Reading this article, I got one of those strange sensations that I had a window into a very strange future, a future vision of contracts, commerce and organizations where software plays a much more critical role than anything we might imagine today.
This article is not going to be for everyone. Some of the ideas are a bit out there. That said, I think they are fascinating. What Vitalik Buterin is outlining here is a “smart contract” software framework for automating business processes. What he’s talking about here builds on some of the same kinds of heavily distributed validation processes that Bitcoin uses.
Much of the magic here centers on using software to figure out whether the terms of a contract have or have not been met. When they have, the software authorizes payment. Now there are some cases where that validation is relatively straight forward, but in many cases validating that the agreement has been fulfilled, even when the processes are run in software, well, it can be tricky.
But that’s nothing compared to being able to assess whether or not the contract has been fulfilled when it comes to activities that happen offline. And so one of the interesting aspects of this framework is the use of real-world, human judges to make these determinations and notify the system via text message or other means.
I’m starting to dig much more deeply into where corporations are headed, particularly with respect to the kinds of artificial intelligence and automation that we’re seeing in giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, GE and others. But this vision is something very different and very grassroots. And that’s what makes it so interesting.
Much to learn still in this strange new world, but I will share some of my explorations along the way here as I go.
Special thanks to Mark Bruce for turning me on to the whole idea of “Decentralized Autonomous Organizations.”
#ai #DAO #automation