AI + NFTs: What is an iNFT ?

Today we are doing something exciting and switching it up. We have a guest post from my friend Arif Khan who is the founder of a company called Alethea AI. Alethea is leveling up the functionality of NFTs by imbuing them with intelligence via GPT3. I asked Arif to write a blog post about NFTs and AI with a focus on what he is building and he offered to create a guest post. Content for Zima Red? Yes please!

Also if you are not keen on reading but happy to listen to a podcast all about AI and NFTs, check out the podcast Arif and I recently recorded.

Arif Khan - The Rise Of Intelligent NFTs - Zima Red ep 52

Please note that I am an investor in Alethea so very biased in having this guest post on Zima Red 😁

Before diving into this blog, quick message from our sponsor:

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What is an iNFT ?

Author: Arif Khan


From the invention of still images to virtual worlds, humankind has progressed in the past two hundred years to create enormously richer, higher fidelity renderings of the world around us and the world that could be. Our capacity as a species to not just consume media, but also create new meaning and myths through media, defines us as Homo Narrans. Meaning-making is not just a function of our humanity, it is an ontological Raison d'être of our humanity.  The advent of the internet facilitated the efficient, scalable and mass distribution of information, and occasionally it’s underlying meaning. But, it was not without sin.

The Internet’s Original Sin

The internet is a monumental, state-funded invention that omitted the ability to transfer value over a digitally native P2P Value transfer protocol. Information could be transferred cheaply, but not its underlying value. Subsequently, tremendous value accrued to centralized gatekeepers who could throttle bandwidth and impact information flows at will, due to their massive distribution networks and gated privileges. For the past 50 years, our creative class was sacrificed at the altar of efficiency and scale. Media consumption increased but content creators who would not buckle to established orders were told to ‘learn to code’.

And that is exactly what they did.

What is an NFT?

The NFT revolution today is in its infancy, and represents a global redemption and courageous rebalancing by the creative working class. However, we risk committing an exponentially larger sin of omission, with greater consequences if we neglect a critical and important dimension of NFTs: Programmability, with a specific focus on programmable intelligence (AI).

NFTs are blockchain-based records that uniquely represent pieces of media. The media can be anything digital, including art, videos, music, gifs, games, text, memes, and code. - Chris Dixon

Chris’ description serves as an important baseline for V1 of NFTs but is an incomplete vessel to contain the coming Intelligence Revolution. While most NFTs have embedded code defining royalty payouts, we have yet to scratch the surface of the programmable NFT design space as part of the NFT medium.

At Alethea AI we aim to embed AI into NFTs to fully realize the promise of programmable intelligent scarcity.

We believe that NFTs will eventually become intelligent NFTs (iNFTs), embedded with interactive, intelligently generative capabilities and capable of sense-making and possibly human-level intelligence in the coming decades.

A New Standard

An iNFT is an intelligent NFT that is embedded with a GPT-3 prompt as part of its immutable smart contract. The iNFT generated is not only perceivably intelligent, but has both interactive and animation capabilities as carefully crafted prompts are stored at the smart contract layer. The hardcoded prompts call upon a state-of-the-art Transformer Language model to facilitate generative possibilities only possible through recent breakthroughs in few-shot and single-shot learning. 

iNFT’s essentially improve the value of  NFTs 100 fold.  They are intelligent, scalable, generative, interactive, and have access to networked intelligence through Alethea AI’s protocol. In practice, this would look like:

a) Cryptopunk Rap battle on Twitch 24/7: A cryptopunk will soon be able to talk to you and rap against another crypto punk in a battle watched by millions,
b)  Interactive Exclusive Experiences: Your Hashmask may laugh at your jokes and inspire you with its origin story
c) Digital Farmer: Your decentraland parcel will remind you to cultivate the land you have purchased.
d) V for Vendetta, “We all all V”: A community can organize a fractionally owned Character, and only token holders have the exclusive ability to unlock the IP of the character for rapid permissioned meme and content generation. 

Due to the elegance of Alethea AI’s Protocol, we need only to become expert prompt engineers and designers, to embed intelligent prompt design and language into an NFT.  While centralization risks abound due to a dependency on OpenAI’s model, novel open-source approaches carry significant promise and are yielding real world applications at a rapid pace.

Engineering Intelligent Scarcity

We are the gods of the atoms that make up ourselves but we are also the atoms of the gods that make up the universe - Manly Hall

When we first split the atom, the result was a creation of tremendous energy that could be used for constructive or destructive ends. Similarly we can now enter a design space of infinite depth and dimension, that will allow us to transform the NFT into an intelligent non-fungible scarce asset. Traditional Collectibles appeal to our material desires, iNFTs will appeal to the emotional and social ones

iNFTs propel us into a different technological and moral dimension. Our Intelligent NFTs may one day represent the language structures of our ancestors, or new virtual beings and land parcels we create or purchase. Each will not just be a store of value, but of valuable structures of meaning and narrative. We must choose to govern this power effectively concurrently upgrading our morality and value systems. 

iNFTs will teach us more about our own lives because they will be an extension of our innate desire: to realize the full evolutionary outcome of being Homo Narrans.

Characteristics of iNFTs

  • Embedded Intelligence: A pre-defined or evolving prompt in GPT-X embedded as part of it’s immutable architecture creating generative possibilities in interactive conversation

  • Self-Learning: Accrues knowledge and Unlocks new forms of Intelligence available to the owner, creator and eventually, the network

  • Permissionless: universally usable and censorship resistant

  • Metaverse Agnostic: open and available to the internet and integrative with multiple platforms

  • Valuable and fractionable: accrues value which is accessible to the owner and creator and its communities

  • Token-based: An Ethereum-based ERC 721 or ERC-1155 Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

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