Cortex — Cryptoverse AMA
18th Nov 2019
Guest: Ziqi Chen — CEO
Amy Chen — COO
Q:Can you explain that whats the actual work of Blockchain technology in Artificial intelligence / Cortex project ? Which benefits Blockchain provides to AI or AI related services ?
A:AI technology is everywhere nowadays. But all of them are working secretly behind big companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon. You don’t really know what they are doing behind the scenes. For example, Google could modify their search algorithms to benefit whoever they want. Therefore, blockchain is the perfect medium for AI, which makes AI transparent and secure. Cortex also provides a new option for the AI developers, as they used to only have the option to work for big AI companies. But now, they can just work on the models, upload them, and get paid.
Q:Supposed if Cortex listed on Binance then what advantages this listing brings to the development of Cortex ?How Binance is important for Cortex
A:Binance is undoubtedly a safe, reliable exchange with a huge community. Getting listed on Binance will provide Cortex’s investors with a great exchange to trade on, and will also open up a channel between Binance’s community and Cortex’s community.
Q:How do you cope up with all the annoying compliance?
Being a Chinese Company — How important is China’s president Xi Jinping steps towards crypto?
A:We are an international team around the world. Some of us are located in Beijing, most of them are devs. In china developing blockchain tech is not illegal. In fact, after President Xi’s speech, it is welcomed and will be heavily developed. The impact of Xi’s speech is deep. It means that China will support blockchain development in the long term and it became a National Strategy.
Q:ETH has already EVM but Cortex build it’s CVM, Why Cortex thinks EVM is not that much of efficient when it comes to AI?
A:Good question. It’s not about the efficiency, EVM won’t be able to execute AI algorithms due to its design. It does not utilize the computational power of GPUs, which is great for running AIs. That’s why Cortex has to develop its own virtual machine from the ground up, adding an inference instruction set for GPUs, and AI inference support in the AI smart contract. If one perform AI calculations in EVM, it will cost a lot of gas to fulfill only a fraction of them.
Q:What are the main differences between general Dapps and Cortex’s AI Dapps?
Please Explain some real usecases of these Dapps? Is there any Dapps developed where we can see the demo?
A:As the name suggests, AI DApps add in AI features. Users could interact with real world information in a smarter way. Defi DApps could be handled by “experienced” AI manager in no time, instead of waiting for someone you don’t know to set up your portfolio. There is a group of DApp developers developed a pixel game call Digital Clash using the digit recognition model on Cortex blockchain. What is drawn on the screen/canvas now actually matters. The AI model can read the number that is drawn, and award the winning team when the game ends.
Q:What are the features of the Cortex virtual machine? What are the major advantages of the Cortex Virtual Machine comparable to Ethereum/Bitcoin?
A:Cortex proposed “Synapse”, an integer inference engine to do deterministic AI inference, to make machine learning accessible on the blockchain. One of the core Synapse capabilities is to guarantees exactly the same result of an AI model in heterogenetic computing environments (you can try out the TestNet now). determinacy is crucial in the blockchain, as consensus has to be formed upon smart contract outputs. It is non-trivial for widely-used AI inference engines (TVM, NNVM, etc.) to guarantee the determinacy because modern GPU introduces parallelism into the execution flow. Synapse utilizes both quantizations of AI models and deterministic GPU acceleration to make AI DApps available. With the help of GPU hardware acceleration, AI inference subroutines could behave like a dedicated SHA function in the blockchain’s virtual machine, public verifiable and deterministic.
Q:Please explain more about your CONSENSUS ALGORITHM, HOW AND WHY WAS IT CHOSEN AND WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES THIS ADD TO THE CORTEX ECOSYSTEM?
EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT YOUR CORTEX VIRTUAL MACHINE and how it differs from other VIRTUAL MACHINES AND EVM?
DO YOU THINK ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE WILL REPLACE TRADITIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WHERE DO YOU SEE ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE IN 2023?
A:The proof of work algorithm used is called Cukoo Cycle, a graph theory-based algorithm that is far less energy-intensive than most other CPU, GPU or ASIC-bound PoW algorithms. The goal is to lower mining requirements, ensuring true decentralization, and laying the foundation for future scalability.
Cuckoo Cycle is designed to be ASIC-resistant and optimal for GPU-based transactions processing. PoW is used to facilitate a decentralized ecosystem where no single entity controls the network. Just as in a typical PoW project, miners provide the computing power to support the Cortex network, in return are rewarded with transaction fees. The process incidentally is Cortex’s way to issue more CTXCs, the native Cortex asset.
Q:My question is what is your strategy to get developers, encourage them to start using the Cortex platform to create some dApps, start writing smart AI contracts in Cortex?
A:we have tutorial contents, forum, and wiki page made by developer community, and moving forward we will also host deveoper meet-up and hackthons to have real person discussion.
