Ex-Google Engineer Launches Bittensor: Decentralized AI Protocol Challenging Tech Giants
Jacob Steeves, a former Google employee and CEO of the Opentensor Foundation, has launched Bittensor, a decentralized and open-sourced AI protocol aimed at challenging the dominance of tech giants in the artificial intelligence (AI) field. Steeves is concerned that major corporations, including his former employer, are monopolizing AI to consolidate their economic power. With Bittensor, he aims to provide an opportunity for developers to build their own AI-powered tools.
Unlike platforms such as OpenAI or Google’s Gemini, where AI models are restricted from the public and don’t allow outside contributions, Bittensor offers a decentralized and permissionless platform. It serves as a one-stop shop for AI developers, providing incentive-driven compute systems and allowing outside contributions. By interconnecting neural networks on the internet, Bittensor aims to create a global, distributed, and incentivized machine learning system.
The tech community is divided when it comes to AI models being open-source. Some argue that making the technology freely available could be misused by bad actors, leading to potential harm. However, Steeves believes that granting exclusive rights to AI technologies to major corporations poses a greater danger.
Steeves raises concerns about the concentration of power in the hands of a few elite individuals who control AI. He questions whether these individuals are ethically superior or if humans, in general, have the potential to be dangerous. According to Steeves, leveling the playing field and democratizing AI is necessary to prevent the risk of corruption.
In response to calls from tech titans, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, for federal licensing requirements for advanced AI development, Steeves criticizes the potential creation of a walled garden for corporations. He believes that such regulation would stifle the open-source community and hinder future improvements.
While Steeves acknowledges that federal licensing requirements could potentially shut down his development operation, he reassures that Bittensor is anonymous, privacy-preserving, and decentralized. This makes it challenging to stop or regulate since it takes advantage of decentralization.
Steeves agrees with experts who believe that Congress would struggle to regulate AI effectively at this stage. He warns that attempted regulation could cause significant damage to the industry in the United States and the Western world.
Bittensor’s launch is seen as a significant step toward challenging the dominance of tech giants in the AI field. With its decentralized and open-sourced approach, it provides developers with an alternative means of building AI-powered applications and seeks to democratize the technology. The battle for control over AI is far from over, and initiatives like Bittensor signal a growing movement to keep AI accessible to all.