Tuesday
Jan032017

Blockchains for Artificial Intelligence: From Decentralized Model Exchanges to Model Audit Trails

Blockchain technology could transform AI. Some applications of blockchains to AI are mundane, like audit trails on AI models. Some appear almost unreasonable, like AI that can own itself — AI DAOs. All of them are opportunities. This article will explore these applications...

Full post is [here].

Friday
Nov182016

Blockchains for Big Data, From Data Audit Trails to a Universal Data Exchange

Big data has its challenges, which include control, data authenticity and monetization.

First, who controls the infrastructure when there are multiple actors involved? For example: why can’t there be data just “out there” as a single shared source of truth that no one on the planet owns or controls, per se? Rather, data would be a public utility like electricity or the internet itself.

Full post is [here].

Sunday
Nov062016

A Decentralized Content Registry for the Decentralized Web: Coala IP + IPDB + IPFS

For me, Bitcoin was an inspiration that you could have a global shared database for the planet, especially for creative works and for self-sovereign personal data...

I believe the decentralized Web needs a decentralized content registry. That registry is a shared global database, that anyone can use, that helps creators get paid for their works... using COALA IP, IPDB, and IPFS...

Full post is [here].

Sunday
Nov062016

Where Does Blockchain Scalability Matter? Specific Use Cases, from Digital Art to HR

In a recent Reddit thread, a user asked:

What’s the intended use case of BigchainDB? [the scalable blockchain database]

... Put yourself in the shoes of a developer who’s built a career building applications for the web. You’ve become very good at using databases like MongoDB to manage mountains of data. You insert, retrieve, and update data using a query language. It handles massive scale — millions of records in a heartbeat.

You want one of the blockchain benefits for yourself, and decide to deploy a blockchain database. Great — learn the BigchainDB interface and use it side by side with your other databases...

Can you be more specific or concrete in the use case? 

It was my pleasure to respond to this one! Here are a few...

Full post is [here].

Friday
Nov042016

Where Does Blockchain Scalability Matter? Specific Use Cases, from Digital Art to HR For blockchain tech to go mainstream, it needs to scale

Put yourself in the shoes of a developer who’s built a career building applications for the web. You’ve become very good at using databases like MongoDB to manage mountains of data. You insert, retrieve, and update data using a query language. 

Now… imagine you’ve just heard about blockchain databases, and want the benefits: shared control (decentralization), audit trails (immutability), or assets that just “live” without a substrate that owns it (native assets). You decide to deploy a blockchain database. Great — learn the BigchainDB interface and use it side by side with your other databases.

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
Oct112016

The Benefits x Verticals Grid: A Tool for Generating Blockchain Application Ideas

At BigchainDB, people often approach us with their “next great blockchain idea.” At least 8 times out of 10, that idea could be best implemented by a traditional database. But sometimes, the ideas are genuinely applicable.

Here’s a way to generate applicable ideas more efficiently: combine one of the known blockchain benefits with one of the most applicableverticals.

You can make a grid of it, where each cell in the grid has opportunity:

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
Oct112016

Six Blockchain Application Verticals (+1 Bonus): Opportunities for Your Next Project

We see six key verticals where blockchains are being applied. Each of these has many business opportunities.

  1. Intellectual property (IP)
  2. Identity (ID)
  3. Finance
  4. Energy
  5. Supply chain
  6. Government

A bonus vertical is: infrastructure for the other verticals!

We’re still in the early days of blockchain and the broader decentralization movement, which means there is still plenty of opportunity in each vertical.

Full post is [here].

Tuesday
Oct112016

Three Blockchain Benefits: How Blockchain Technology Helps, Above and Beyond Traditional Databases

In you’re thinking about business opportunities for blockchain technology, it’s useful to avoid getting over-excited about an idea that a traditional centralized database could do just as well. How do you parse which is which?

In building BigchainDB, we started with a traditional centralized database that had scale and built-in querying, and added blockchain characteristics. This forced us to think deeply about the characteristics, as benefits. We asked the following.

What specific benefits do blockchains bring compared to traditional databases? We found three.

  1. Decentralized / shared control,
  2. Immutability / audit trail, and
  3. Assets / exchanges.

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Aug182016

The Bandwidth++ Scenario

The Bandwidth++ scenario is, in my view, the most pragmatic response to the threat of AIs controlling all of humanity’s resources. It puts us on equal competitive footing with silicon, and it can happen incrementally using today’s market forces.

