AIOZ Network: Pioneering the Decentralized AI Revolution

April 4, 2024

In conclusion

AIOZ Network: Pioneering the Decentralized AI Revolution

Blockchains have been hailed as the next big thing for more than a decade. While the Crypto craze in 2021 finally promised to reshape our lives with DeFi, metaverse, fractionalized real-world assets, NFTs, and other buzzwords, nothing of that sort materialized enough to change the lives of everyday people. Only a few crypto folks got a little rich.

The AI space is now going through the same speculative phase that crypto experienced, promising to make AI an indispensable tool that everyone will be able to take advantage of in both business and personal life. The most popular fear-mongering technique we’ve all heard is that AI will completely replace humans and if you don’t adopt this technology, you or your business will fade into irrelevance.

Apart from chatbots, image, and video generators that we can play with, nothing has changed in our day-to-day lives so far. Why is that?

Well, the job of startups and VCs is to market their products or services in the best light possible no matter the industry, even when the goal is not attainable in the immediate future. That’s just how the startup world works. Companies raise money based on a promise that their product or service will be revolutionary, addressing a significant and pressing need. Subsequently, they promote it to the public, sometimes persuading them to purchase something they may not even need.

The Crypto and AI industry is particularly vulnerable to such antics as not a lot of people use these products, let alone understand the technology behind them. The truth is very few startups possess the expertise to execute the vision they’ve laid out. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop the inevitable wave of startups piggybacking off a new and hot trend to raise money and compellingly promote their ‘’novel’’ offering. The emerging intersection of AI and crypto blurs the line of what’s feasible even more.

One such sector where these tactics are especially true is the DePIN sector. By now, you should know what DePIN means, as we’ve been covering this sector extensively here at blocmates. Arguably, the most disruptive use case of DePIN includes everything associated with cloud computing, whether that’s live streaming, storage, or, most notably, access to GPUs.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing

As you’re reading this, keep in mind that the NVIDIA Conference has recently taken place, likely sparking a surge of interest in AI projects within the crypto sphere. The project we’ll be discussing today was part of the NVIDIA Inception program before it was cool and has since enrolled in the Google for Startups Cloud Program.

Yes, we are talking about none other than AIOZ Network, one of the longest-standing projects in this sector with an impressive track record. The team from AIOZ Network has been working on AI solutions inside and outside of the crypto industry for 10 years. In addition to publishing numerous tier 1 ranked peer-reviewed publications, a little-known fact is that the team also achieved a victory over Bytedance (the company behind TikTok) in an AI competition back in 2019. Knowing how effective the TikTok algorithm is, that must’ve been no easy feat.

The team isn't just focusing on cutting-edge AI applications; they've chosen to integrate it with blockchains, seeing it as the natural next step in advancing the field. The benefits of combining blockchain technology with AI cannot be understated, as this approach allows startups to deliver more affordable and accessible cloud services than any Web2 incumbent, all while maintaining essential performance standards and providing higher privacy guarantees. Due to the complexity involved, there exists a significant barrier to entry for new projects, giving the existing ones a substantial lead, or what we degens like to call it - moat.

The term ‘’moat’’ gets thrown around quite a lot in this space, but in reality, very few projects have it. For example, no matter how clunky and expensive, Ethereum possesses two very important moats- developers and liquidity.

By being the first smart contract chain, the network has amassed a huge mindshare within the industry, so much so that in the depths of the last bear market, we saw struggling projects that couldn’t find PMF announcing their L2 atop Ethereum. The goal was simple - to garner the liquidity and attention from this ecosystem. By solemnly swearing their fielty to the alignment gods, these projects were granted a second chance. There is that age-old saying: if you can’t beat them, join them.

In the DePin sector, the key moat is physical infrastructure.

Building out a whole decentralized economy around this infrastructure in such a way that all parties are properly incentivized requires a very thoughtful design and intricate balance of incentives. As the feverish frenzy around AI and computing subsides, projects that have diligently constructed these two vital components will persevere. Conversely, those who have merely masqueraded as DePin entities while relying on centralized cloud providers to handle their workloads will find themselves compelled to partner up with or utilize projects that provide actual decentralized infrastructure.

