Mobile Populism

The secret satoshi doesn’t want you to know

We live in an era where the wealth gap is steadily increasing. Cryptocurrency represents humanity’s best chance of closing it. It is astounding to consider that a cryptocurrency with a fair and balanced distribution scheme has not yet been conceptualized, given the deleterious effects of the wealth gap on our lives.

Project Oblio: Mobile Populism has been under construction since 2015 and is best explained and understood by reference to the EOS cryptocurrency.  The main difference between Oblio and EOS is that here, votes for block-producers are based on a potentially-anonymous and fluid biometric trust level.

 

 

EOS rate-limits transactions at the smart contract level, whereas Oblio limits them at the user-level. EOS votes based on wealth, Oblio requires a minimum biometric trust level for voters to take action. With Oblio, block producers can be voted in and out based on their personality, not on the quantity of tokens in their possession.

Cryptocurrency exchanges which rely primarily on automation with their wallets are the ones which pay the most in user fees. Nevertheless, these fees are unlikely to amount to exceed those of competing blockchains; automated transactions comprise ~99% of transactions anyway. With humans engaging in such a miniscule amount of transactions themselves, distinguishing between a person sending money to a friend, and a segment of artificial intelligent being put to work for a business, has become a challenge. Fortunately, we believe we can overcome that challenge.

The real secret Satoshi doesn’t want you to know? The slight catering towards CPUs (“one-CPU-one-vote”) is what causes blockchain fees, and prevents true adoption.  The same goes for any consensus algorithm relying on token-based wealth.

You’ll soon use the OBL (the abbreviation designation for the ‘Oblio’ coin) that you collect here to send payments to your friends and family at no additional cost. In fact, with Oblio, any smart contract which you want to access is well within the realm of being a feeless transaction.

Visit our airdrop for more.

Enhancing focus

Can neurostimulation reliably enhance your focus in day-to-day activities?

Focus is about giving your full concentration to that one thing while saying no to all those things vying your attention. There is no shortage of distraction in this world, so to increase focus levels, there has been a significant interest in the techniques that can do so including transcranial electrical stimulation (tES).

Attentional disturbances lie at the core of many neurological and psychiatric disorders such as ADHD. That is why focus has primarily been taken into account for cognitive enhancement techniques that include video games, pharmacological stimulants and meditational training. The discovery of transcranial electrical current is another technique to the arsenal. It comprises of a weak current that is made to run through two electrodes placed on the skull that changes the excitability of the brain tissues under the electrodes.

A number of studies have been carried out that paired tasks that required focus and attention, with tES (mostly with transcranial direct current stimulation). We will discuss three important aspects of focus and attention here that have been most broadly been targeted to date.

  • Visual Searching
  • Spatial orientation
  • Sustained Attention

Researchers have reported some very promising effects of tDCS in each of these domains.

Visual Searching

The process of scanning the visual field is a common action which makes it an interesting target for cognitive enhancement. Different studies and experiments were performed to examine the results of transcranial electric current on the visual searching.

Visual search performance is supported by an extensive network of brain areas, centered on the right posterior parietal cortex and frontal eye field. Among an array of distracting objects, participants in visual search tasks had to look for a target item. The faster the reaction time in searching, the more efficient the visual search of the participant. The researchers found that anodal tDCS over the right parietal cortex may speed up visual search, while cathodal stimulation may slow it down.

Moreover, it was also found that learning to discover hidden objects fixed in realistic scenes was greatly intensified by anodal tDCS over the right inferior frontal cortex.

Spatial orientation

Another aspect highly relevant to visual search was spatial orienting. These studies figured out that attention and focus are not symmetrically distributed over the visual field. Most people are exposed to pseudoneglect; they overemphasize features in the left versus the right hemisphere. This happens because the right hemisphere is slightly more active than the left.

Presumably, it was seen that tDCS proved to be very effective in increasing the activity of the left parietal cortex beyond that of the right, and resultantly causing a rightward shift in spatial bias. Similarly, a rightward shift for right cathodal tDCS was observed. It was furthermore observed that a “dual” montage with one electrode on each posterior parietal cortex (anode on left; cathode on right) was even more effective.

Sustained Attention

Typically after prolonged time-on-tasks, the average performance of a person declines which is called vigilance decrement. To find ways to hinder vigilance decrement, different research work was done that examined the effects of tES on sustained attention.

