As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, outspoken computer scientists like Ray Kurzweil are predicting an event called the “singularity.”
First described in 1993 by a science fiction writer named Vernor Vinge, the technological singularity is “the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.”
While scientists like Kurzweil seem to be fully convinced that the singularity will occur by the year 2045, others are more conservative with their estimates, or just plain worried about its existence—regardless of when it occurs. Elon Musk has stated that “artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat,” even equating it to “summoning the demon” that could cut loose and potentially wipe us all out.
At this point, it’s impossible to determine whether AI will usher in a new utopian era, lead us to extinction, or even see the light of day. Whatever the result may be, how can blockchain technology increase the probability of a bright, artificially intelligent tomorrow? One idea presently being explored will distribute the power of AI, possibly mitigating the risk of a rogue superintelligent computer.
SingularityNET is aiming to bring AI to businesses by creating APIs that will allow third parties to access the power of artificial intelligence, without being experts in the AI field. If the platform reaches maturity, it would be possible for users to pay for AI problem-solving in exchange for AGI, SingularityNET’s native token.
SingularityNET Beta Release Postponed
After their successful ICO at the end of 2017, where SingulairtyNET raised $36 million in a matter of minutes, the team began working on their initial roadmap. They have since released their Alpha Network, allowing users to test the system by calling on several AI agents already established on the network.
In the original whitepaper released in December 2017, the beta version of the infrastructure had a targeted release date in July 2018. As development continued during the first half of 2018, the team concluded this was an “overly ambitious goal,” but continues to improve the alpha version rapidly in systematic preparation for their beta release.
Dr. Ben Goertzel, CEO and Chief Scientist at SingularityNET, had this to say about the developmental delay:
All of us on the SingularityNET tech team are acutely aware of the eagerness of our community members, as well as others in the AI and blockchain world, to have a fully polished and scalable SingularityNET platform out there to use. I also have to note that, in hindsight, it was a bit too enthusiastic to do what we did in the original SingularityNET whitepaper, which was to cite July 2018 as a specific date for the beta release.
Successful technology startups are notoriously difficult to launch, and new obstacles are constantly presenting themselves along the way. As the project continues to mature, the amount of time and manpower required for success becomes more clear, and more accurate road maps can be developed.
Updated Roadmap Released
The maturation of the alpha version allowed for a more detailed plan for the near future. In order to provide the community and fellow developers insight into the development of the beta version, it was announced at the end of June 2018 that their roadmap was divided into 3 parts: platform, services, and research initiative.
All 3 sections are aiming at 1 common goal: the launch of the SingularityNET mainnet. The platform roadmap will outline the development of their core infrastructure, providing details for each network component. The services roadmap will detail the progress of more than 50 internal researchers on-boarding the initial batch of services to the platform. The research initiative roadmap is focused on the long-term capabilities of AI, in order to strengthen the core areas outlined in the Platform and Service subsections.
The SingularityNET team also noted that even though they’ve updated their roadmap for a more accurate view of the future, the roadmaps themselves will evolve as breakthroughs and functionalities emerge. Followers can expect frequent code updates and AI services to be launched when they are completed, providing greater visibility of their progress.
What’s Next for SingularityNET?
The SingularityNET team is expecting exponential growth of the platform in 2019 due to a rapid influx of developers launching their code within SingularityNET, as well as an increase in commercial users opting to use the decentralized network instead of centralized competitors.
However, the team believes that this exponential growth cannot be achieved by themselves alone, and that the foundational work done in 2018 “must serve mainly to spur an even greater amount of creative and entrepreneurial activity by the broader community.”