By Hessie Jones | October 29, 2018
Hessie Jones is a Reporter from Toronto, and is a CoFounder of ArCompany
This is Part II of a two-part series of my interview with Kimera, an AGI technology company that is challenging our current systems: our global economic model, use digital and how that has to change for a collective path forward. Please see Part I: Kimera Seeks to Transform Humanity's Path through AGI and Cryptocurrency.
Hessie: There is this view that for AI to truly be transformational and prioritize the needs of individuals, an economy of digital agents that act on the each human’s behalf will more pervasive. Can you explain?
Mounir: Imagine a digital version of YOU running in the cloud, a digital imitation or agent that interacts with other agents: the bank agent, the grocery store agent, a colleague’s agent. This agent does all the talking, negotiating and optimizing your daily schedule, sharing what needs to be shared and keeping other things private. Each agent will be given authority over a level of automated decisions; others will flow back to the user. The more information created on your network will eventually develop better reasoning and hence better decisions for you. Quite frankly it will reduce inequalities of all kinds. From my personal viewpoint I don’t necessarily believe evil exists. People who consider evil are making decisions that are right for them based on the very little information they have, which they may have misinterpreted anyway.
Gabriele: By the way Nigel's architecture is built, it decentralizes information, giving people back control of their data by giving them the authority to decide what personal information to share and what remains private. The private, individual cloud connected to Nigel enables this. Kimera has no interest in controlling data; rather, we want to enable the next decade of the digital economy without central control.
Hessie: How does Nigel work?
Mounir: Nigel is a three-layer technology
- The Device: and the component that will be embedded in each device. Currently, it’s an app.
- The Agent: It’s open source so you can host your agent anywhere in the world
- The Core Algorithm: which runs on an AGI node that will be licensed to anyone who owns a network - your home internet, your company’s internal network, a local coffee shop etc. Anyone could run their own AGI node
The result is a completely decentralized technology that minimizes the risk of any government or business controlling the technology. This allows each agent to connect to the nearest network or a few networks at the discretion of its user. Anyone who operates on that particular AGI node will get to bias their node based on their goals and preferences. I, as a user, can prevent my AGI node at home from delivering anything illegal to my device or network, or prevent delivery of content or offers that aren’t relevant to me. If I were in the market for a mortgage, my agent would provide enough information to the bank’s agent so the bank’s agent creates this time-space model that gives it the likelihood of my defaulting on the loan. The bank’s Nigel is now making a customized decision based on a single customer.
Hessie: Can intelligence really be trusted? The black box of AI further amplifies our fears that algorithms can continue to perpetuate opportunism and exploitation at the expense of humans.
Gabriele: We believe people will trust an intelligence that has a similar worldview as themselves. Built on Blockchain, this will enable a transparent and auditable path into Nigel’s thinking that would lead him to that goal.
Mounir: Privacy is built into the system so only those with access to certain AGI nodes could explain decisions at a high level. However, in order to truly reconcile those decisions with each user’s personalized goals, only he/she can access that information from his/her personal agent.
Hessie: Do you think EU GDPR will enable this view? In its nascency, those lawmakers don’t seem to understand (nor do most) AGI and its implications.
Mounir: GDPR will need to evolve as it understands AGI and its possibilities. As it sits today, the GDPR puts too much burden on consumers who are increasingly adopting technologies and will eventually instrument everything around them: their bodies, their home, their cars.
A New Way Forward
Hessie: Mounir, you are not a fan of how society views work today. Can you expound on your views and your hope for Nigel and how it will influence your views?
Mounir: We are born into a system that expects us to go to work every day, pay our bills, save for the things we want and eventually retire. Then you have people, the 1%, who control and benefit from the system. The system is pre-conditioned to keep running this way because it continues to benefit those who control it. We want to change this: When we started thinking about general intelligence, unlike other technologies we developed in our history, every technology we’ve built has been a tool to help us achieve more with less work. AGI is the first technology that can operate the tools instead of humans so it will accelerate job automation. If a machine can think there is not technically a job that can’t be automated.