It was reported that the vigilance decrement could be stopped by applying bilateral tDCS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex early into a vigilance task.

Furthermore, prefrontal tDCS did not affect performance on a sustained attention to response task, but they did increase mind wandering. In conclusion, two studies reported that prefrontal tDCS specifically offsets the vigilance decrement, suggesting that its effects may only become apparent after prolonged task performance.

 

With the applications mentioned above, we come to the conclusion that a person’s focus can be enhanced through transcranial electric current stimulation. The effects of tDCS are not confined to the stimulation period, but can outlast it for minutes to hours, or even months after multiple stimulation sessions!

 

References

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation’ May Boost Cognitive Function And Brighten Your Mood. (2013, october 29). Retrieved from Medical Daily: https://www.medicaldaily.com/put-headset-sharpen-your-focus-transcranial-direct-current-stimulation-may-boost-cognitive-function

ATTENTIONAL MODULATION OF VISUAL PROCESSING. (n.d.). Retrieved from Annual Reviews: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev.neuro.26.041002.131039

Enhancement of attention, learning, and memory in healthy adults using transcranial direct current stimulation. (2014, january 15). Retrieved from Science DIrect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811913008550?via%3Dihub

Enhancement of object detection with transcranial direct current stimulation is associated with increased attention. (2012, september 10). Retrieved from BMC Neuroscience: https://bmcneurosci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2202-13-108#Sec6

Enhancing multiple object tracking performance with noninvasive brain stimulation. (2015, feb 5). Retrieved from Frontiers : https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnsys.2015.00003/full

Frequency Band-Specific Electrical Brain Stimulation Modulates Cognitive Control Processes. (2015, september 25). Retrieved from PLOS: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0138984

Increasing propensity to mind-wander with transcranial direct current stimulation. (2015, feb 17). Retrieved from PNAS: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/11/3314

Modulation of attention functions by anodal tDCS on right PPC. (2015, July). Retrieved from Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393215000950?via%3Dihub

Simultaneous tDCS-fMRI Identifies Resting State Networks Correlated with Visual Search Enhancement. (2016, march 7). Retrieved from frontiers: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00072/full

TDCS guided using fMRI significantly accelerates learning to identify concealed objects. (2012, january 2). Retrieved from Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811910014667?via%3Dihub

The effects of tDCS upon sustained visual attention are dependent on cognitive load. (2016, January 8). Retrieved from Science direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393215302207?via%3Dihub

The Truth About Electrical Brain Stimulation. (n.d.). Retrieved from vitals: https://vitals.lifehacker.com/the-truth-about-electrical-brain-stimulation-1822192429

Transcranial Electrical Stimulation as a Tool to Enhance Attention. (2017, march 10). Retrieved from Speinger Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41465-017-0010-y

When Less Is More: Evidence for a Facilitative Cathodal tDCS Effect in Attentional Abilities. (2012, september ). Retrieved from The MIT PressJournals: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/10.1162/jocn_a_00248

 

 

Treating chronic pain with non-invasive neurostimulation

Can non-invasive neurostimulation help treat chronic pain?

Chronic Pain:

Chronic pain is that pain which lasts beyond the time of one’s expected healing. Many patients e

xperience continuous pain despite having conventio

nal treatments like injections, medical and physical therapy, surgery etc. Non-invasive brain stimulation is gradually becoming a popular tool as an alternative treatment of chronic pain syndromes. tDCS has been explored in a variety of pain population with various chronic pain syndromes such as multiple sclerosis, central pain due to spinal cord injury, fibromyalgia, headaches, neuropathic and post-operative pain etc. It may non-invasively modulate cortical areas related to sensation and pain representations.

Recent evidences suggest that tDCS interacts with several neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine. It also brings about changes in brain-derived neutrophic factors that deal with process of pain. It alters the 

way the nervous system send messages, for example pain messages t

hat the nervous system sends when nerve cells are damaged. Furthermore, it is also said that tDCS can upregulate and downregulate the functional connectivity of brain regions that are associated with motor, cognitive and pain processing.

Effects Of TDCS On Chronic Pain In Spinal Cord Injured Patients:

Sixteen spinal cord injured patients were randomly allocated to active or sham treatm

ent groups. tDCS was administrated by placing the anode over the dominant M1 and cathode over the contralateral supra orbit scalp area. Patients received either sham or active treatment for 5 consecutive days and 20 minutes daily.

