By Mina Down
AGI doesn’t exist yet, but fictional depictions of intelligent machines eradicating or enslaving humanity abound. One startup is hoping it can use blockchain to develop AGI in a more utopian direction.
What is Artificial General Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence or “AI” refers to machines that can learn and perform tasks like a human. “Artificial General Intelligence” (AGI) is something different. It would be like combining all AI devices into a network. This network would be far greater than the sum of its parts because it would be able to generate a collective artificial general intelligence through the combined experiences of each machine, as well as the interactions of machines with each other.
Thus, AGI would combine the best of human-like thinking and reasoning with the advantages that computers have over humans — perfect recall and the ability to perform near instantaneous calculations. If AGI could also control robots as dextrous and mobile as a person, it would result in a new breed of machines that could take over any role performed by humans. While AGI doesn’t exist yet, experts agree its development is inevitable. The question is what direction will this development lead?
Dystopia or Utopia?
We’re all familiar with fictional dystopian depictions of intelligent machines eradicating or enslaving humanity, for example, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Terminator series. Not everyone thinks such scenarios are far-fetched. SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk calls AGI the “biggest existential threat” facing humanity and famous physicist and Cambridge University Professor Stephen Hawking said, “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”.
At the same time, such dire predictions may go too far. An AGI equal to or better than humans could also help develop solutions to problems that seem intractable today, such as climate change and war. Nonetheless, at a minimum, we must worry whether AGI will merely empower the small group of powerful individuals that rule the world today with better means of mass surveillance and population control. Given that most of human history seems to reflect the principles of winner-take-all and might-makes-right, we (humanity) might only have one chance to get AGI right.
Blockchain and Decentralized Apps: One Startup’s AGI Solution
As overwhelming as the challenge of developing beneficial AGI seems, some innovators are aiming to do just that. Kassy.ai is a new startup with the goal of creating a community-developed open-source AGI. Kassy plans to do this by creating a “Knowledge as a Service” (KaaS) Blockchain to function as an infrastructure for a global AI computing system. The Kaasy network will offer a set of kits that developers can use to expand their software applications, better optimize processing times and access load balance computing. The open-source KaaS blockchain code can also be forked to create private knowledge blockchains, for tasks which may involve privacy concerns and other data restrictions.
On top of the KaaS blockchain, Kassy will build an AI algorithm marketplace. The marketplace will be distributed so anyone can use and add new algorithms. The AI algorithms can be optimized to run distributed calculations and power machine learning, thus producing AI skills usable by anyone using the platform. Applications include video processing, machine learning, molecular simulation, AI conversation partners, employee-as-a-service solutions, augmented and virtual reality solutions, and real-time robotic fleet management. The marketplace will also have a built-in compensation mechanism where contributors earn rewards when someone uses their algorithm. Skill rewards for complex skills are issued as a tree, where each complex skill payment is split between itself and the integrated simpler skills.
Building Blocks for a Beneficial AGI
In the short term, Kaasy’s plan consists of linking a global community of AI specialists within an ecosystem of projects that allows each to contribute to the direction they want AI development to move in. However, the technical features described above support Kassy’s long-term goal of using blockchain technology to make AI accessible in the simplest of applications and devices, which will in turn act as building blocks for a future global Artifical General Intelligence.
Disclaimer: I do not own KAAS coins and I have no plans to participate in the ICO. This is not investment advice.