The recent cryptocurrency development had put a serious dent in the crypto space. The bubble is clearly burst — very clearly. Speculative investors took quite a hit and the money flow from unknown and possibly dubious sources is drying out. What looks like a disaster to some is a very welcome clearance to others.

I’m a Crypto Valley Association Member and an investor and board member in Blockchain Valley Ventures, sitting right in the heart of Crypto Valley. Most recently I received tons of questions — “Where is it going?” “Is blockchain dead” “Is Bitcoin at its end” “Shall we sell?” “Is now a good time to buy?” So let me share my thinking and why I see a more positive future now than a year ago — when everything was just too glossy.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly

Yes — some lost millions of Dollars

Remember what happened when the Internet Bubble burst? It wasn’t the Internet that bust but the greed of many investors who just hoped that the craziness would never end. But the Internet itself was never hurt. Today we have not millions but billions of Internet users. Because the Internet makes total sense.

Fast forward, 18 years later, the crypto bubble burst. It’s not the Blockchain that burst, but the investor craziness in a currency that has never shown any value in itself. In the future we will have millions of Blockchain users, using public and private blockchains. Because the blockchain itself makes total sense.

The Future of Blockchain & Crypto

The Crypto Valley Community is working feverishly on the next big steps, the evolution in blockchain technology and crypto currency. Like the software people in Silicon Valley, the blockchain people in crypto valley have a very clear understanding where things will go — because we are creating that future.

Demystifying Blockchain Technology

I feel it’s about time to demystify the blockchain technology. Unlike many people postulate it is NOT this magical architecture running on hundreds of thousands of servers simultaneously and consuming gigawatts of energy just to hide some data in an insanely complex security algorithm. Well you can use it that way — but I actually care less.

Innovative and disruptive smart contracts

The true innovation and in particular disruption to both the software world as we know it and the business process world as we have it, are so called “Smart Contracts”. And this is also why Crypto Valley is so much ahead of the rest of the world. There is a reason why nearly half of the world’s ICOs happened here.

Smart contracts is the actual ‘brain’ of the Blockchain. A Smart Contract does what general software never did: It executes a process autonomously. Very similar to Artificial Intelligence, it is an autonomous vehicle running through the net. And that creates the ultimate power of the blockchain. If an order is entered into a classic ERP system, it requires human action in every single step of the process. Entering the order, processing the order, confirming the delivery, reviewing the payment, observing the shipment and so forth. It makes it extremely slow, error-prone, and costly. The magic of the smart contract that it processes an order completely autonomous based on defined triggers, times, sensors, inputs and no human can intervene or manipulate that process. There is a good reason why IBM, SAP and other big player invested enormously and early on in the blockchain technology. They obviously understood the power of the smart contract technology — which in return requires a blockchain architecture to work in a trusted manner.

The dent in the wallet of a speculating investor will have no effect on the future of the blockchain. And all the current projects here in Crypto Valley show where this technology is already going. We also see why Etherium had such a peak in the meantime: It’s development tools, libraries and APIs had proven to be the most attractive to developers. Also, this will not change.

Shift To New Disruptive Blockchain Applications

As an Investor we obviously are the first to see new companies, new business ideas and possibly new technology shifts. But what we are also seeing right now, is a serious shift in startup quality. A year ago, we have been flooded with whitepapers, which all too often have been a copy of a copy and just yet another crypto currency. That has changed. Today we are very fortunately back to normal. The flood turned into a healthy stream of well thought out and disruptive business ideas. We no longer see the applications that allow a global government be run off of a blockchain but interesting applications in sectors like, supply chain, medical records, pharmaceutical logistics, gamification, business process optimization, IT security, trading, sales and marketing applications and many others where the autonomous processing of smart contracts play a key role for a serious new way of doing business.

Mega shifts on the Crypto side

The clearing air over the cryptocurrency side shows a very interesting development. We will have in the end two types: Security Token and Utility Token. For those not so familiar with the — so far very confusing — crypto side of this world a few words: Cryptocurrency was the “funny money” that transported rewards with the smart contract. If some contractual actions have been completed and confirmed “rewards” or crypto money was paid. That crypto money, very much like the points and other rewards in games or miles, have quickly become so valuable that its value started the craziness that we had until very recently.

In the next evolutionary steps, we are already seeing, we have those two, mentioned above, currency types:

Utility Token

These have a reward characteristic like air miles, points you collect when shopping and so forth. At one point there may be an option to trade it into something or allows you to use it for other features like renewing a software, getting a free flight and so forth. The universal character, the way we can possibly use them across platforms or even trade them makes it a much better vehicle that what we have today. Today’s situation is a convoluted mess of rewards, points and benefits that are so terribly different in their handling that it is actually almost cheating on the consumers to even offer those “benefits”.