In result, no adverse effects of the treatment were seen, while treatment seemed to have reduced the pain scores on VAS.

Effects Of TDCS On Chronic Pain In Fibromyalgia Patients:

48 female patients with (45 females having) fibromyalgia were randomly investigate

d with the results of 2 mA anodal tDCS given for 5 consecutive days, 20 minutes each day. Changes in pain, stress, daily functioning and psychiatric symptoms were observed. A small but significant improvement was seen under the active tDCS treatment. Fibromyalgia related daily functioning was improved. The stimulation was also well tolerated by the patients. And no adverse effects were observed.

This study suggests that tDCS has the potential to induce pain relief in patients suffering from fibromyalgia, without any adverse effects.

Effects Of TDCS On Chronic Pain In Phantom Limb Pain Patients:

Eight patients with unilateral lower and upper limb pain were enrolled and were given anodal tDCS (applied over motor cortex) for over 5 consecutive days, 15 minutes each day. tDCS induced a sustained decrease in phantom limb pain. Moreover, the patients reported a relief in pain each day along with a better condition to move their phantom limb.

The results showed that a 5-day treatment of motor cortex stimulation with tDCS can induce stable relief from Phantom limb pain.

tDCS is a unique and fine treatment to treat chronic pain. The intensity of current used in tDCS is so low that it cannot be felt while it is applied to the skull. The studie

s have shown that tDCS affects variety of brain area in a positive way. tDCS polarizes the brain cells under the electrodes and then alters the way the brain sends and receives messages. It is believed that this polarization can reverse the abnormal brain excitability responsible for pain.

References

A New Treatment for Chronic Pain. (n.d.). Retrieved from Headache and pain. a centre of palm beach: http://www.palmbeachpain.com/new-pain-treatments/41-a-new-treatment-for-chronic-pain.html

Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Chronic Pain in Spinal Cord Injured Patients. (2017, march 22). Retrieved from Spine Research: https://spine.imedpub.com/effectsof-transcranial-direct-current-stimulation-tdcs-on-chronic-pain-in-spinal-cord-injured-patients.php?aid=14974

Evidence-based review of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for chronic pain syndromes. (2017, march-april). Retrieved from brain stimulation: https://w

ww.brainstimjrnl.com/article/S1935-861X(17)30196-1/fulltext

Immediate and Sustained Effects of 5-Day Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex in Phantom Limb Pain. (2015, april 18). Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25863170

Stimulating the brain without surgery in the management of chronic pain in adults. (2018, april

 13). Retrieved from cochrane: http://www.cochrane.org/CD008208/SYMPT_stimulating-brain-without-surgery-management-chronic-pain-adults

Transcranial direct current stimulation as a treatment for patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. (2015, JAN). Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599302

 

 

Motivation

Leading experts in the field of artificial intelligence estimate that by 2040, a technological singularity will cause an unpredictable “intelligence explosion”, after which the capabilities of machines will supersede that of humans (Armstrong [2012]; Carvalko [2012]; Eden [2013]). On the other end of the spectrum, leading neuroscientists contend that no machine will ever be able to compete with the non-linear, non-Turing prowess of the human brain (Nicolelis [2015]). Through biological barriers to computation, we can harness the power of our brains to isolate ourselves from unforeseen advances in machine-based artificial intelligence. Consequently, new methods of information transfer between humans may ignite an unpredictable intelligence explosion which rivals (or exceeds) that of machines.

For centuries, individuals have proclaimed their own existence with the phrase cogito ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am.”) (Descartes, 1685). Communicating thoughts between each other could, for the first time, prove the existence of individuals outside ourselves. Furthermore, an accused (or racially-persecuted) person could prove their innocence by sharing recorded neural patterns during the time of the arrest, a sports fan could experience the adrenaline and mechanical motions of their favorite athlete, a layperson could taste a restaurant’s best meal from across the globe. A blind child could receive visual input from its mother, mental states (hunger, happiness, excitement) could be quantified and tracked, infrared-light detectors could expand our senses (Thomson et al. [2013]). Permanent external storage of thoughts and memories could greatly enhance information recall, and information could be translated and analyzed in ways not yet imagined. A brain-to-brain network would not be limited to humans. The neural intelligence and sensory input of other animals could also be harnessed (Pais-Vieira [2013]; Trimper et al. [2014]).

