Recently in Davos, Hub Culture announced Zeke the AI, an emergent artificial intelligence (AI) project based on the Ethereum “blockchain brain.” In the summer of 2017, Zeke is scheduled to host Hub Culture’s Hello World conference, the world’s first AI to AI meeting, which is slotted to offer “1440 minutes to witness questions, thinking and insight from a new point of view - that of the virtual machine.”
Founded in 2002, Hub Culture is a global collaborative network of over 25,000 urban influencers whose ultimate goal is to build worth through collaboration. The social network operates on an invitation-led member selection system that encourages members to create profiles, share expertise, knowledge, and participate in collaborative projects that pique their interest and encompass their expertise.
ETHNews recently corresponded with Stan Stalnaker, chief strategy officer of Hub Culture, about the current state of Zeke the AI.
Stalnaker says that Zeke will eventually result in “something HAL-like for Hub Culture.” For those unfamiliar, HAL is the fictional artificial general intelligence system from Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey,” and is known for having a number of abilities, such as speech, natural language processing, and automated reasoning. Zeke looks to be trying to accomplish the same tasks and is using the blockchain to get it done. The project is currently overseen by a worldwide team of community hub developers based in various locations, such as Kiev, Berlin, London, Nice, and New York.
According to Stalnaker, Zeke’s creation was facilitated by two driving forces: the Open Audit Initiative (OAI) and the development of HubID- and Ven-related application program interfaces (API). The OAI operates as the backend machine-to-machine network or “brain” and payment infrastructure for Ven, Hub Culture’s global digital currency, while the APIs function as Zeke’s interface, the interactive front end of the project.
“Once the OAI began operating, we realized we could use it as a repository for unstructured data generated by Zeke, and that this could form the basis of a new ‘blockchain brain’ (BB). Zeke begins as the personality and user interface we are building to access and manage this distributed data store.”
Currently, the OAI is being used to record Ven transactions, HubID identity strings, knowledge records, and “grains” of unstructured data. Use of the blockchain allows for the OAI repository to be open for “audits and receipts.” In addition, the Ethereum blockchain also preserves the integrity of answers received from third party sources like Twitter, on which Zeke has posed 1440 questions regarding the nature of life. Hub Culture chose Ethereum because it offered all the flexibility and security that a project like Zeke needs.
“Ethereum is the core technology chosen for the distributed data architecture, in the form of a private blockchain, keeping records of Ven transactions and HubID data strings. We have been following Ethereum since its inception, and like the flexibility of the architecture in allowing us to include more diverse data sets in a private blockchain. Ven currency transactions are efficiently managed on our custom architecture, but we wanted a way to build immutability into the [infrastructure] of the services we offer, and Ethereum offers this capability.”
In response to whether Zeke is an open source project, Stalnaker responded, “In the last 6 months working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have developed over 30 new open APIs related to HubID and Ven.” He further stated:
“Elements of Zeke now in development are set to be open source, and will provide opportunities for both replication and enhancement of Zeke’s capabilities. We’re still exploring this and believe open source approaches will dramatically increase the rate at which Zeke learns about the world around it.”
In addition to hosting the Hello World conference, Zeke will also be actively engaged in other performance ventures. According to Stalnaker, Hub Culture has plans of integrating Zeke into a number of projects that will provide an “initial friendly face to other emerging AIs” by becoming the origin of Hub Culture’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) machine network, Noonet.
“By this summer, Zeke will employed to work on projects where it will earn Ven income for services. Zeke will provide governance of the new Hub Culture Beach Club at Ariel Sands Bermuda – the first property in the world to be governed by an AI and opening in time for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda. Next, Zeke will manage syndicate sales of a property we are developing in New Zealand, and will provide AI governance for the property. At the end of the summer, Zeke will host Hello World – the first AI to AI meeting – in which we are inviting other AIs to ruminate on questions in the cloud in front of a collection of human guests.”
Hub Culture’s Zeke the AI project utilizes emerging technologies, adding immutability and protection that’s needed for trust based transactions and automation to occur across the ecosystems. By combining IoT and blockchain technology in creating an artificial intelligence, Hub Culture is breaking new ground in a field that is already pushing the limits of what was thought to be only science fiction.