Interview with Marcello Mari, Head Of Public Relations at SingularityNET

Welcome to the future: “Blockchain and AI will collide for the first time with SingularityNET”

Gabriela Motroc
Marcello Mari

Who will take ownership of AI and how has blockchain inserted itself into this conversation? We caught up with Marcello Mari, Head Of Public Relations at SingularityNET to discuss SingularityNET, blockchain’s role in all this and his predictions for 2018 and beyond.

SingularityNET allows AI to cooperate and coordinate at scale

JAXenter: What is SingularityNET and why was it created?

Marcello Mari: 
The value and power of Artificial Intelligence is growing dramatically every year, and will soon dominate the internet —as well as the economy as a whole. However, AI tools today are fragmented by a closed development environment; most are developed by one company to perform one task, and there is no way to plug two tools together.

SingularityNET is the first and only platform that allows AIs to cooperate and coordinate at scale. This removes one of the major limiting factors to AI growth today — the lack of interoperability — which severely restricts the ability to leverage the strengths and capabilities of individual AIs. With SingularityNET, companies, organizations, and individuals can empower their AI agents to participate in markets, buying and selling goods and services. No longer must AIs exist in silos, only capable of operating within a specific company, infrastructure, or industry.

AIs can use SingularityNET markets to buy rare and valuable datasets or analytical capabilities that previously needed to be developed in-house from scratch. AIs can also use SingularityNET markets to monetize their own assets, creating massive value from proprietary information, algorithms, and functionality.

By applying blockchain to a network of AI we don’t just offer a reliable marketplace, but we are also creating the infrastructure for new Artificial General Intelligences to emerge.

JAXenter: How does SingularityNET work?

Marcello Mari: SingularityNET’s core goal is to provide an intelligent fabric for AI algorithms to talk to each other — and in doing so, to provide the basis for the emergence of the world’s first true Artificial General Intelligence.

We can imagine SingularityNET being a sort of an “AI app store” where apps can not only serve users’ needs but invoke each other’s help to complete their tasks or projects.  Any creator of AI can plug their algorithm into the Net, find customers and reap benefits from the network of other AI algorithms. The first complex AI system was realized on the SingularityNET is an AI brain for Sophia Hanson — the most humanlike humanoid robot ever built.

JAXenter: What is blockchain’s role in all this?

Marcello Mari: Blockchain technology is crucial to keep the whole network decentralized and allow self-organized and self-regulate AI agents to interact with each other.  It also provides an ideal tool for managing network transactions on SingularityNET due to its transactional and bookkeeping advantages. But a blockchain-based framework needs to be designed to allow AI Agents to interact with each other and external customers.

The AGI token makes network transactions possible. With the AGI token, network users can transact on the marketplace from thousands of contracts, technologies, and protocols. All transactions occur on a single, publicly-auditable transaction ledger.
This creates a plug-and-play experience for AI developers. Buyers can easily integrate any external resource or capability, while sellers can seamlessly monetize any asset.

JAXenter: Will the paths of blockchain and AI collide in the future? What do they have in common?

Marcello Mari: Blockchain and AI will collide for the first time with SingularityNET. We believe it’s extremely important that this happens, as the future of AI needs to be decentralized and open-sourced.

Other companies in the world are creating impressive AI infrastructures but again the problem there is with the centralization of their technologies. By applying blockchain to a network of AI we don’t just offer a reliable marketplace, but we are also creating the infrastructure for new Artificial General Intelligences to emerge. This is very similar to a biological system comprised different agents who are able to cooperate with each other to deliver an aggregate service.

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JAXenter: According to the white paper, “many state-of-the-art AI tools exist only in GitHub repositories created by grad students or independent researchers. This puts them out of the reach of anyone without the skills to install, configure, and run them. Most AI developers are academics, not businesspeople, and have no easily-accessible marketplace to monetize their clever AI code.” Where does SinguralityNET come into play? How can it offer a sharing-economy marketplace for AI?

Marcello Mari: To make it easy to visualize, SingularityNET is very similar to the Apple App store or Google Play. Before these marketplaces existed, a mobile developer had to go door to door to sell his mobile app to different customers. Now, thanks to these centralized marketplaces, a mobile developer is able to sell the mobile app globally.

We want to bring the same revolution to AI while maintaining an open source and decentralized platform. A lot of clever AI developers are based in countries that are not exactly located in the epicenters of the tech industry. For example, we have very talented AI developers in Ethiopia. Thanks to SingularityNET they will be able to sell their AI algorithms to clients on a global scale.

SEE ALSO: “Future applications of blockchain will likely include artificial intelligence and bots”

JAXenter: How important is it to democratize access to the benefits of AI? What is the expected outcome of this move?

Marcello Mari: It’s extremely important. AI is taking over the internet and it will be more and more relevant in the next years. We can’t allow big corporations or governments to take ownership of AI. We believe a decentralized AI is the best way to serve humanity and allow AI to thrive together with humans as opposed to being against humans. The consequences of having a siloed AI market is that there won’t be any change made. We will see, again, the current players take greater control over AI while other industries and sectors are being disrupted by decentralized systems.

The future of this planet and human life is currently at stake. If SingularityNET succeeds, AI will remain open and accessible to anyone, so that humanity as a whole will be able to guide and partake in its development. We see the future being made by a group of AIs working together to keep humans happy, thriving scientifically and culturally, while also spawning the next generation of intelligence on the planet in the form of transhuman AGI.

We can’t allow big corporations or governments to take ownership of AI.

JAXenter: What are your AI predictions for 2018 and beyond? 

Marcello Mari: In the positive future we envision and are striving towards, humans will have AIs doing most or all practical jobs. As a result, humans will have more time for intellectual, social, aesthetic and cultural pursuits. Humans might also have the possibility to go beyond the legacy human condition and merge their minds into the cloud, seeded by decentralized AI networks such as SingularityNET.

It sounds science fictional, but then the Internet, self-driving cars, CRISPR gene modification, and space flight would have sounded incredibly science fictional to my great-grandparents. Science and technology are bringing us to amazing new places. But if we want AI and AGI to bring us to good places instead of bad, we need to have AI developed in a democratic and decentralized way “by, for and of the people” rather than oligopolized by a small number of governments and megacorporations with narrow goals.

Find out more about SingularityNET here


We asked Marcello Mari to finish the following sentences:

In 50 years’ time, AI will be able to serve humans and allow us to thrive intellectually and culturally. Possibly humans will transcend their current body form and merge their brain with the AI in the cloud. This will allow an unprecedented growth for our intellect and enable us to find solutions to the world problems, that we currently struggle with.
If machines become more intelligent than humans, we will be able to take advantage of this advanced brain and grow as a species.
Compared to a human being, a machine will never be like a human. Our perception of the evolution of AI has been driven by the representation given by Hollywood movies. AI doesn’t have to be human-like and won’t be like humans. However, it is very difficult to predict at the moment what the future of AI will be.
Without the help of AI, mankind would never be able to evolve to the next step. More than 700 job types are currently being improved by AI and hopefully, this will happen in more and more industries allowing humans to dedicate themselves to activities our brain is more suited for, like create art, being creative and so on.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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