A secure mechanism to tie a human lifeform to a digital identity can push our governments onto the internet, enabling world passports, transparent elections, and a true, global democracy. In such an identity network, contracts and digital payments can be initiated by thought, files and assets can be forwarded elsewhere upon death, sensitive information can be shared only after a specific neural impulse. Note that DNA offers a mechanism for a biological identity, but not a digital one. DNA can be shed, and thereafter, copied. A better form of identity would be one that is unhackable, digital-friendly, and disposable. Such a form of identity could become the basis for bio-digital signatures, filling in the gap between the virtual and natural.

A proof-of-cognition blockchain as an underlying identity-network for a brain-to-brain internet would provide sufficient autonomy for each of its users. If cryptographic keys were generated and stored on an offline, physically-inaccessible, neurally-trained implant, hacking a person’s identity would be impossible. Decentralization of the network would guarantee that all users had equal power, and that a single ill-acting party could not cause sweeping changes across the network. In the event an ill-acting party did enter the network, the public nature of a blockchain would alert its users, ensuring honest nodes could exit or reject the dishonest node before harm were spread. So long as the majority of nodes remained honest, a proof-of-cognition blockchain can maintain the safety of an individual’s conscious in a brain-to-brain network.

This paper proposes a pseudo-anonymous digital-biological network as a foundation for later brain-to-brain innovations. A rudimentary understanding of hashing, blockchains (Dai [1998]; Back [2002]; Nakamoto [2008]) and modern brain-machine interfaces (Lebedev and Nicolelis [2006]; Lebedev [2014]; Hildt [2015]) is recommended.

Reference: proof-of-cognition-implants , published May 2015. Disclaimer: Project Oblio’s mechanism does not rely on brain implants, but the mechanisms of action are the same. An early version of the paper provably exists in bitcoin address 13eeMVU5fXNfZdoBk5z4fEAbgSH9MawQ6H.

Preventing AI From Hacking Human Brains

Can we integrate brainwaves with a blockchain to prevent hacking by artificial intelligence?
Submitted to Nature on May 28th, 2015 

In the last issue of Nature (28th May 2015) a piece called ‘Robotics: Ethics of artificial intelligence’ raised awareness for the latest advances in intelligent machines and some of the possible consequences for society. Several reputed scientists commented on these advances and highlighted a series of solutions that are undoubtedly of major interest for any reader. Here we highlight recent advances in neuroscience that significantly blur the traditional boundaries between AI, computer science and neuroscience, but that will soon have major consequences for the society.

While AI traditionally works towards the goal of developing more advanced forms of computing, neuroscience research has been making significant advances in combining the activity of multiple brains to compute solutions for problems. For example, we have previously proposed that multiple interconnected brains may allow for new forms of computation (Nicolelis 2011, Cicurel and Nicolelis 2015) that cannot be achieved by Turing machines (Siegelman 1995). Following this initial insight, we and others demonstrated that living brains of rats (Pais-Vieira et al., 2013, Deadwiler et al 2013), monkeys (Ifft et al., 2014), and humans (Rao et al., 2014) can be interconnected to allow solving multiple different problems. These advances are quickly leading towards the more intricate reality of complex computation and multi-brain communication using Brainets (Ifft et al2014).

Brainets are defined as groups of interacting brains that cooperate towards a common goal (Nicolelis 2011). The recent developments observed in non-invasive brain stimulation and recording techniques, combined with the swift development of brain-to-brain interfaces, demonstrate that a world wide brain internet is no longer a far fetched idea. A fundamental problem for a society using a brain based world wide web would then be to prevent AI from hacking human brains.

One of us has recently proposed that the use of blockchains a future world wide brainet could prevent attacks from non-living entities (Mauro, 2015), and more broadly, from the Singularity (Kurzweill in Neuman 1958). Blockchains are networks were the history of each individual node can be traced and, based on its record, the weight of a specific node can be updated. An unweighted blockchain system is used to secure bitcoin transactions (Nakamoto, 2008), which prevents double spending of money. For brainet blockchains, the brain’s ability to both encode and decode information would ensure network security. First, the individuality and complexity of each brain activity would be used to encrypt information. Then, brain–to-brain communication combined with other individual markers (e.g. visual and tactile recognition) would ensure that only living, trustable nodes (i.e. brains) would be allowed to remain on the brainet. Attacks by AI would be chronicled on the blockchain, but neurological barriers to computation would prevent total AI takeover.