Q:CTXC token is listed on many different exchanges, so why is Binance not a first choice of CORTEX? Is this Vote program an opportunity for CORTEX?
A:CTXC is currently listed on multiple exchanges. Binance is one of the most important exchanges we are going to work on. Yes this is a good opportunity for attracting users to understand us and our technologies.
Q:What makes CORTEX better than AERGO? Why is it a good choice to vote and list CORTEX on Binance in place of AERGO ? Please tell us some convincing reasons?
A:Cortex is making innovation for better money, while AERGO’s hybrid consensus is no new thing if you remember DECRED. And voting for Cortex is more profitable if you do the math. Many new things could be possible with CORTEX’s technology.
Q: Many projects have recently focused on DeFi, so with the AI protocol, how will Cortex approach this field with Cortex technologies?
A:Excelent question. DeFi is a hot topic right now. We have identified that Cortex could play an important role in finance before the word DeFi is invented. Like fintech, we can do a lot more with Cortex. Credit scores, anti-fraud, stable coins.
Q:Can you name 3 advantages of Cortex Model Representation Tool?
A:1. It is deterministic and could be used within consensus mechenism.
2. The model is compressed to suit for blockchain inference.
3. 3. The tool allow you train model in your prefered framework, say Tensorflow, then convert into a blockchain usable oracles.
Q:What is Cortex Coin (CTXC) used for? How can I earn CTXC?
A:Besides Dapp developers, users, and miners, Cortex brings a new relevant party into its blockchain ecosystem: AI developers. AI developers upload trained machine learning models onto the storage layer of the Cortex chain. These models can later be either inferred on their own or incorporated into smart contracts by Dapp developers. Each time an AI model is called, it’s model uploader gets rewards in CTXCs, coming from a part of the network transaction fees. This mechanism incentivizes AI developers to train and upload better models, leading to an evolving decentralized AI ecosystem; good models are openly distributed on the Cortex blockchain instead of being monopolized by a few big corporations.
There for you can earn CTXC by uploading good AI models or mine CTXC
Q:Cortex recently signed a contract with China Merchants Expressway. Cortex planning to implement Blockchain and AI in a transportation organization?
A:yes, we will provide AI+blockchain solutions to the current business model of highway transportation sector. Digital clash is a Dapp game where it uses a number recognizing model as referee to select winner. it ‘s simple and easy demostration for people to know what AI-smart contract is, thanks to the DevBug team who’s been our #1 dev supporter from the beginning
Q:CORTEX claims to be best to incorporate AI with DApps, but there are other AI Protocol projects available to challenge you, how you sees to overcome from them or compete?
A:we welcome competition because with competition the blockchian adoption and development will advance in a faster pace which is a win-win situation
Q:Why did Cortex choose Chainlink? What are the benefits of Chainlink integration?
A:Chainlink is a good tool for crosschain oracles. The benefit is obvious that De-Fi and prediction program can use it as a transparent computing process, once the result could be disclosed: for example a result for s soccer match. The critieria could be stored in Chainlink oracles.
Q:Why do you think blockchain and AI is perfect match?
A:we find a way to make these two field to intersect, which is to bring only the inference part on- chain because it is the most important part in marchine learning that we do not want it to be compromised.
Q:Cortex introduces a lot of investors on the website, what makes Cortex attract many investors? Will it be a base for the sustainable development of Cortex?
A:Cortex founding team members are all bitcoin veteran or AI competetion researchers. We have solid track record by claiming that. I am glad that institutional investors are backing us.
Q:What’s the limits and challenges of deep learning you encounter? What is your solution?
A:our quantization solution for deterministic engine. machine learning inference has non-deterministic behaviors. This means that when you run the same ML model across different devices, each device will get a slightly different result (due to different floating-point approximation). You can see how this is problematic if you’re trying to have decentralized consensus on the blockchain. That’s why we designed a quantization scheme; we rewrite all the operations using the fixed-point number calculation, such as Max Pooling, Convolution, Matrix Multiply, and other non-linear functions, this is what we called a model-based fixed-point execution framework and a corresponding deterministic machine learning operator library. It guarantees the consistency of AI inference results in heterogeneous computing environments, without significantly compromising performance or accuracy.
Q:In the future, when countries start accepting blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which direction will Cortex develop? What is the target that Cortex will aim for?
A:There are three distinct stakeholders in the Cortex Ecosystem: smart contract developer, AI developers, and miners.
Smart Contract Developers
For more info, please checkout this article https://medium.com/cortexlabs/how-cortex-brings-ai-on-the-blockchain-part-2-ai-on-blockchain-ecosystem-87bd482e1ec1
Q:As an investor and early adopter, I find it difficult to access/value a project in the short term and require longer periods of time to fully understand, recognise and value it. So, to help my understanding, can you tell me what plans are set in motion to add value to Cortex?
