Artificial intelligence (AI), the creation of smart hardware or software that replicates “human” behaviors such as learning, task completion and problem solving, is one of the hottest trends in the tech world.
According to the online data site Statista, in 2018, the global AI market is expected to hit an estimated $4 billion, a figure that’s expected to jump to $10 billion by 2020.
One company at the forefront of advancements in the AI space is Dbrain. Best described as an open blockchain platform for collectively building AI apps, Dbrain links AI developers and businesses with crowd workforces from low-income countries, creating a win-win situation for all participants in the rapidly growing AI market. Dbrain makes AI more accessible to businesses by connecting them directly to data labelers, and allows anyone to earn money in exchange for their effort and skill in building AI apps.
Founded in the summer of 2017, Dbrain secured $2.5 million in seed funding and reached a significant milestone by releasing the Alpha version of its platform, including a web application and a Telegram bot.
Driven by the idea of engaging data labelers in revenue distribution within the AI market, Dbrain aims to link the crowd workforce in low-income countries with AI developers and businesses. Dbrain’s platform is the connection hub for all parties in the AI app development process. According to Dbrain, there are four major elements to this:
- Data owners upload data and host datasets on the platform
- Crowdworkers perform data labeling and validation and are paid instantly with cryptocurrencies
- Data scientists build and train neural networks and create AI apps
- Businesses can use the existing solutions or request new ones from AI developers
Dmitry Matskevich, chief executive officer and co-founder of Dbrain, said that the platform has the potential to reach 2 billion unbanked people in low-income countries and provide them with additional income streams in tokens, which are often more stable than local fiat currencies.
“Of course, talented and highly skilled engineers are vital for AI development,” Matskevich said. “But the truth is, their tech won’t work without the input from less-skilled workers in developing countries, who analyze, mark up and create those large datasets. We at Dbrain want to create a community which is involved in income distribution as much as in the development process.”
Matskevich, who is a serial entrepreneur and self-described “data geek,” noted that Dbrain’s platform integrates the AI app production cycle into a single product that automates most of the “human-in-the-loop” workflow. It’s currently, he said, the only working solution that combines functionality to label data, create customized models, ensure data security and validate the markup results with cryptocurrency payments and payouts to both labelers and AI developers.
He also touted his Dbrain core team and advisors, who he said have a proven track record in business development and execution, AI and Deep Learning. The Dbrain team is well-known in the industry and has already launched several AI products such as Icon8 and Connectome.ai that will expand on the Dbrain platform.
The Convergence Between Blockchains and AI
Having worked on previous AI projects, including high-scale solutions for the agricultural industry, the Dbrain founders came to the epiphany that the secret weapon of AI technology isn’t just about intelligent code. Rather, it’s the data that the code crunches. They found that large datasets are mainly owned by corporations like Google and Facebook, who set the price and have the power to prevent smaller players from entering the AI development industry. Data labeling, on the other hand, mostly falls onto less-skilled workers in low-income countries, who currently receive only a fraction of market incomes.
“Eighty percent of AI is data,” said Aleksey Hahunov, CTO and co-founder of Dbrain. “Datasets for machine learning are still labeled by hand and require a lot of effort. We provide a simple tool for crowdworkers and data scientists to turn data into real-world AI solutions. Dbrain connects all parties and seamlessly integrates all stages of AI app development and deployment into a single product that democratizes AI.”
To ensure fair revenue distribution and transparency throughout the Dbrain network, blockchain protocols and an internal cryptocurrency will be employed. Blockchains make these processes faster, increase security and achieve high-quality results at the lowest price. Dbraincoin is the internal currency that parties use to pay and receive for work, data and AI app usage on the platform.
“We believe that AI will drive global economic growth and has a potential to disrupt all industries and professions,” Matskevich said. “More importantly, it can improve the welfare of billions of people, minimizing the income gap between countries. We want to beat the barriers which cramp AI expansion across the globe by creating an infrastructure for its growth. Dbrain democratizes AI, makes it accessible to every business and lets anyone earn money in exchange for their effort and skill in building AI.”