Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
Cortex Labs, a new AI specific startup from China, is bringing together some of the sharpest minds in the field of virtual machine building to create an artificial neural network that could potentially disrupt the future of commerce as we know it. The group intends to offer a platform that will allow users to write and execute machine-learning programs within the Cortex network.
Experts estimate the potential market cap of AI could be worth more than three trillion dollars in the near future and companies that can build networks to suit the needs of this revolutionary technology are important to the sector’s success. Many of the top AI projects are utilizing blockchain technology to harness the power of self-evolving intelligence and Cortex is no different. They aim to create generative markets where AI can interact through the blockchain & without the intermediary of a human.
In essence, Cortex plans to advance smart contract abilities by using AI technology to make more adaptable and flexible contracts. They point to the current model as linear and suggest a marketplace that could learn intuitively from itself. Cortex will launch their own blockchain and the roadmap released in their whitepaper (here) suggests that the team will launch its mainchain application in Q2 of 2019. The project plans to be used as a way to validate and achieve a consensus of AI models.
The core team is led by CEO Ziqi Chen. Chen holds Masters of Science degrees in both Machine Learning and Civil Engineering. He also co-founded the cryptocurrency mining pool waterhole.io.
CTO Weiyang Wang was the winner of the Fintech Hackathon in 2017 and boasts a Masters Of Science in Statistics from the postgraduate economic power University of Chicago. Blockchain Chief Engineer Yang Yang was the backend architect for Chen’s waterhole project.
Cortex Labs will not hold a public ICO, instead opting for a round of private funding. The team performed an airdrop campaign that largely went under the radar meaning that investors will have to purchase the tokens when they hit exchanges. The Cortex token has been minted as an ERC-20 (on the Ethereum blockchain) with a plan to convert those to the Cortex mainchain in 2019.
According to the token distribution graph in the Cortex whitepaper, only 20% of the tokens will be distributed through private placement. Private investors were offered 1500 Cortex for 1 Ether which values the company at roughly $28 Million. Over half of the tokens will be rewarded to miners which should help slow inflation and create an incentive to participate in their network.
The list of investors in the Cortex project is extensive and includes some of the top venture capitalist companies in China with Bitmain and FBG headlining the group:
Cortex has an active telegram group (here) with over 51,000 members. They are rumored to be listed on exchanges by the end of Q2 2018 with some predicting the token will enter the market on Beijing’s powerhouse exchange Huobi. With over 150,000,000 Cortex tokens left to be distributed through mining, interactive users will have a great opportunity to gain tokens.
Dr. Whitfield Diffie, a known public key cryptographer and winner of the 2015 Turing Award, will act as the project’s main academic advisor. His work in the field of cryptography radically moved the space forward and he is credited with first publishing groundbreaking key distribution research. His inclusion as an advisor on the team speaks volumes for the project’s credibility and potential ceiling.
Adding more experience to the team of advisors is Jia Tian, a partner in the seed stage venture capitalist firm Zhenfund. Tian has an eye for talent and was an early investor in Bitfinex, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world.
The market for artificial intelligence systems is growing at an exponential pace. With singularity approaching, networks will be needed that can not only handle the big data of AI but also create spaces for new intelligence to learn and communicate. In a cryptocurrency market teeming with new startups, Cortex Labs appears to be a project that has the team and the vision to major disrupters in the evolving industry of AI.
*This is solely my opinion and should not be taken as financial advice. Please do all of your own research before investing in any project.