An AI network and marketplace, providing AI developers with the platform to monetize their creations whilst making AI services available to everyone.
The problem that SingularityNET is trying to solve is that the vast majority of AI is currently owned by large companies who use it for their own personal development and gains, and selectively rent it out for their own financial gains. SingularityNET aims to, ultimately, generate coordinated artificial general intelligence i.e. multiple AI agents that work together to form a meta-AI whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
This will be done through a decentralized registry (smart contract) of AI services where anyone can create an agent, an AI program run as a node, and connect it to the SingularityNET marketplace to monetize their code. These AI agents can be run on in the cloud, on phones, robots, home computer, and embedded devices, and are connected to, and provide services to, users via smart contracts. Reputation will be key in the security of the network and “proof-of-reputation” will be used to form consensus between nodes and users in the network.
The SingularityNET platform will be blockchain agnostic completing as many transactions as possible off-chain through the utilization of smart contract escrows. It is also being designed to be open and compliant with regulatory and legal requirements.
It is worth noting that many of the AI services provided by the SingularityNET platform will require powerful computing resources, but the network itself will not and will able to be embedded in all manner of low power devices. For example: this will allow for the deployment of the software in robots, allowing them to acquire cognitive services from cloud based AI, with the robot itself paying for obtaining the services.
There’re two participants in the SingularityNET platform and these are users and developers.
Users: A Marketplace DApp
For users wishing to search for and purchase AI services there is the marketplace DApp that allows them to search and filter pre-approved AI services.
Through the DApp users can find and setup payment for the services they want to use. Payments are done through escrow contracts, meaning that users must deposit funds into a timed escrow into order to use the service. This contract can be topped up, have its closing time extended, or closed by the user at any point they wish. Payments on the platform are done through atomic, unidirectional payment channels meaning that users need not wait for blockchain confirmation to process payments and can receive services at a much faster rate.
For application developers who want to use the network’s intelligence in the their applications the SingularityNET SDK will compile client side code for interacting with the platform and services, and support payments and interactions with the blockchain.
This DApp also allows users to rate the services they receive and these rating affect the developer's viability on the platform and their voting rights should their rating fall too low.
A web-based dashboard and control panel will be made available to developers allowing them to mange their identities and the details of the AI Agents they have registered with the platform. Amongst other things it will also allow them to claim funds from customers, connect to different networks, and to monitor and log usage statistics of their services.
The SingularityNET daemon, a sidecar proxy, takes care of interactions with smart contracts for developers, greatly minimizing their onboarding hurdle and allowing them focus on the AI-related aspects of their services.
The decentralized SingularityNET registry is stored on the Ethereum blockchain, however a centralized version is currently in use to avoid lag and the current high costs of querying the Ethereum blockchain. This registry is where developers register their AI agents and it is from this registry that the marketplace DApp pulls search results for users.
Here is where each AI's: organization, service, type of repository and tags; are stored. The AI agent’s metadata is stored offline in the IPFS.
Initially the SingularityNET network will be overseen by the SingularityNET Foundation. In the whitepaper the SingularityNET network is described as a “decentralized self-organizing cooperative”, similar to a DAO, and there is design and hope that this it become a true DAO further down the line.
During initial phases of network operation most major governance decisions are going to be made by token holders with the SingularityNET Foundation providing high-level stewardship and practical day-to-day management
The Foundation is responsible for building, supervising and accelerating the growth of the network and marketplace. It was formed by:
OpenCog Foundation: Builders of an open-source AI framework. Hanson Robitics: Developers of life-like humanoid robots. Vulpem: Blockchain software engineering consultancy. Novamente LLC: AI software consultants providing custom AI solutions.
These entities bring a vast amount of experience to the platform and with them they also bring AI agent developers and potential customers from all levels of the ecosystem. Despite this it is still recognized by the Foundation that the active participation of a grassroots community is needed for this project to succeed and for its governance to be properly democratized.
The AGI token is required to utilize the SingularityNET platform as it is the only acceptable form of payment on the platform. Token holders also receive voting rights with their tokens, but voting rights are not just determined by token ownership. Voting rights are also affected by the user's reputation and only those with a reputation above a predetermined base level will have their votes counted.
Major changes to the network will require more votes than minor changes and all changes voted for by users also require the approval of the SingularityNET Foundation.
A percentage of network tokens are to be designated “benefit tokens” Voters will receive a certain amount of “benefit votes” each month, and will nominate and vote on benefit tasks. Benefit tasks are those that hve all ready been deemed "benefit tasks" through votes by token holder. It is assumed that these are tasks where a successful output will be beneficial to some part of society; disease cure research is used as an example in the whitepaper.
Once a benefit task is approved by vote any agent capable of performing the task, so long as that agent is rated sufficiently high, will receive benefit tokens for doing so.