Hessie: You agree that AI will eventually obsolete many of the tasks and jobs that exist today?
Mounir: Yes, jobs will end when machines start thinking. However, Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not the answer. We are currently tackling the economics through our own ICO. By pursuing an ICO Kimera can control the entire economic model of our cryptocurrency. This pilot, currently running, allows individuals to be paid in tokens for the sensor data they create through their mobile devices. If they are more active, the more sensor data they create and the more money they can potentially make. In this model, traditional work will become irrelevant.
Hessie: Can monetizing one’s own data be enough to keep the economics of supply and demand churning to promote a prosperous society?
Mounir: People are not necessarily selling their data. There is a difference between information and observations. Nigel is only observing cause and effect from your perspective. Nigel can’t process your information because it’s designed to process the collection of everyone’s observations as potential causes and potential effects.
Hessie: Let’s look at some numbers. The digital economy represents 22.5% of the world’s economy according to Accenture. These middle: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple collectively earned 24% of the total digital economy in 2017. This is an issue today?
Mounir: These companies don’t produce goods and services, but rather are the middlemen connecting you with the right people and businesses for the thing you need. They are capitalizing on the digital economy at the expense of the consumers and other purveyors of the connection between people and business.
A True Distribution of Wealth
Hessie: You believe think the current match-making model that exists today that benefits these middlemen will change?
Mounir: If our devices have no comprehension of what we need, then the Googles and Facebooks of the world will make it easier for humans to find the things they need. However, if a possibility exists to makes your devices within your network intelligent enough to automate decisions to send you the right content, to notify you of the availability of the coat you’ve always wanted at the price you were willing to pay, to have a car waiting to pick you up for your dentist appointment – you would readily welcome this right? We believe in an internet so intelligent it creates these peer-to-peer connections automatically so things flow into the right places at the right time.
Gabriele: If we were able to automate the global network just on the consumer side and without the middlemen, we would free up close to $5 trillion this year based on the devices we have today.
Mounir: The device manufacturers are battling with lowering profit margins as hardware becomes a commodity. At the same time, many Chinese manufacturers are producing high-end phones at a fraction of the cost. Network operators face increasing pressure beefing up the network to support more connectivity. Both these industries are burdened with the cost of building the global network infrastructure, while the middlemen hoard the revenue.
Gabriele: The telecom providers have failed to make a revenue-based deal with the middlemen, forcing them to add network capacity whilst exploiting their efforts. The device manufacturers have failed to close similar deals as well. Thus, Android and the app stores are quasi-monopolies and the only beneficiaries.
Hessie: Kimera has been working with device manufacturers and network operators to develop strategies that distribute revenue to every entity in the value chain. How would this work?
Mounir: If you automate the internet, people will continue to buy things and companies will still advertise. However, the revenue will be redistributed to device manufacturers, network operators, app and content developers – anyone who produces something that becomes valuable to the decision-making process.
Gabriele: This data generated and provided should benefit those who are directly involved in generating it.
Mounir: Consider this scenario: You are the data production factory alongside your devices. The IoT and smart solutions are designed and trained to provide data to only a few. Imagine a smart fridge located in your home with your family of four churns through 30-40 products per week. The fridge would send a notification that milk needs to be replenished and it will get added to the shopping list. Nigel knows you are going to buy milk and he informs the local grocer, who pays $.50 to put their logo up on your device so you buy their milk. At checkout, this will be confirmed. Whatever fee is collected after payment of the milk will be distributed to the entities that made the revenue possible: 1) the smart fridge 2) the home internet connection to the fridge to your agent 3) the wireless operator who connected your agent to the retailer 4) the app that built the shopping list. If you take any of them out of the equation the revenue would never have been collected. That smart fridge can wholesale for $1500 on average. If we were to calculate the average lifespan of the fridge (at 18 years) that has the potential to generate $15,000 over its lifetime, instead of selling the appliance, wouldn’t it be more economically viable to place it in a person’s home for free?
Hessie: This type of radical thinking can help combat poverty and potentially create more prosperity for those underdeveloped and developing populations. I suspect it’s one that can redistribute income more equally.