Security Token

While they handled inside a blockchain very much like any other token, the purpose of a Security Token in the real world are fundamentally different. These are created to actually have a asset or money equivalent characteristic. Startups can offer shares in their company by using security tokens. The big advantage is that a security token can be traded globally at its designated value and a startup does not need to worry about countless currencies. BUT THAT is highly regulated here in Switzerland and very soon in the US and in the next months or years in other countries. The regulations are by order of magnitude as complex as an IPO but strong enough to prevent money from money laundries enter the ecosystem and will bring the sought after seriousness and investor protection into the game. This major milestone may actually have been the biggest reason for people to pull back their “money” from the crypto world of yesterday and cause the burst.

Looking forward to 2019, the birth of the Butterfly.

@AxelS

Share

Technological – Business – Societal  – Impact Development Timeline
The era of AMs – Autonomous Machines

2020 – 2025
We will see a rising number of products mainly chat bots, entering our day to day world. At the same time the work on “General AI” will be intensified and we are getting better and better results – yet no real products – despite the rapid development. The business impact will be substantial because access to knowledge will span all industries and will be substantially easier as conventional text search. Search engines will be either UI-less (meaning no keyboard, mouse, looking through lists but you speak to mic anywhere).
The societal impact will begin to bring a dark cloud. The start of significant unemployment in all kinds of call centers, info centers, support center…
Science Fiction movies may become rarer. Our development is faster than a movie maker can write a script, produce the movie and bring it to market. Ex-Machina II may possibly still not come out ;)

2025 – 2030
Technology development towards general AI will be in full swing but not yet really mainstream. Millions of engineers from around the globe will work on AI solutions. That includes Universal AI, multi purpose AI, single purpose AI. AIPU s (artificial intelligent processing units) will become more widely available. New Memory systems may arise. With that I mean silicon embedded intelligence to address memory content. There was a technology developed called “Content Addressed Memory” that may come to new life – now there may be a need for it.
The number of AMs (Autonomous Machines) such as AI Based self driving cars, AI based autonomous robots, AI based autonomous devices, AI based autonomous computers will rise significantly. By then everybody will sell their products with AI-Based XYZ. AI is like Internet in 1998. Widely used but still not fully developed. But everything will include AI one way or the other.
The unemployment rate will rise to very uncomfortable 100+ Million across the globe. Countries will start to TAX AMs in order to finance unemployment aid.
Unemployed will most likely not be able to find a new job. It’s when the wider public understands that AI is different to any other new technology: AI is used to make machines autonomous – rather then needing new skills to use the new technology by humans. AI is not even a technology, software, microprocessors, robots, cars everything existed, but a completely new way to use technology.
As a result, a significant shift in our society will begin. The makers movement will explode, social workers, nature-observers and protectors, artists, musicians, coaches and so forth will rise. We will move from “employed humans” to “autonomous humans”. We will grow more self determined across all levels of education and with a higher value to our society, environment and future evolution of humankind. A major societal inflection point may surface. Those who still need to “work” will push the AI development forward, knowing that if their jobs will be replaced, they can – like all the others – do what they really like to do and receive a UBI (Unconditional base income).

2030–2040
The AMs are substantially advanced. AI development languages and AI operating systems will become a standard in the tech space. Under the development systems the graphical application design tools may dominate as they can be used by pretty much any generally educated business manager. Just pointing and selecting data set sources, algorithms that analyze those data sets, selecting processors (neural networks) to pump it through and so forth. It will be the beginning of broadly available general AI. The number of AI based applications will grow faster and bigger than all conventional software together. The old software world is fading away.
The number of applications and functionalities leveraging IOT, sensor techniques, and robots will enter into all kinds of industries replacing ever more people. It will now be apparent – also for the last human on earth – that industrial work will be completely eradicated. Industrial unemployment will be raising to over a billion people in the next 10 to 15 years. Whether its office workers or manufacturing workers, AMs will take over the jobs. Everybody who is working on repetitive products or services can be replaced by an AM. Artists, will still keep creating Art any creative work that creates a unique ‘thing’ will obviously not be replaced because it would simply make no sense and cost too much. Those AMs work 3 times as long (8 versus 24 hours), no social cost, no vacation. Unemployment aid will at the very latest now become an unconditional base income for everybody, funded by the earlier implemented Value added AM tax. Autonomous Humans will now become the majority.
We also reached another interesting inflection point. Product costs are no longer determined by the amount of labor cost – back to raw material cost based pricing. But the raw material may actually sooner or later come from other planets. Science Fiction? No – this is now becoming reality. Not only because we understand that renewable ENERGY is limited but also recyclable MATERIAL is not infinitely available on earth. A billion cars with Lithium Batteries would require more Lithium after the first few replacement than we have on earth.