On a smaller network, brainet blockchains can be used to prevent attacks by lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). The main fear regarding LAWS is that they will turn on their operators (Future of Life, 2015). For example, a LAWS designed to “eliminate all terrorists” may find that it can perform its job most effectively by eliminating those who have the authority to shut it down– namely, its operators. Brainet blockchains can automatically re-distribute authority when nodes are eliminated. The anonymity offered by advanced blockchain innovations would protect nodes before authority is re-distributed (Maxwell, 2013).

In conclusion, recent neuroscience advances are demonstrating first, that interconnected brains can perform multiple computational tasks, allowing for the appearance of a world wide brainet; and second, that such brainet could use blockchains to prevent attacks from non biological entities.

References
1 – Robotics: Ethics of artificial intelligence, Nature 2015, 28th May
2-Nicolelis 2011 Beyond boundaries
3-Siegelman 1995 Science
4-Pais-Vieira et al., 2013 BBI paper
5-Deadwiler et al., 2014?
6-Ifft et al 2014 sfn Abstract with monkey brainet (Arjuns paper?)
7-Rao et al., 2014
8-Mauro K, 2015 Grand Scholars Challenge
9-Kurzweill in Neuman 1958 Singularity
10-Nakamoto 2008

11-https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/10/09/brain-initiative-and-grand-challenge-
scholars

12-Maxwell, 2013 – https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=279249
13-Future of life- : http://futureoflife.org/static/data/documents/research_priorities.pdf

The Anti-Fake News Internet

Project Oblio aims to create an area of the internet where there are no fake or mercenary accounts.

While anonymity is a powerful tool in speaking out against oppression, recent events in our time have shown that pure anonymity can have disastrous consequences. ​The majority of fake news articles are written and posted by anonymous persons. Despite this, under no circumstance should anonymity be outlawed – that’s not what Project Oblio intends to do. Rather, it is extremely important to consider the potential benefit of having a corner of the internet where we can be certain everyone has exactly one account. As this protocol would also double as a gateway into a human-only internet, it would behoove us to consider it as a necessary communication channel in the event of hired A.I. language bots polluting the internet’s watering holes.

Through identification, human detection, and authorization, we can build a  internet where every one of a persons’s postings is tied to their unsheddable and unique aura. On this network, we ask for a higher modicum of proof that a person is reporting honestly on a particular news subject, as any dishonest news reporting will be tied to their biometricity for years, if not eternity. At the very least, a computational barrier for producing thousands of fake comments algorithmically could do wonders for digital communication.

While initially Project Oblio would like to leave all sorts of privacy to traditional blockchains (there are many, many blockchains that all claim to have the “best” privacy, but few that offer proof-of-individuality), it may be possible to have a human-only internet that is also anonymous. Although relatively new, two fields to look into are homomorphic encryption and zero-knowledge proofs. We fully anticipate these improvements to be integrated into Project Oblio at some point in the future.

Hopefully, an internet with a biometric or even just a human-detection-spam-filter will better our ability to differentiate between fact and fiction in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Reigniting The Computational Arms Race

How can neuroscience research help fund research into new AI chips?

Bitcoin’s initial pitch was as a network where donated computing power would lead to the end of botnets, spam, and other malfeasance the internet had spawned. The idea was that instead of using their computing power for nefarious means, people with large amounts of underutilized computing power would be able to redirect their processors towards securing the bitcoin network, in return for a tangible financial reward.

As bitcoin mining became more profitable, what ended up happening was more akin to a computational arms race. Graphical processing units (GPUs) quickly became the weapon of choice over traditional CPUs in the ever-prospering bitcoin mining industry. Because GPUs are used by researchers in medicine, aerospace, and practically any field of science where there is large troves of data (i.e. everything), there was a brief moment in bitcoin’s history where it was doing tremendous good for the world. Research and development in faster processing cards for bitcoin mining was trickling down substantial benefits for poorly funded areas of clinical and other research.

That all changed with the advent of ASICs – dedicated hardware for bitcoin mining. Because bitcoin’s mining algorithm is relatively simple, and does not rely inherently on machine learning, as a single bitcoin became worth tens to hundreds of dollars, wise investors started developing power-efficient computer chips that could be used only for bitcoin mining. Bitcoin’s arms race had reach its full potential, but it was no longer doing good for the world outside of bitcoin. Sadly, a mining market that had once shown potential for improving nearly every big data problem faced by mankind, was now suffocated by the flow of capitalism.