Hessie: Please tell me about your current ICO and your pilot.
Mounir: It is still early day and Kimera is using the ICO need to prove this at scale. Anyone who participates in the ICO will be asked to integrate Nigel into their mobile phones. Currently, they are targeting Android phones since they are open source. This allows Kimera to work directly with device manufacturers to enable this.
With the ICO, Kimera will use the funds to target and acquire apps that have hundreds of thousands of users to help them scale. Both users and developers will be part of Kimera's Knowledge Mining which allows them to be compensated in exchange for sensor data that enable Nigel to learn about the world. In our view, knowledge is infinite, and an active economy within the ICO will be required to recirculate currency to support more mining.
Currently, we are collaborating with the University of Liechtenstein to test the economic model, with the goal that Nigel produces enough revenue per student to buy them lunch a few times a week.
As I wrap my interview with Mounir and Gabriele, I realize their vision for Nigel and Kimera is not an easy feat. This, as the technology sector continues its struggle to bring AI to the mainstream, Kimera is the only company that is actively figuring out the next evolution of AI, which will effectively bring all of us into the realm of Mounir’s Star Trek. Can Kimera change the world? Given their vision for this technology and for humanity, I hope they can.
As CEO of Kimera Systems, the company he founded in 2012, Mounir is leading a team of talented engineers and business executives in revolutionizing the way technology and humans interact.
Previously, Mounir founded Cybility, an e-commerce risk management system that continues to operate today under the brand name Merchant Armor. Prior to Cybility, Mounir was the founder and Chief Innovation Officer of GoLife Mobile, a cross-platform mobile application development and delivery framework. Before GoLife, Mounir was founder and CTO of PayWi, a cutting-edge mobile and social payment platform that became a media darling. Mounir sold his stake in PayWi to help finance his continued research in AGI and his other ventures.
Mounir holds a degree in electrical engineering from Raelingen Technical College in Raelingen, Norway; technical degree from University College of Southeast Norway; a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering technology from the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon; and master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship from Full Sail University of Orlando, Florida.
Artificial general intelligence will change the world, so the Company is already looking beyond its North America headquarters to bring AGI to the world. To lead the Company’s planned international expansion, Kimera has turned to an executive with a proven track record in helping technology companies enter new markets, Gabriele Viebach. Gabriele is assisting and advising Kimera in business development efforts with Telecom carriers across Europe and Asia.
Gabriele is a strategist, lateral thinker and “maker.” She's worked for various international software companies as a strategy advisor and holds positions as a member of their boards or executive committees. Gabriele supports innovative corporate incubator concepts, creates and refines corporate structures to align with defined strategy, and designs global go-to-market plans for the digital economy. Prior to joining Kimera, Gabriele was a management consultant, offering strategic advice to IT and telecom companies, helping them adjust to dynamically changing markets. She was CEO of eZ Systems, a global open-source, customer experience management software vendor. Gabriele was a global account director for British Telecom and global accounts manager for BEA Systems. She worked in IT sales addressing the telecom vertical for Object Design after having served eight years in corporate and regional business development for T-Mobile.
Gabriele is a member of the board at task force, a position she's held since summer. Based in Germany, she speaks three languages and holds a degree in international economics from the University of Hagen in Cologne, Germany.
Hessie Jones is the Founder of ArCompany advocating AI readiness, education and the ethical distribution of AI. She is also Cofounder of Salsa AI, distributing AI to the masses. As a seasoned digital strategist, author, tech geek and data junkie, she has spent the last 18 years on the internet at Yahoo!, Aegis Media, CIBC, and Citi, as well as tech startups including Cerebri, OverlayTV and Jugnoo. Hessie saw things change rapidly when search and social started to change the game for advertising and decided to figure out the way new market dynamics would change corporate environments forever: in process, in culture and in mindset. She launched her own business, ArCompany in social intelligence, and now, AI readiness and research. Through the weekly think tank discussions her team curated, she surfaced the generational divide in this changing technology landscape across a multitude of topics. Hessie is also a regular contributor to Towards Data Science on Medium and Marketing Insider Group.