2040 – 2050
The AMs will evolve further, write complex algorithms themselves, beyond our own capabilities, create structures and construct products beyond our intellectual capacity. Humans, however, will also evolve further and deeper than we can imagine today, in 2018. Our brain will have more capacity for creativity because we will no longer need to remember when King Ramses built his empire, who his father was and so fort. We have that knowledge in our extended, collective, connected technical brain. Internet connection is omnipresent and guaranteed on every square inch on land or water on earth. Mass products in any way or shape can be constructed, prepared and produced by AMs. Only the decision, what we actually want to create, will still be coming from the human mind. And latest by then we will bring forward real self aware AMs (if not much earlier). There are many people including me working on self conscious AI concepts already. Yet even self aware AMs are far away from the human brain capabilities. The AI research will help us better understand what we are actually capable of. We will learn more about ourselves in these 10 years than in all the 300,000 years before. The human mind’s creativity is so complex that AI is still very far away from coming even close to it. We will have a far deeper understanding of the human mind than just our intelligence. We will understand that intelligence is just one power of our mind, similar to our power to move, the power of our muscles and the power of our orientation – which we have all augmented already some hundreds of years ago. We will understand artificial intelligence is no more than our artificial muscles, which we call tools.

2050 – 2075
Leveraging our added skills, collective knowledge our amazing machines, scientists will be replaced by those machines as well. Testing something new and prove a repetitive behavior to make it a scientifically proven fact, is much better done by an AI system than by a Ph.D. ‘system’. Science will be done by AMs across all factions. At the same time, innovative and creative ideas will explode, AM’s will analyze and verify those ideas in no time. AM owners will compete for those crazy but verified ideas and build it. AMs will help revitalize space exploration in a new and rather meaningful way. We will need other places than earth to harvest raw material and we need other planets for recycling or wast disposal. AMs, powered by solar energy are the best “people” to send to other planets or our moon to extract, produce, recycle, deposit. We don’t even need to terraform Mars for that. But we may safe Mars for exploring Terraforming together with AMs. Autonomous Machines and Autonomous Humans will build the most powerful synergy ever built. We will be depending on AI, more than on any other technology built so far. Most technology can be replaced by something else. But an AI system that can iterate through millions of ideas for any given solution in a few hours is something not only beyond what we built but beyond ourselves.

More details on how and why thousands of different jobs in 300+ industries, from around the world will be replaced in the next 30 years and how we manage the inflection point from the disaster of being “unemployed” to the luxury of becoming an autonomous human will be available on: Eliminating Work . AI

Share

In my work with artificial intelligence, thinking about the borderline between a perfect algorithm to perform a perfect action and the superiority over the human brain, I reached an area that made me think about the concept of perfection.

Hyper smart applets

In 1996 we were trying to design hyper-smart applets (applets was concept in Jave programming language). The idea was that applets travel through the internet autonomously, find receptors in routers or computers and have dialog systems in connected machines. It was a similar idea like smart contracts in a blockchain, but far more advanced in its autonomy. We were philosophizing: how far could we bring this? Would these applets become one day self aware? Would they be able to execute tasks not only based on our direction but also be influenced by incidents that occur while traveling in the net? For instance could they find their best path virtually on their own? Today’s AI discussion are a real dejavue for me. One thing we discovered at that stage: We have to allow the autonomous applets to make mistakes. We cannot predict every move and every situation. We have to add some sort of error correction mechanism and being aware that mistakes will come from probability of success calculations. This was the first time I realized that failure is not something we humans have because we are dumb – we have the behavior to make mistakes by purpose.

AlphaGO Example

20 years fast forward. The AlphaGo project 2016 showed very well that the AI system that learned to play GO, was incapable predicting every possible move in order to make a perfect moves. The variety of moves are so vast, that all computing power on earth could not perform this task in the next 10,000 years. So what AlphaGo did is taking a shortcut and calculates probabilities to win in percent from several possible and more logical moves. Obviously the way it does it was superior to how we humans can do it – but it is far away from being perfect (perfect as we humans use that term).

Permutation

I was reminded that permutation is a strategic concept of nature. We humans see permutation as a “mistake”, because we don’t know much about mistakes. We “instinctively” try to avoid mistakes at almost all cost. On the other hand we are triggered by rewards and any success is rewarded by our brain with “rewards points” also understood as joy.

Perfection

Humans are definitely imperfect. Our imperfection is mainly noticed by the mistakes we make and the joy we have when we succeed. However, the more we think about the reasons why we ‘must make mistakes’ eventually we come to a point where we understand that imperfection is the perfect scheme of development. The fear, that with the rise of AI ‘we are all gonna die’ because we are soooo imperfect, is definitely simply another mistake.

Imperfection Oxymoron

A “perfect system” that still develops makes the ‘perfect’ system being previously ‘imperfect’ or the development is a decay. Development or evolution including permutation can only be considered evolving if it is not perfect. The state of ‘perfection’ is the end of evolution or development.
Imperfection is the only thing that is perfect!

Share