Blockchain and AI Company Synapse Hopes To Create New Data Economiesbr>
Synapse AI was founded in 2016 with a vision of rewarding data compilers using artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. By creating opportunities to interact and learn from each other, the network will create smaller “economies” where the data is leveraged for use in decentralized marketplaces. Participants will be rewarded for contributing data that can be analyzed through AI and machine learning for use in business and government.
The company has a token sale running in varous tiers until May 7, hoping to raise $6 million USD through sale of its SYN tokens.
“We’ve gotten so used to giving away our data for free – and regularly,” Synapse AI CEO Dan Gailey said. “We upload and tag photos, we share our location, we provide access to our purchase histories – all for free. But that’s neither fair nor sustainable. The future will be built on a fair and balanced intelligence available to all equally, using newly created AI economies that any agent can participate in and receive some reward for doing so.”
The new AI economies will be made up of two groups of players: data sellers – any entity that creates data; and data purchasers – businesses or other organizations that want to use data to grow.
To strengthen and advance the AI community set to build this future,Synapse AI is hosting the Decentralized AI Summit, which starts tomorrow. Leaders from Google, IBM Watson, Slack and other leading companies will discuss the path forward on AI economies and how it will improve our lives.
Gailey spoke with Block Tribune earlier this month about this expanding new frontier.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Tell me what Synapse AI does.
DAN GAILEY: Synapse AI basically creates access to resources, programmatic access. At it’s fundamental level it’s a marketplace and network for any device, any user, any agent to allow others to provision its resources. We’re talking specifically about data and machine learning models in this context.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: I need a better explanation. That’s what it does. But what does that mean to the average user?
DAN GAILEY: You, at it’s base, have this naïve economy of buying and selling resources. Buying and selling data, buying and selling machine learning models, but ultimately what we’re looking at is the ability for open models to be built. The more access you have to data, the more robust data you have, the more robust models you have and the more representative those models become.
The idea is that we want to reward people who participate in building models that will be used by robotics, by automation, by chat box. The idea is really gaining a lot of strength. Interest in our token cell alone has gone up tenfold between our first and second tier. People are really starting to wake up to AI and blockchain.
We’re seeing so much attention to our February 5th ICO that it’s pretty crazy. We have a soft cap of 1.5 million with a hard cap of 15 million. Yeah. People are coming around to the idea of AI and blockchain and it’s impact and what it means to everyone.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Someone gets one of your tokens. What do they do with it?
DAN GAILEY: They can transact across the network. It’s basically the token is used for any bonded service to provision additional services as well.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. Give me an example of that.
DAN GAILEY: What’s really interesting about the programmatic access is that you can have an app interface that … We’re a middle layer to AI and data and machine learning. How people can participate is through applications where they can better control access to their data as well as understand prominence and data lineage, which is who has access to what resource and how is it being used.
It’s a platform. We have a whole developer fund that we’re going to be leveraging in order really change how applications are built and how people participate in a decentralized way to share resources. Right now, a few large companies control the majority of data. This is the way that we can help democratize access to machine learning models by democratizing access to the data. Anyone will be able to contribute data and get access to machine learning models and, in essence, get paid in tokens for their participation.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: In other words, I have a bunch of data. Let’s say I have health records from a hospital or something like that. I put it into your system and I get a reward for that and I will be able to have your machine learning parse this data and provide insights. Is that what you’re saying?
DAN GAILEY: Right. We’re creating the economy between data and machine learning models and it’s application. Genomic data, I just had my whole my genome sequenced. You can actually give access to that on the Synapse network and other applications can use our marketplace and network to get access to your data and provide, and in return pay for that data and provide valuable services like reports. You can contribute to research. You can contribute to pharmaceutical stuff in the scope of the genomic vertical, but beyond that, not just human to human interaction, but you can have higher level programmatic access by autonomous agents.
You can actually have machine learning models and the AIs that embody and provision those models actually contract other AIs. That becomes a really cool emergent quality of the network, is you can have an AI that optimizes it’s best features. If you have a chat bot, you could do classification. We’re essentially creating an open marketplace for AIs to learn and grow together.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What sectors are you focusing on? Are you focusing on health? Are you focusing on transportation? Anything in particular?
DAN GAILEY: I think there’s a couple of big ones that can be impacted immediately. That is health, your genomic data, capturing quantified living data. There’s transportation opportunities. We’re at the time that vehicles all contributing to building open models. There’s transactional recommendation data. There’s persona data. If you’re looking to … There’s a lot of talk about getting chat bots and these AI agents to reflect who we are and to participate as companions in our life. This is one of the few times that we’re actually seeing infrastructure built to support that future and that narrative.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: When you say they’re going to be a companion to our life, give us some examples of that.
DAN GAILEY: Oh, yeah. A lot of what’s going to happen is it surrounds the ambience intelligence. We’ll see more of the decision making in our life go away. We’ll have a constant companion who knows what we want, sees what we’re doing, understands who we are and can help us in a ton of different ways, whether that’s delivering our autonomous vehicle to our location for our next meeting without our intervention, whether that’s ordering our favorite latte at our favorite spot.
What we’re going to see are digital companions helping reclaim the most valuable resource of all, which is time. Time spent making decisions or thinking about what to do day to day and I believe, hopefully helping us concentrate on discovery and growing and living happy healthier lives.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What does your service do that singularity.net doesn’t do, differentiation?
DAN GAILEY: Blockchain AI is a huge potential. We don’t see this as a zero sum game in which there’s only one. We’re focused on putting this data and intelligence layer on every device, in everyone’s hands. This is the way that we can level that playing field. We’re creating a whole new way for us to interact with each other. We’re creating a whole new way for economies to be created on top of data and machine learning models.
Ultimately, it comes back to this foundation that supports both data and machine learning models as well as the emergent economies and emergent features that sprout from what we’re building.
What we’re trying to do is we’re focused on data and connecting machine learning models. They’re totally concentrating on a very small field.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What’s the timeline for seeing miraculous results from something like this? If health suddenly becomes very much integrated with AI, will we see cures for cancer emerging and things like that in short order, or is this still a very long play?
DAN GAILEY: I think the more data you have, the more possibilities you can have. I think that the potential lies within the data. I think we’ll start to see a whole lot unlocking in the next one to five years, as long as this idea of sharing data and contributing data to open models becomes a big, big, big part of our lives.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. What are the barriers to that right now? Are there, for instance, security concerns? What else?
DAN GAILEY: I think it’s just getting the idea and getting the applications into the hands of the users, helping them understand what data means and how that can be leveraged to build insights into our lives.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. Tell me about your ICO plans.
DAN GAILEY: Our ICO is going to be on February 5th. We’re going to do a soft cap of 1.5 million with a hard cap of 15 million. We have about 10 times as much interest as our first year, which is pretty incredible and it’s growing constantly every day. People are really starting to see the opportunity by merging the centralization on the blockchain and applications in machine learning.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. It runs February 5th to when?
DAN GAILEY: March 5th.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: March 5th, okay. Very good. How many tokens are holding you back versus publicly available?
DAN GAILEY: We have a billion tokens that we’re minting. 33% of that goes to the sales, so 333,000,000. We are selling those in tiers. Every tier hits the soft cap or hits the hard cap or sells out, those are as many tokens as we sell in each tier. After the token sale is over, we’re either going to redistribute those tokens or burn them. We’ll let the community decide.