The world of artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies can feel like a maze of jargon and obscure concepts, particularly to those outside the inner circles of Silicon Valley. However, if Jacob Steeves, the co-founder of Bittensor, has his way, these arcane realms may soon become a bit more democratic, a bit more human.
With a vision that’s as grand as it is fascinating, Steeves and his team at Bittensor are charting a path toward a future where artificial intelligence systems are tethered to humanity through democratic institutions and the holders of power. The aim is not to control these systems but to build mechanisms of incentive that align with the participants of the system, a seemingly radical concept in an industry often accused of exacerbating wealth and power disparities.
Central to Bittensor’s mission is a unique approach to procuring refined information. Their system relies on collective incentive mechanisms that allow for open ownership and use of digital currencies to tether people to AI technology and distribute incentives back into humanity. This ecosystem involves an innovative interplay between miners, validators, and stakers, focusing on measuring the outputs of the models rather than training them, a method which introduces more cost but, according to Steeves, prioritizes inferencing over training.
Steeves, a Canadian tech entrepreneur, also delves into the inner workings of the Bittensor platform, particularly the competition among validators to accrue TAUs, the digital tokens native to Bittensor, in order to gain more bandwidth and query the network faster. He even invites tech behemoths like Google and OpenAI to participate in the Bittensor network to improve their own AI products.
However, the democratic nature of the Bittensor system doesn’t come without risks. As it scales, the network’s security could be threatened. In response to these concerns, Steeves adamantly advocates for decentralization as the ultimate defense against corporate takeovers or any other form of centralization. While acknowledging the potential for actors within the ecosystem to make bad decisions, or refuse to cede power, he maintains that these threats can be mitigated through decentralization.
Steeves also shares insights into the Bittensor’s recursive training feedback loop and hints at some updates to the platform that users can look forward to, such as pseudo key decentralization and voting on proposals. Expressing his excitement for the upcoming applications and companies to be built atop validators, he invites onlookers to stick around and witness the growth of this groundbreaking technology.
Jacob Steeves’ vision of democratizing AI through Bitcoin may seem ambitious, if not quixotic, to some. However, it’s exactly this kind of audacious thinking that could revolutionize these industries and perhaps, in time, lead to a world where AI and cryptocurrencies are no longer the purview of a select few but a shared resource that benefits all of humanity.