SingularityNET Enhancement Proposals – ‘SNEPs’

Original article was published by Tim Richmond on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

SingularityNET Enhancement Proposals – ‘SNEPs’

Enabling the cooperative and democratized development of the SingularityNET platform.

Today, the SingularityNET team is thrilled to announce the launch of the SingularityNET Enhancement Proposal (SNEP) process. In this blog post, you will learn what SNEPs are, the theory on how this benefits the platform and importantly how to submit your very own SNEP.

What Are SNEPs?

The SingularityNET Enhancement Proposal (SNEP) is a design document providing information to the SingularityNET community, or describing a new feature for SingularityNET or its processes or environment.

SNEPs are going to be the foundation upon which we will build a platform that embodies its community’s vision along with the best possible technical guidance and it is another step towards progressive decentralization as outlined in our whitepaper.

From here onwards, the SNEP process will be the primary mechanism for proposing new features, for collecting community input on an issue, and for documenting the design decisions that have gone into SingularityNET. The SNEP author will be responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.

We expect the SNEP process to provide a consistent and controlled path for updates to the SingularityNET platform by the community. It will be a systematic recourse for members of the public to intervene with maximum visibility, acknowledgement, and evaluation in the technical or functional developments of the SingularityNET platform. While anyone will be able to create a SNEP, it is required that the SNEP should provide a concise technical specification and a rationale for the proposed improvement.

Each submitted SNEP will allow for a sufficient time before its implementation so that the community can review the proposal and provide its feedback. At the moment, every upcoming platform development description can be found in our Roadmap and Github.

For detailed guidelines regarding the creation, submission, protocols, terminologies, review process, and other aspects of the SNEP process, please visit this section of our Github.

Blockchain and Open Source Software

At their birth, the decentralized networks that are dominant today in the blockchain industry, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, were critically dependent on a small group of people or organizations for their growth and success. Over time, these networks incorporated democratic development processes (BIP, EIP) that allowed them to benefit from the contributions of developers from all over the world.

Being the first movers within their respective niches, the network effects of Bitcoin and Ethereum allowed for the creation of developer ecosystems that now significantly differentiate them from their competitors, and their forked clones.

While the history of open-source software movement has several successful examples of projects that were supported by developers in a similar fashion as these decentralized networks, the introduction of blockchain technology made it possible for such networks to financially incentivize their contributors.

The combination of financial incentivization with a decentralized and democratic development process allowed for the explosive growth of the blockchain industry over the past several years.

Currently, the Foundation is serving a vital role in SingularityNET’s evolution and adoption. SingularityNET’s whitepaper specifies that after five years of the network’s launch, a supermajority of AGI token votes should determine the major changes to the network’s operations.

The introduction of the SNEP process will not only allow SingularityNET to boost the iterative evolution of its platform through a decentralized and democratic development process but will also significantly increase our community’s participation in and control of the SingularityNET platform.

Eventually, we expect the formation of a rich and vibrant developer ecosystem that actively uses the SNEP process to enhance SingularityNET. The existence of such a developer ecosystem will be a critical competitive edge and differentiating factor for our platform and network.

How to Submit a SNEP?

We welcome the community to suggest enhancements for the platform in the form of a SNEP document, examples of these can be found here.

A successful SNEP will typically follow this process:

[ DRAFT ] -> [ LAST CALL ] -> [ ACCEPTED ] -> [ FINAL ]

  1. The SNEP should be created as a pull request to the repo
  2. The SNEP should provide a concise technical specification of the feature and a rationale for the feature
  3. The SNEP author creates an issue that references their own pull request, this invites community members to comment on the issue and to provide feedback on the SNEP proposal
  4. An editor will review the draft and may ask for more details which can be provided by following up pull requests. The editor will then assign a ‘Last Call’ status and set a review date (normally 14 days later)
  5. Last Call — The Proposal will be reviewed by the core team
    A Last Call which results in material changes or substantial unaddressed technical complaints will cause the SNEP to revert to Draft or could be Rejected.
    A successful Last Call without material changes or unaddressed technical complaints will become Accepted.
  6. Accepted — The proposal is taken up for implementation. When the implementation is complete and adopted by the community, the status will be changed to “Final”
  7. Final — This proposal has been implemented

Some examples of enhancements that the platform could benefit from:

  • SDKs in new languages or platforms (Swift/iOS being particularly important, but also Go, etc)
  • Tools for easier service integration and automation
  • Analytics tools (e.g. looking at popular services based on the MPE contract, etc)
  • Any of the items under “enhanced daemon” in our public roadmap
  • Prototyping an API of APIs and other tools that use service metadata to make it easier for services to find other services

We encourage anyone who is submitting a SNEP to discuss with the community by creating an issue that references their own pull request, this invites community members to comment on the issue and to provide feedback on the SNEP proposal.

Cooperative and Democratic Development

As the race to dominate AI continues, as the military use cases of AI become more widespread, and as the US considers export controls on AI, our vision of creating a decentralized AI network that will evolve to have the goal of benevolence towards sentient beings encoded in its very DNA is resonating across the globe.

The architecture of SingularityNET as outlined in our whitepaper incorporates built-in incentive mechanisms that are designed to bias its collective intelligence toward benevolence. Over the past several months we have received immense interest and support from individuals and organizations all over the world who share our vision and values.

Decentralized platforms also stand to benefit from the fact that seasoned developers, entrepreneurs, and investors have become apprehensive of building on top of centralized platforms after decades of evidence that the digital platforms eventually switch from being cooperative to exploitative.

Source: Why Decentralization Matters — Chris Dixon

The SNEP process opens up the development of the world’s first decentralized AI platform to all of these individuals and organizations. In blockchain-based platforms, a decentralized network of stakeholders replaces the centralized authorities and privileged entities that traditionally benefited from the labour and value creation of others. Such an alignment of interests of all the stakeholders financially incentivizes them to advance the growth of the decentralized platform.

Let us take a look at the various stakeholders that will have to coordinate together for the SNEP process to be democratically implemented:

The SNEP process will require the participation of four stakeholders: the SingularityNET Token Holders, Editors, Core Team, and the SingularityNET team.

We are well aware that the scale of coordinated activity that the SNEP process demands has not been experienced by the actors within the SingularityNET ecosystem. We expect and look forward to the SNEP process adding to our knowledge and experience in terms of democratic development as a community. As SingularityNET continues to become more complex we expect this initial exercise in cooperative and democratic development to play a vital role in the evolution of SingularityNET as a full-fledged digital biological organism.

Join Us

We hope you will join us in our mission to democratize AI and to use its transformative powers to enact real, positive and lasting change. The best way forward is to come together and work practically towards creating a better future.

If you are looking to monetize your AI services or create new ones, we invite you to learn more about the nature of our platform and what it has to offer by visiting the SingularityNET developer portal.

We are proud of our developers and researchers that are actively publishing their research for the benefit of the community; you can read the research here. For any additional information, please refer to our new roadmap. To stay informed about all of our developments, please subscribe to our newsletter. You can connect with our passionate and talented community by visiting our community forum.