From 4RC’s inception, we cited blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) as the core emerging technologies poised to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With our latest investment in Stability AI, that thesis remains unchanged as we continue to back the most exciting applications and leading teams at the intersection of Web3 and AI.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is only just beginning as the technology at its core, including Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, has reached only a small fraction of its full potential. As each revolution before it changed the face of the earth and fate of humanity, we believe Blockchain Technology will achieve a similar scale of disruption through the disintermediation of global industries from finance and healthcare to e-commerce and entertainment.”
- Excerpt from Introducing 4RC (October 2020)
As the AI industry is expected to grow from $387.5 billion in 2022 to $1.4 trillion by 2029, adding $15.7 trillion to the world economy by the end of the decade, 4RC is actively investing across the decentralized AI landscape.
We made our foray into this sector in August 2021 participating in the seed round of Altered State Machine (ASM). The ASM protocol enables users to train and own AI via NFT Brains that are interoperable across avatars, games, worlds, and web3 applications at large. Credited for assisting in the protocol’s native token economic and utility design, 4RC is one of the largest and most active participants in the ASM Cortex.
We made our second big bet on the sector in the pre-seed round of Stability AI, backing Emad Mostaque and a decentralized community of over 20K developers. As a company building the world’s first decentralized AI powered by one of the top ten supercomputers in the world (surpassing even NASA’s computing power), Stability’s mission is to equip every person, country, company, and culture with intelligent tools, i.e., “AI for the people, by the people.” The leadership team out of Oxford, Harvard and MIT has previously worked with UNESCO on the mission to connect every school in the world to broadband internet and supported the UN’s AI initiative for Covid research working with the CDC and WHO to synthesize the vaccine.
Making headline news across the art and entertainment industry, Stability AI recently released Stable Diffusion and its first beta consumer app DreamStudio powering text-to-image generation, similar to Microsoft / OpenAI’s DALL·E 2. Within 30 days of Stable Diffusion being released to the public, community artists have already begun using generative models to create stunning content for industry applications from entertainment to healthcare. While the current outputs such as the image I created below for this article are exciting, like web3, we’re still very much in dial-up territory and our broadband moment is coming.
Stable Diffusion’s text-to-image generator currently has plugins for Photoshop, but Stability AI has grander ambitions to become the de facto AI of the metaverse. 3D architectural models in flight will become extensions on top of Unity, Unreal Engine, Blender or Godot to allow game developers to build entire worlds from text, speech, or reference content, dramatically optimizing development cost and timelines. While Spotify can already create custom playlists based on your listening history, future versions of these models will create entire metaverses perfectly tailored to your liking, populated with your favorite characters, locations, items, audio, and experiences.
Despite remaining in stealth until the Stable Diffusion release in August, Stability AI’s product suite has already amassed 5 million users and logged over 25 million downloads across its models. As the team continues to release new generative models for image, text, audio, video, and 3D content, the community is rapidly building as well with new derivative startups being spun up and receiving funding just weeks after the Stable Diffusion release. Hence, Emad elucidating what Stability AI really is: “Layer One for next generation AI.”
To catalyze the app layer, Utiliti.AI is building an intelligent web3 enterprise development platform to connect any tech stack to blockchain networks with enterprise-grade APIs and SDKs. By training ML models to identify and categorize smart contract frameworks for minting, staking, and other standard use cases, Utiliti will provide their developer clients with a library of templates, security scoring, gas efficiency ratings, and other critical data to optimize and expedite implementation.
Today Siri is writing texts and sending us reminders, tomorrow Siri will be planning our vacations, attending our meetings, doing our taxes, translating our most niche internet slang, and calling our moms on their birthdays (let’s still do that last one ourselves).
As we approach a future where AI has eaten the software that Marc Andreessen famously declared is “eating the world,” we are partnering exclusively with web3 native teams to ensure that AI and machine learning (ML) models are owned, operated, and governed by their users, rather than the big tech incumbents whose DNA is rooted in centralized monetization, private data collection, and censorship.
Web3 will advance by using AI to create intelligent blockchains (e.g., ML driven runtime, consensus, mempools, gas fees, block rewards, etc.), intelligent protocols (e.g., DeFi money markets with dynamic credit limits based on individual and macro conditions), and intelligent dapps (e.g., web3 games with continuously evolving strategies, rewards, and environments).
The decentralized community engaging with this next generation of AI will leverage web3 coordinate mechanisms such as tokenized ownership, governance, and incentives to self-organize and accelerate innovation at a global scale. We believe this Fourth Industrial Revolution will transform the physical and digital world economy as well as make sci-fi experiences like Ready Player One’s Oasis a (virtual) reality.
Web3 x AI holds the key to a more inclusive, democratized, and progressive future. That is the future we wish to catalyze, and we couldn’t be more excited to contribute to the inspiring and talented community working to realize this vision.
Thanks for reading!
If you’re looking for a job with a Web3 team like Lens, check out the 4RC Job Board.
Disclaimers and Disclosures:
All of the information (above and linked) is for entertainment purposes only and is not to be taken as investment or financial advice.
4RC invested in private rounds for Altered State Machine, Stability AI, and Utiliti.
4RC may hold long positions in the projects mentioned and abides by a no trade policy 3 days before and after publishing of this article.
This presentation is not an offer to sell securities of any investment fund or a solicitation of offers to buy any such securities.