Because Project Oblio is a network that rewards people for correct answers to a machine learning task, it is possible for us to re-ignite the computational arms race first started by bitcoin. Early on, Project Oblio will likely run on the same GPUs  that once propped-up bitcoin mining. However, as the network becomes more useful and thus valuable, we can expect custom-made “neural network hardware” to reach the network due to its increased profitability in mining oblios. These same cards can also be used in more general machine learning tasks, performing much better than GPUs, when conducting analyses in the less-well-funded scientific  areas described earlier.

Thus, an investment in Project Oblio is a long-term investment in big data technology. When you support the network, you are supporting all areas of science that analyze big data – cancer research, population health, self-driving cars, etc. A computational arms race that drives machine learning hardware research is something few other systems like Project Oblio can offer.

A Bot Tax: Scaling For the Average User

Real, human users should be able to transact for free. Unlike EOS, which rate-limits transactions at the smart-contract level, Project Oblio aims to rate-limit transactions at the user-level.

Every cryptocurrency to date has, at some point, garnished claims about the internet-of-things, machine-to-machine payments, and easy-to-use APIS for sending stores of wealth. Often, it only takes one or two lines of code to send a transaction, resulting in large amounts of automated payments between exchanges, wallets, and advanced users. However, these kinds of payments are actually a bigger problem for cryptocurrencies than one would initially expect. Because these transactions are taxed at the same rate as the occasional transaction made by a “new” or casual user, they end up clogging the network, causing increased fees, tremendous block sizes, and relatively simple and inexpensive attack vectors, such as DDOS. For this reason, you’ll often see bitcoin developers talking about “anti-spam” measures to limit these excessive automated payments from disturbing the user experiences of a newcomer. A bad user experience is a barrier to adoption, and this barrier to adoption is bad for everyone, as it ultimately harms the returns of the businesses using the network so much.

 

Through its one-human-one-vote protocol, Project Oblio aims to allow for reduced fees to those members who are well-identified by the network, through a “Karma” metric. More specifically, transactions are prioritized when a user is “liveness detected” – proven to be actually there, needing a transaction to be sent as quickly as possible. Although machine-to-machine payments are necessary for network function, they greatly stress the decentralized network protocol. Prioritizing transactions in this manner can allow for a better end-user experience, while still allowing businesses and other machine-to-machine payers to function. Ultimately, it encourages real user adoption.

 

Because so few transactions sent on networks like these are initiated by humans, it is unlikely that fees for bots will be greater than that of competing networks. As such, the bot tax is really better thought of as reduced fees for live humans, rather than any deterrent against machine-to-machine payments.

 

Of course there are a lot of reasons to have machine-to-machine payments, but there are better reasons to create a garden of the internet which is provably human. Namely, real discussions, real voting, and real applications for BMIs.

 

Most scaling protocols to date have focused on payment channels, which are themselves a great idea, and will one day be implemented on Project Oblio. But payment channels won’t be useful for one-time payments and other types of transactions an end-user may wish to make. Really, to create a decentralized network that is used by the masses, it is much more important to first solve the issue of one-human-one-vote, so that we can, among many other things, favor real-world users over anonymous bots.

Defending Against Hired Fake Accounts

Mercenary fake accounts have driven altruistic coders from the cryptocurrency community. Can we re-inspire the lost population of altruistic developers with a watering hole prohibiting financially-incentivized mercenary accounts?

The most underrated threat to society today is the threat of artificial intelligence, but not in the manner you might expect. Movies like iRobot concoct an image of actual robots turning on society. More reasonable portrayals in the media and among tech leaders convey the very real threat to persons’ employability by intelligent machines. One such threat rarely discussed is the loss of freedom-of-speech on digital watering holes, due to hired “socketpuppet” accounts, including those controlled by mercenary A.I.

Why should we be scared of A.I. pretending to be humans on the internet? Because in industries like cryptocurrency, it’s already been happening. The difference between fake accounts now and 10 years from now is that fake accounts today have to be controlled by humans (see www.reddit.com/r/HailCorporate). These “astroturfers” can make you think a product, government public comment section, or news article is more deserving of your attention than it actually is, by means of pretending to be multiple users sharing a single consensus. While today these are probably just hired humans controlling multiple accounts in a clickfarms, tomorrow cheap computer programs running simple machine learning algorithms will allow everyone and their grandmother to pollute the internet’s discussion boards with fake consensus. We need an area of the internet where we can be 100% certain that a human is a human, and they are who they say they are. This network works best if is decentralized, because decentralized networks do not rely on trust in a third party, such as a CEO.