AIOZ Network has embraced this challenge by building an extensive network comprising over 70,000 nodes and 50 validators working together to deliver scalable and decentralized cloud-based AI services. The protocol encompasses a plethora of different tools and infra that unlock previously unthinkable possibilities for developers and users.

At the core of AIOZ Network architecture sits the Decentralized Content Delivery Network (dCDN). Originally designed to provide users with decentralized file storage and unmatched speeds for media streaming, akin to YouTube, but with videos stored on-chain, this system possesses capabilities extending far beyond its initial purpose. Leveraging features such as limitless horizontal scaling, abundant bandwidth, integration of AI for smart routing, and optimized distribution, it effectively functions as a worldwide cloud computing platform accessible to all at a fraction of the cost charged by centralized services.

Playground for AI

Just like Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a broad set of global cloud-based products that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale, so does AIOZ Network with AW3S. A very clever name if you ask me. Although our prior article provided in-depth coverage of the AIOZ Network suite, recognizing the collective synergy these products offer is essential. Each component plays a pivotal role in the integrated AIOZ Network infrastructure, designed to operate harmoniously, complementing one another and fostering a unified environment for AI developers to deploy and train models on the AIOZ Network.

What we usually see with AI projects is that they offer a piece of infra that must be integrated with other tools. What AIOZ Network has done is revolutionary, bringing all the necessary tools under one roof. This opens up a vast collaborative design space, bringing businesses and developers closer. By leveraging blockchain rails and incentives, AIOZ Network will create an open and transparent economy around AI tooling and models.

The upcoming NodeV3 upgrade will set the stage for the release of W3AI, a cutting-edge Web3 AI computing infrastructure developed to revolutionize the way artificial intelligence tasks are executed. This upgrade will enable all 70k+ nodes to work together and perform AI-related tasks, such as inference and model training.

Thanks to the already existing supply of nodes that provide HDDs and SSDs, developers will be able to not only train and execute models but also securely store the associated data sets directly on the network and share them with others.

But why would anyone want to share their precious data? Well, If we want to take AI back into our own hands, collaboration in development is crucial for continued innovation. Thanks to the power of smart contracts and a groundbreaking technique called Decentralized Federated Learning, the W3AI marketplace will enable the monetization of AI models, allowing developers to establish their own terms and licensing agreements for usage.

This presents a significant edge over web2 AI marketplaces like HuggingFace, as developers are directly incentivized to engage and collaborate, enhancing their reputation within the network and, thus, potential compensation.

Businesses and individuals will be able to use a wide range of models such as image generation, image classification, text recognition, sound recognition, etc. The more your model is used, the more you get paid. I mean, if I were an AI developer, this is the place where I’d be looking to deploy my talents.

But for those of us lacking the necessary amount of grey matter needed for programming, fear not! There exists another avenue through which we can engage with the network.

Edge Node architecture

DePin networks tend to have expensive hardware requirements and whitelists, which considerably reduces the number of people who can participate in the network. A standout benefit of AIOZ Network compared to other established decentralized networks such as BitTensor, Filecoin, and STORJ is its low barrier to entry for joining the network as a node. It's incredibly user-friendly, demanding only basic technical skills and hardware.

All you need is a laptop, a stable internet connection, and the AIOZ Network node application installed on your computer.

AIOZ Network Node desktop application

Okay, but how can a distributed network possibly be on par with huge data centers that possess immense computing power? The secret ingredient that allows AIOZ Network to match and sometimes even beat these centralized services is the implementation of Edge Computing.

Usually, businesses transmit all data generated by devices to distant cloud or data centers, often hundreds or thousands of kilometers away, resulting in latency and bandwidth challenges.

This might come as a shocker, but If you are situated in Europe and the cloud provider of a service you’re using is located In North America, the data still has to travel thousands of kilometers through undersea fiber optic cables.

