even be framed as life. In this context, what if we end up with a rogue life form sucking the life energy out of the planet? More pointedly: has Bitcoin gone rogue? This article explores these questions, in the first installment of a broader series aimed at improving the token design process.

Full post is [here].

Wednesday
Oct042017

Stateless & Stateful Smart Contracts: Lessons in flexibility, scale, and security from digital circuit design

Smart contracts are part of the blockchain zeitgeist. And with reason: they are unlocking many useful applications. I’m writing this post to clarify that there are really two types of smart contracts: stateful smart contracts are the most flexible; stateless smart contracts have better scale and security.
Full post is [here]. 
Wednesday
Oct042017

Starships and Tokens--A Path to Human Self-Actualization: Tokenize Civilization

Many humans don’t settle for just barely scraping by; they improve themselves towards self-actualization. Could we do the same at the level of civilization? Rather than merely avoiding disasters, let’s truly reach for the stars.

In this essay, I describe a decentralized system for humanity to collectively graph the steps towards self-actualization, from conquering malaria and a shared planetary database, to universal basic income and even asteroid mining.

But vision is not enough. We need execution, and the resources to power it. There’s a new tool: the blockchain token launch. It’s a low-friction way for a community of aspirational thinkers to fund big ideas with big dollars, and to benefit from the success of those ideas. We start with a token launch for the map itself. That in turn propels token launches for the first steps of the map, which in turn propels the second steps, and so on.

Full post is [here].
Wednesday
Oct042017

Tokenize Bits, and Atoms: From information highways to… highways

So far, we’ve seen token launches for startups on internet infrastructure (bits). That gives at least two dimensions to extend:

  1. Type of organization that tokenizes. Startup → Enterprise → City → Country
  2. Type of infrastructure being built. For bits → For atoms.

Full post is [here].

Wednesday
Oct042017

Ocean's Top-Level Goals

For Ocean Protocol, this post covers:

  • Go for a “data commons” — a win for humanity, or for paid data — which pays the bills?
  • What’s the role of tokens?
  • What about individual data privacy? In light of quantum computing, in light of regulations? What tech can help?
  • What about network governance?

Full post is [here].