In the scenario, bandwidth between our selves and computation gets to the level of bandwidth between our selves. And then it keeps going. Eventually, we can unplug...

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Aug182016

AI Waking Up is Closer Than It Appears

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could “wake up”: it could achieve human level intelligence. Why?

  1. Money going into chips which drive AI,
  2. Money going into AI directly,
  3. Decentralized computing is coming of age, and
  4. There are no fundamental roadblocks.

...

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Aug182016

Why "Are Brains are Unique" is Wrong: A Dynamical Systems Perspective

Many suggest that humanity is about our brains (and our nervous systems and bodies too). This is wrong. Here’s why, from a dynamical systems perspective. 

...

Our brains (and bodies) house patterns of intelligence. They are simply dynamical systems.

Full post is [here].

Thursday
Aug182016

Humans Don’t Have Exclusivity on Creativity: A Lesson from a Recovering Bio-Narcissist

Do you believe that creativity is a uniquely human endeavor, that AI will never be creative? If yes, don’t fret, since it’s a widespread belief. 

Full blog post is [here].

Wednesday
Aug172016

Moore’s Law is Dead, Long Live Moore’s Law

When someone tells you that Moore’s Law is dead, or dying soon, be skeptical. Physics is not the constraint, it’s the economics, and there is a lot of money at stake.

Full blog post is [here].

Sunday
Jul102016

The DCS Triangle

In this post, I introduce the DCS (Decentralized-Consistent-Scale) triangle as a way to compare tradeoffs among some of today’s popular decentralized systems, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, IPFS, and BigchainDB. Each system has its own complementary uses. As engineering progress is made, I envision systems that are fully DCS.

Full blog post is [here].

Tuesday
Jul052016

The AI Existential Threat: Reflections of a Recovering Bio-Narcissist

AIs could end up with control of all our resources. This is an existential threat to humanity. How do we prevent it? Safe AI is a mirage (sorry, Elon). There’s another way: join the machines. We can even do this incrementally using today’s market forces. But we have to get past our bio-narcissim.

Full blog post is [here].

Monday
Jun272016

Wild, Wooly AI DAOs

We’ve seen the rise of The DAO. On its heels are AI DAOs, which are more powerful than just AI or just DAOs on their own. If you thought DAOs were troublesome (e.g. The DAO hack), then consider what would happen if the troubles were 1000x worse. That’s the territory AI DAOs might take us into. Let’s start to explore the societal implications now, to see if we can mitigate potential downsides before real damage is done. How? Here, I use an “ArtDAO” to explore how to get an AI DAO soon, how it might become wildly more powerful (and more dangerous!), and why it really matters to think about it now.

Full blog post is [here].

Saturday
Jun182016

AI DAOs, and Three Paths to Get There

DAOs have arrived. This post explores what might come next, and how we might get there. There are at least three ways to do an AI DAO.
  1. AI at the edges (of the smart contract).
  2. ...
Full blog post is [here].
Saturday
Jun042016

Recent SF Readings on Singularity & Decentralization

When thinking about the future, I find it much easier to interpolate than to extrapolate. To interpolate, one needs some well-defined possibilities of what the future might hold. That’s where science fiction (SF) can help tremendously...

Full blog post is [here].

Friday
May132016

BigchainDB: Where it Came From, Where We’re At, Where We’re Headed

In summer 2013, we started working on a project that became ascribe: blockchain-based intellectual property (IP) attribution. When we described it to others, the response was usually “huh?”.

...

In late 2014, one potential ascribe customer with 20 million users had more than 100,000 works a day going through their system. That’s roughly the same number of transactions that the entire Bitcoin network had per day...

...

Full blog post is [here].

Wednesday
Mar092016

The Writings of Leslie Lamport (abridged)

If you’ve ever done even half-serious work on consensus algorithms, then you will know that Leslie Lamport is a central figure. Paxos, Byzantine Generals, TLA — if any of these are familiar to you, well, Lamport is behind them. (And LaTeX too!)

What follows is papers and nuggets from his homepage, biased to blockchain relevance. It’s as much for my own reference as anything:)

30. SIFT: Design and Analysis of a Fault-Tolerant Computer for Aircraft Control, 1978PDF

The origin of the Byzantine generals problem and its solutions, reported in[41].

...

Full blog post is [here]