Edge Computing alleviates the latency created by this distance and performs computing tasks as close as possible to your location. This method significantly minimizes latency, enhances real-time processing, and bolsters data security, all critical factors for AI algorithms and big data applications. With data volumes continuing to increase exponentially, the AIOZ Network Edge Node architecture not only empowers AI developers but also showcases the capacity of distributed networks to meet this escalating demand.

Next stage

With the upcoming rollout of W3AI and an in-house system analogous to IPFS, dubbed the W3IPFS, AIOZ Network is ready to enter the next phase of its development.

While in-house applications such as dTransfer showcase the potential of AIOZ Network, exponential growth will be achieved once other developers come and build their applications on top of the network.

AIOZ Network conveniently sits at the crossroads of Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems, achieving the best of both worlds - EVM adoption and the robust architecture of Cosmos SDK. For starters, implementing EVM at the Smart Contract layer will provide developers and users with much-needed familiarity. By removing the need for developers to learn a new framework and for users to install a new wallet (which can be a significant obstacle for many), AIOZ Network greatly reduces the barrier to adoption.

Secondly, the Cosmos SDK and Tendermint have proven to be one of the most robust and widely used blockchain technologies out there. One key aspect of the Cosmos stack that is largely overlooked by the industry is the IBC protocol. This technology stands out as the most secure bridging solution, facilitating a 30d transaction volume of around 2.9 billion US dollars across 80+ chains without ever experiencing a breach.

Paired with technologies like Interchain Accounts, the Cosmos stack provides developers with an expansive design space that enables composable applications capable of interacting with other IBC chains and performing tasks on these chains on their behalf.

IBC Ecosystem

In the grand scheme of things, the chosen tech stack is a trivial matter as long as the product proves useful to the customers. In the immediate future, however, opting for EVM as the smart contract layer will aid in kickstarting the user and developer base while the resilient Tendermint engine operates in the background, delivering cheap and fast transactions.

Examining the roadmap reveals that two crucial verticals will be introduced to the AIOZ Network ecosystem this year.

Firstly, the main focus is building the W3AI infrastructure and the AI marketplace. The demand and excitement for AI use cases are evident, and AIOZ Network possesses the capability to address this elevated interest in AI applications and the accompanying decentralized computing needs.

Secondly, building out the smart contract and DeFi layer is a crucial step in enabling the value transfer between all parties in the network. The deployment of AIOZRC-20, AIOZRC-1155, and AIOZRC-721 token standards and the rollout of a native DEX will set the stage for an expansive economy.

Then, the introduction of the Gravity Bridge will connect the AIOZ Network with the EVM world, opening the floodgates of liquidity to flow into the ecosystem.  On the other side of the pond, establishing IBC connections with additional Cosmos chains like Noble, Kujira, Stride, and others can be a beneficial and strategic move toward fostering adoption and recognition.

Final thoughts

With more and more competitors entering this sector, there's an emerging trend of companies presenting themselves as providers of decentralized infrastructure, though in actuality, they function as intermediaries reselling Web2 services. Such offerings not only fail to fulfill their original purpose but also inherently lack the censorship resistance and privacy assurances that genuine DePIN networks can deliver.

The path chosen by AIOZ Network has been lengthy but promises to yield significant results in the long run. By prioritizing the building of the necessary infrastructure to handle the growing demand for cloud computing, AIOZ Network has a significant edge against the competition of GPU resellers. With core components like the dCDN, and W3S storage already in place, the puzzle for creating a truly decentralized and global AI economy is almost finished.

AIOZ Network stands tall among the crowd, with a network of globally distributed nodes providing on-demand computation, championing the ethos of decentralization. With the upcoming upgrades to the network, which will allow AI developers to not only purchase computing power but also build and monetize their models on top of the W3AI marketplace, AIOZ Network is positioned to claim the spotlight and solidify its position in the expanding intersection between AI and crypto.

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