A:Now that we have successfully launched our mainnet on time, the next thing to do is to continue building and invite more dev to adopt, the key is to have everyone contribute we can all move forward together
Q:What makes the team believe Cortex can compete in the crypto world, while many good projects now, whether iotex has a certain advantage or uniqueness that makes it able to compete. Please state or explain I really want to understand
A:Beside Cortex CTO I’m also a crypto investor. From an investor’s point of view, in a highly innovative field, one want to invest into something new, not some A+B combinations. People tend to apply blockchain tech to traditional IoT or E-commerce, but it will be an incremental work and the market cap could be easily estimated. Exploring the blockchain itself is key. We want to continue satoshi’s unfinished work and we believe it will bring the greatest value to everyone.
Q:Why do you want to run an AI model on the blockchain?
A:Blockchain is foreseen as the next wave of technology evolution. Blockchain is deemed to improve efficiency, track sources, fight counterfeits, and reduce costs. Out of those, improve efficiency and reduce costs align with the benefits of adopting AI, which makes the integration of AI and blockchain logical. Enabling AI on the blockchain offers us a more robust solution.
Q:What languages does the Cortex team use to program? Is Solidity unfriendly or is the NEO language that many programmers are using?
A:we use solidity just like ETH and you can buy CTXC from exchange or use GPU to mine. Cortex is the project that wiill go a long way cuz you see blockchain and AI as seperate industy is still growing and not even mature yet. for these to grow more, we have potential to befit from these two industry
Q:What future implementations or improvements does the CORTEX team have planned?
A:First, we will upgrade the CVM + MRT. Right now, MRT is just a deterministic quantization framework — we hope to turn it into a full-fledged programming language that provides a complete instruction set and better deterministic support. Meanwhile, we want to upgrade the CVM to support more AI models, specifically dynamic models.
Second, we want to scale by working on possible layer 1 or 2 solution. Our initial target is to increase the TPS to 1000. We will also improve our DOPS (deterministic operations per second), which currently is at 10G DOPS.
Third, we will work to improve the privacy of the AI models. We are researching cryptographic solutions in order to implement shielded on-chain AI inferences. The current thinking is to use zk-starks or zk-snarks as one of the possible layer 1 solutions and trusted computing as a possible layer 2 solution.
Q:What the Future Holds for AI Development ? how does cortex help for that ?
A:AGI will rise in various kinds of hardware and software systems. Cortex will also eventually lead to hardware solutions, like bitcoin to mining chips, to help AGI development.
Q:Cortex looks good but it confuses me that there are so many other Blockchain projects. What should I pay attention in Cortex to give it the importance it deserves? What are you planning to achieve with your project?
A:The development of crypto is a history of making bitcoin better. Cortex is a work on this mainstream path, making a smarter bitcoin/ethereum. We think it is a foundamental work and a necessity down the road, as data grows larger and larger on blockchain.
Q:How will you handle CTXC supply and demand ?
A:we are a mining PoW coin, so the remaining uncirculated tokens are for miners, that’s the supply. Demand will be determined by how many adoptions on the chain that will create the need for token to run Dapps. We are a public blockchain. we re the technoogy
Q:If bear market remain next 5 more years how cortex will survive? Do we have that much fund to run this project?
A:Cortex has attracted 2000 or more 1080ti graphic cards upon mainnet launch. It is a project by the community. The founders also have experiences running crypto mining companies for years. It won’t be a problem for cortex to survive the bearish markets like the last two.
Q:How does Cuckoo Cycle work? Cuckoo Cycle is PoW algorithm, what advantages does Cuckoo Cycle have over most other CPU, GPU, ASIC-bound PoW algorithms?
A:Cuckoo Cycle is the newly emerging Proof-of-Work algorithm adopt by many projects to establish a friendly mining environment. It generates random bipartite graphs from a provided message and tries to find whether a subgraph with required property exists or not. Different projects have their objectives using Cuckoo Cycle. The algorithm itself has a relatively high anti-ASIC capability and can be modified into other algorithms to adjust the anti-ASIC capability. For Cortex, it is to lower the mining requirements to lay the foundation for future scalability in AI computing demand market. Cukoo Cycle and GPU mining will lead us to a better mining environment where anyone can be a part of.
Q:Due to the complexity of AI algorithms, there is no public blockchain that has enough computational power to effectively execute AI algorithms. Current solutions limit the company to execute AI off-chain or on the side-chain then bring the results back on the mainchain which still pose black-box issue . What is Cortex’s solution to this problem ?
A:Thats why we developed our own virtual machine from the ground up, which can actually utilize the power of the GPUs. This makes AI inference on-chain possible.
Q:How is Cortex smart contract different from regular smart contracts? What is it better?
A:The Cortex Virtual Machine (CVM), is ported from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) with added function for AI inference, and it is backward-compatible with EVM and capable of running both traditional smart contracts and AI smart contracts.
About Cortex 😇
Cortex is the only public blockchain that allows the execution of nontrivial AI algorithms on the blockchain. MainNet has launched. Go build!