Monday, March 4, 2024

The tech industry is undergoing a major transformation, and crypto assets (virtual currencies) are a part of it. On November 17th, OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was reluctantly fired. OpenAI’s board, which was founded as a nonprofit organization and later added a for-profit corporate arm led by Altman, used combative language in announcing the firings.
Altman apparently “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board,” but no other information was available, leading to widespread speculation. (Mr. Altman will return as CEO).
OpenAI, the developer of several artificial intelligence tools, including ChatGPT, the fastest app to reach 1 million users, is often called the world’s “most important startup.”
World Coin and OpenAI
Cryptocurrency, like almost every other industry, has been experimenting with AI. This new technology is predicted to change the way developers develop and audit apps, the way traders create portfolios, and the way users interact with crypto assets. And the most notable AI project in the cryptocurrency industry, Worldcoin, has ties to Altman.
WorldCoin is a protocol for a universal digital ID being developed by Tools for Humanity, a company co-founded by Altman, and its token value initially fell on news of Altman’s firing. However, since Mr. Altman has joined Microsoft and will lead AI research and development (as of the time of writing this article), the price has now increased by double digits. Microsoft’s decision is a notable show of support for Altman, at a time when the circumstances surrounding his firing have not been fully made public.
Furthermore, Microsoft’s investment of $1 billion (approximately 150 billion yen, equivalent to 150 yen to the dollar) in OpenAI is a signal that it was an investment in Mr. Altman. In many ways, WorldCoin speculators are also betting on Altman, the AI ​​pioneer.
Although OpenAI and WorldCoin are completely different entities, they share close similarities beyond Altman (though there’s no reason to think Microsoft will do any business with WorldCoin).
The ultimate goal of both AI and WorldCoin, a cryptocurrency-based universal basic income (UBI), are largely unproven technologies.
And both are viewed with equal skepticism (though generally fascination), with some believing that these technologies could develop so far that they could tear society apart. These technologies can be seen as moonshots for advancing humanity as a whole.
Controversial world coin
And World Coin has been pretty unfairly maligned. When it was announced in 2019, the world was horrified by the dystopian vibe of the project. Not only was it founded by the man who many believe could be the world’s first trillionaire (he’s building a shelter on an island), the World ID System is also based on a metal called an orb. It works by using a sphere to scan people’s irises. It’s truly a science fiction world.
Appearances aside, there’s a lot going on in the project itself. Some of the smartest people I know in the tech industry are fascinated by what is being developed at WorldCoin.
WorldCoin developers are working on a zero-knowledge (ZK) encryption solution for more secure biometric scanning. No one has yet solved the problem of “personhood” online. CEO Alex Blania and other leaders of the project are sometimes spoken of in whispers.
WorldCoin may end up being a hugely expensive failure, as any startup can. However, there is a difference between evaluating a company on its merits and evaluating it on its aesthetics. And, in the words of Internet-famous economist/blogger Tyler Cowen, much of the discussion around WorldCoin is a matter of “mood affiliation,” or people saying what they think others want to hear. I’m just saying that.
For example, everyone I know who likes World Coin takes science fiction author Isaac Asimov’s words too seriously, believing that someday (or maybe) AI will create real or fake virtual identities and wipe out humanity. It is entirely possible that they are simply enamored with the idea of ​​a project being developed as a precautionary measure in anticipation of acquiring the ability to do so.
Sam Altman has mixed reviews
Altman was best known for leading the highly successful startup incubator Y Combinator (YC) when WorldCoin was announced, but he became the face of OpenAI. , its fame exploded. And it appears that his status has further increased due to the recent dismissal controversy.
There are pros and cons to Mr. Altman as well. Some have called Altman a “generational talent” and described him as one of Silicon Valley’s greatest fundraisers. On the other hand, some people say that Mr. Altman has progressed in his career despite being a mediocre person.
Loopt, the mobile app that started his career in tech, never caught on, but he sold it for $43.4 million. YC grew rapidly under Mr. Altman, but some say it has lost its soul. In 2014, he served as Reddit’s CEO for just eight days, shorter than Scaramucci, who was fired 10 days after being appointed to the White House communications office.
Mr. Altman is also said to be negotiating to set up a chip manufacturing factory to rival NVIDIA, with the support of controversial investors in the Middle East and China. Altman is the largest shareholder of Humane AI, which is developing a wearable device called Ai Pin, but has been ambivalent about its launch.
In other words, while Mr. Altman’s involvement with World Coin is interesting, it cannot be said that he is very deeply involved.
Other factors are more prominent, such as privacy concerns raised by the Kenyan government, onboarding concerns raised by the MIT Technology Review, and concerns about the system’s proprietary technology. For example, citizen journalists have attempted to snoop on Orb (also known as a “decentralized audit”), with only partial success.
A barometer of public opinion regarding technology
It’s no secret that the tech industry is in a state of transition. The so-called “tech rush” is fading in part because the promise of AI seems revolutionary. Even though AI technology seemed almost impossible to achieve this time last year.
But making extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence and deserves scrutiny. Some technologists who see Mr. Altman as a symbol of progress are joining his camp without waiting 30 days for OpenAI’s new interim CEO to conduct an internal investigation into his firing.
And at this moment, WorldCoin can be seen as an imperfect barometer of these competing trends of tech enthusiasts and tech skeptics in society. All I want is for you to first see what Orb can do before you decide whether you like it or not, or whether you want to invest in it or not.
|Translation and editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Takayuki Masuda |Image: Sam Altman (TechCrunch/Wikimedia Commons, modified by CoinDesk) |Original text: Does Worldcoin Need a Reevaluation? Understanding Sam Altman’s Crypto-AI-UBI Experiment

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The post Does World Coin need to be reconsidered? Understanding Sam Altman’s Crypto-AI-UBI experiment | CoinDesk JAPAN appeared first on Our Bitcoin News .

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