Extraordinary times

Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium

It’s always darkest just before dawn” — Thomas Fuller

These are extraordinary times. Few people alive today have been through anything remotely like this: the COVID-19 pandemic will leave no life untouched, and the world will look and feel like a different place when we emerge from it. The global economy is being devastated, some businesses are failing and many more are wondering how they will make it through the next month, let alone year, in one piece. Loved ones are falling ill, and many are dying. This is an event that is unparalleled and requires each and every one of us to work together in order to limit its impact. We do not know how much damage will be done, and we do not know how long it will last.

Amongst all of this, the Fetch community is watching the token price, seeing what is happening around them in the crypto space, and are wondering what steps that we are taking to protect Fetch.ai’s future utility value, its technology, innovations and partnerships. This is a rapidly changing situation, but we wanted to take the time to speak directly to our community about what we are doing right now and how we are looking towards the future.

Firstly, we would like to reassure all of our community that everyonebody at Fetch.ai is still working. We are still creating technology, you are still seeing our software commits to Github, and we’re still delivering, researching and working with our partners. We’re BUIDLing. As a technology and software company, we are able to collectively work at home and we have been preparing for some time to make that possible and to maximize productivity in such challenging times.

The road ahead

We’ve also been asked a lot in the last few months about our roadmap for 2020. Whilst we have written about this before, we know that the community would like to see concrete goals for this year published. We also understand why: by publishing our milestones and intentions, the community is able to measure our progress, and confirm that we are achieving what we set out to achieve. Furthermore, it demonstrates clarity in how we’re delivering utility value to the token and building for future opportunities.

See https://github.com/fetchai/agents-tac for more, this is the latest user interface being implemented to allow more detailed and useful interaction than ever before.

We had chosen not to publish a detailed roadmap up until now, and here are the four reasons why:

  1. We are in a rapidly changing environment, and the roadmap would change regularly through necessity as we re-order deliverables to best optimize the growth of the project
  2. We are working on technology that will further reinforce the value of autonomous economic agents and collective learning and other AI applications which we wish to share when it can be seen, touched and used, rather than just being talked about
  3. We have several key projects in progress at this exact time that will change the ordering and content of the roadmap
  4. Some of these key projects are currently confidential, and we are not able to publish information about them at this time. Patents, partners and the need to wait for usable, demonstrable versions of the developing technology are some of the reasons why we’ve not talked about these projects

However, we recognize that a lack of transparency creates, as people are fond of saying, FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt do not help in an environment like this. Here are some things that are happening in the next six months:

Four layer display of the underlying agent network representing the UK train network. Thousands of agents, representing the component parts involved, enabling collective learning and higher-level value. In development, enabling anyone to contribute additional agents (car parking, buses, weather and more), and providing more push value to users.

Q2, 2020:

  • New technology enabling emphasis on agents and machine learning
  • Community DAO for choosing funding and support for Fetch.ai community projects
  • Transportation agent population for community and other uses
  • Metals and commodities exchange, enabling commodity markets to trade in tokenized forms and enables buyback of FET
  • Shared agent components for plug-and-play agent construction
  • Delivery of our state-of-the-art consensus technology

Q3, 2020:

  • Exciting un-named Fintech application in the property sector
  • Governance structure for Fetch.ai to ensure decentralized ownership and maintenance
  • Collective learning delivered across several application areas
  • Several more agent populations across DeFi and transportation

For both Q2 and Q3, you can see that we are focussing strongly on things you can actually see and use. We know that the value of any new technology exists only when it can make people’s lives easier. It needs to do something, something useful, and something that can be seen. And after putting in place the foundations in 2019, we’re excited to finally be rolling these things out.

We will create a special web page on our site to hold the roadmap for 2020 and commit to keeping it up to date as things change.

Technology for the greater good

Fetch.ai is fully open-source, and we continue to be proud of the value that we are delivering both to Fetch and to the crypto community as a whole. We are posting our progress on Twitter, in our Telegram group and helping developers in Slack. We dearly wish that all the incredible work that we were doing could be presented in a better environment, and we’re not alone. Many innovators in this space are walking into these challenging times and having to think and work on their feet. We do the same, and we’re fortunate to have a dedicated and growing community.

Here’s to better times.

And they will come.

The Fetch.ai Team