A.I. is already capable of generating human text indistinguishable of that from human-generated language.

Please see “Brainwaves as a future-resistant biometric: Human detection, Identification, and Authorization” for more info.

Brainwaves as a Future-Resistant Biometric: Human-Detection, Identification, and Authorization

Brainwaves are the only biometric still untapped by governenments and corporations that possess fluid properties; Human-Detection, Identification, and Authorization. They are also a source of wealth.

“Human detection” is the act of proving whether or not an internet user is a robot, or a human. Google’s ReCaptcha2 (“I’m not a Robot”) is very convenient; It only takes about 10 seconds to complete. Unfortunately, the tasks required by Google’s reCaptcha are problematic for the following reasons:

  • These tasks are not future-proof. Eventually, A.I. will be smart enough to pass any image recognition task.
  • As Google trains their algorithms, they become the only ones with the algorithms capable of bypassing their own human detection protocols. They can then lease these algorithms to generate fake accounts. These fake accounts, paid for by a wealthy person or persons, or just a hacker, can be used to create a false sense of consensus on a discussion board regarding a government, product, or cultural content.

Project Oblio possesses a network component that is decidedly human-only. Transactions on this network can be decidedly human-only, as the network revolves around the idea that the most resilient form of human detection derives from the power of the human brain. Signals emanating from the brain and muscle areas around them are a cheap and efficient form of human detection, one that is vastly more future-proof that that currently implemented by Google.

Each of us is born with a multi-billion dollar supercomputer, capable of generating outputs immeasurably more complex than that capable of being understood by an A.I. For example, predicting whether a human will find something funny is much harder for A.I. than it would originally seem, even with plenty of data. This humor response manifests itself in an EEG recording, a piece of data that can simultaneously be conveniently monetized to the user on a decentralized network.  Common recording parameters like the P300 (a measure of whether a human brain has detected something “surprising”) are easily elicited over an EEG and probably just as difficult for a computer to simulate. Any form of human detection becomes significantly stronger when you’re simultaneously recording outputs from billions of live, biological neurons.

When we combine this type of human detection with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS: an “input” method, as opposed to EEG, which primarily records a brain’s output), we may get even stronger, faster human detection. Considering that tDCS has also been shown to improve memory, concentration, and relieve depression, it would seem to be the perfect technique for improving both inward and outward human communication.

Although non-invasive brain-machine-interfaces require a lot of data for most tasks we’d like them to be useful for (such as control of virtual reality), they are tremendously accurate at identifying us (like a “fingerprint”, but more accurate) with comparatively minimal data. While the more desirable tasks often have only 60-80% accuracy, identification of human beings by brainwaves can typically achieve 99% accuracy with minimal data. This is evidence that each brain and its corresponding outputs vary tremendously from person to person, and that collecting a lot of data from a single person is just as valuable, if not more valuable, than comparing data across persons. If you need more evidence for the uniqueness of human brains, check out the Human Connectome Project.

So. At this point we have two new terms: Human detection, and identification.It’s important now to realize that not only do human brains have tremendous power to human detect us, but they can simultaneously perform these two steps as well. No other biometric available can do this simultaneously, and it’s a crucial enhancement in a decentralized network’s stability. Fingerprints and DNA are both static – once you have the image or the code, it can be copied and used to impersonate you. Voice data is as fluid as brainwave data and could theoretically be used to human detect, but it is not as good at identifying you and is also (nowadays) easily forgable (see Alexa, Siri, etc.).  If data were easily foregable, a person could use the same data to receive multiple rewards, spamming the system and making themselves very rich (that is, until the markets crash due to the flaw they exposed in the network).

The last step in the three-pronged approach is authorization. While human detection is like reCaptcha, and identification is like a username, authorization is like a password. Authorization is as simple as you thinking a “password thought” recognized by a machine learning algorithm. There are tons of papers already out there about this, so I’ll point you to Google Scholar for this topic.

Combining these three methods: identification, authentication, and human detection, into a single protocol creates a triad of network security not found in other biometrics or in purely digital security. This is  interchangeably called “proof-of-person”, “proof-of-cognition”, “proof-of-humanity”, and “proof-of-individuality”. Its consequences are described further here.