Dfinity Foundation and SingularityNET are bridging artificial intelligence with blockchain, smart contracts, and decentralized networks.
In a deal announced Monday, SingularityNET will integrate the Internet Computer (ICP) blockchain into its AI tools marketplace, which the two claim will allow developers to run AI models within smart contracts on the ICP blockchain.
“The collaboration enhances the transparency and trustworthiness of DeAI models developed and deployed on the Internet Computer using SingularityNET’s reputation system and governance framework,” Dfinity founder Dominic Williams told Decrypt in an exclusive Q&A, adding that joining forces would allow the two entities to create a decentralized AI (DeAI) network that leverages both platforms’ scalability, security, and interoperability.
As Williams explained, SingularityNET’s reputation system tracks the performance and quality of AI services and agents on the network and assigns ratings based on user and agent feedback. The overarching goal, Williams said, is to combine the strength of each platform and allow for the development and deployment of decentralized AI applications that are beneficial, transparent, and trustworthy.
As opposed to Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake, where control of the network goes to those who have the most computational power or hold the largest amount of tokens, respectively, Proof-of-Reputation refers to a consensus algorithm where those who earn a greater reputation and audience govern the network.
“Integrating these mechanisms will ensure that DeAI models running on the Internet Computer are held accountable while also remaining ethical and aligned with the values and interests of the users and stakeholders,” Williams said.
AI and blockchain
While artificial intelligence has taken off in popularity since the public launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT last year, the idea of autonomous agents operating on blockchains goes back to the mid-2010s with projects like the Russia-based AIRA, which aimed to develop smart contracts for autonomous drones, and the UK-based Fetch.
“SingularityNET and DFINITY have each created critical tools and platforms enabling great decentralization of AI and AGI; bringing these two toolsets together will be an important step toward creating a decentralized AI network for the benefit of all humanity,” SingularityNET CEO Dr. Ben Goertzel said in a statement.
In 2017, Dr. Ben Goertzel co-founded SingularityNET with David Hanson of Hanson Robotics, developers of the Sophia, Grace, and Desdemona robots. SingularityNET acts as a decentralized marketplace for AI models.
Launched in May 2021, ICP is a decentralized network designed to host software and internet services directly on the blockchain. The Dfinity Foundation calls itself “a major contributor to the Internet Computer blockchain.” Williams said the biggest challenges in integrating AI with blockchain technology are the systems’ complexity, cost, and compatibility.
“AI models often require large amounts of data and computational resources, which can be expensive and difficult to manage on a distributed network,” Williams said. “The overwhelming majority of blockchains cannot host this volume of data, which is why so many have resorted to “AI plug-ins” that are little more than APIs into ChatGPT and other centralized models.”
Dfinity claims that the ICP network can execute 11,500 transactions per second, making it ideal for AI models. Internet Computer canisters (smart contracts), Williams said, can contain and run LLMs in their entirety, making them uniquely suited for AI blockchain integration.
“The future of decentralized AI will be a collaborative, creative, and conscious network of AI agents and services,” Williams said. “These agents and services will be able to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate with each other and with humans to solve complex problems and achieve common goals. DFINITY and SingularityNET will play a key role in this future by providing the infrastructure and the ecosystem for decentralized AI to flourish and evolve.”
The rise of artificial intelligence has demonstrated the technology’s transformative potential in various industries. However, in their current centralized state, Dfinity argues, AI tools lack transparency in training data. As artificial intelligence becomes more ubiquitous, Williams emphasizes the need for data privacy, which he claims is guaranteed on the Internet Computer blockchain.
“When training and running an LLM on the Internet Computer privacy is guaranteed because access to data happens on the Internet Computer itself; data cannot be leaked or used for purposes other than authorized,” Williams said. “Moreover, it is also guaranteed that no other data is used as input; the training process is verifiable, and such LLMs can offer the highest degree of security.”
Williams is optimistic about the future of decentralized artificial intelligence and further collaboration with SingularityNET. In addition to integrating their respective platforms, SingularityNET and Dfinity said the two organizations are combining their Deep Funding and Dfinity Developer Grant Programs.
“The Internet Computer, has been at the forefront of hosting artificial intelligence on the blockchain,” Williams said. “Since the launch of the $5 million DeAI grant in July, we have seen an uptick in projects leveraging AI on ICP. This initiative with SingularityNET will further realize our vision for DeAI and we’re excited to work alongside Dr. Ben Goertzel and his team to refine the DeAI framework.”