With $85 million in financing, what is the origin of the open source AI project Sentient?

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Original author: Biteye core contributor Viee

Original translation: Biteye core contributor Crush

In the past two days, the open source artificial intelligence development platform Sentient announced the completion of an $85 million seed round of financing, aiming to break the dominance of centralized AI model development in the industry. This huge amount of financing has attracted much market attention.

It was disclosed that this round of financing was jointly led by Peter Thiels Founders Fund, Pantera Capital and Framework Ventures. Other investors included Ethereal Ventures, Robot Ventures, Symbolic Capital, Delphi Ventures, etc.

1. Sentient was given 85 million US dollars in seed round. What is its background?

1. Support from a top team : One of Sentient’s core contributors is Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal. Sentient’s advisor is EigenLayer founder and CEO Sreeram Kannan.

2. Backed by Ethereum : The Sentient platform will be built on Polygon, which means that Ethereum is expanding into the field of AI.

3. Disruptive technology concept : Directly compete with OpenAI to create a decentralized artificial general intelligence (AGI) platform, incentivize contributors to collaborate, build, replicate and expand AI models through blockchain technology, and reward contributors.

These three irresistible advantages make the value of Sentient more and more evident.

2. Highlight 1: Created by technology giant Sandeep Nailwal

One of Sentients core contributors is Polygon co-founder, Sandeep Nailwal.

Those who have experienced the last bull market must be familiar with this multi-millionaire from the Web3 version of the slums. He left the slums in Madrid and led the multi-billion dollar Web3 company Polygon, leading the Horseshoe to upgrade to an Ethereum Layer 2 aggregator, becoming the biggest dark horse in the crypto asset market at the time, creating a market value of tens of billions of dollars.

This is a very exciting story. The fact that Polygon is now among the top ten public chains actually has a lot to do with Sandeep Nailwal’s values.

Born in the slums of India, Sandeeps classmates dropped out of school quite often, and some of them were addicted to alcohol and gambling. As he grew up, he often had enough motivation to get rid of this kind of life. He wanted to be a big man, didnt want to play small games, and hated failure.

These values stayed with Sandeep until he founded MATIC Network in 2017, when people were crazy about Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

As long as there is a white paper, you can raise funds even if you don’t have a product. However, many projects fail after raising funds.

After launching MATIC Network in India with JD Kanani and Anurag Arjun, the team could have easily raised $20 million in funding, but they didn’t do it because taking shortcuts and making quick money went against Sandeep’s big-shot philosophy.

With  million in financing, what is the origin of the open source AI project Sentient?

Sandeep responded: “Matic is solving a long-term problem and therefore has to choose a slower growth path.

If we had obtained large funds early, it might have limited our development and vision.” In the end, they chose to raise a very limited amount of funds – $5 million from Binance, and spent more time to polish the product.

In short, in addition to the teams keen entrepreneurial sense and strong technical capabilities, Sandeeps spiritual courage must be an indispensable stabilizer in the process of achieving Polygon, and will definitely bring more core souls to Sentient beyond technology.

3. Highlight 2: Leading Ethereum to the hottest AI narrative

Polygon is open and powerful, and its mission is to expand Ethereum and make Crypto accessible to more users.

Functionally, Polygon aims to create a multi-chain ecosystem compatible with Ethereum, using a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to process on-chain transactions and obtain security from Ethereum.

This enables blockchain networks to connect and expand, and is therefore called the Internet of Blockchains. Simply put, Polygon makes Ethereum faster, more convenient, and cheaper.

Polygons predecessor was Matic Network, which started as a PoS chain and then evolved into a complete set of expansion solutions and was renamed Polygon. Later, Polygon acquired a bunch of zk technologies and is now focused on achieving unified liquidity and unlimited scalability of Ethereum through AggLayer and CDK.

With  million in financing, what is the origin of the open source AI project Sentient?

With the advent of this bull market, AI has become one of the most discussed topics and has also become a starting point for old public chains to add new narratives.

Sentient announced that it will be built on Polygon, which also means that Ethereum will shine again in the field of AI. In fact, Polygon has shown significant sensitivity in the field of AI very early. In June 2023, it launched Polygon Copilot and later launched another AI tool Brain.

In contrast, Brain is more comprehensive and can deploy contracts through AI. On April 19, 2024, the widely watched AI project Ora Protocol announced that its on-chain AI oracle is being integrated with Polygon PoS, allowing developers to use Ora Protocol oracles to build AI-driven dApps, breaking the limitations of smart contracts using AI and richer data sources.

Can Polygon carry a massive AI narrative? The answer is yes. Based on the Polygon aggregation architecture, there can be hundreds of thousands of chains, all connected to a single layer with the security of Ethereum, with the goal of achieving an infinitely growing blockchain network.

These chains will focus on different areas, such as DeFi, game NFTs, and AI projects. For example, Sentient is a project built on the Polygon CDK chain. Specific chains and ecosystems focus on building applications for specific industries, which is Polygons blueprint in the decentralized world.

If you want to open up AI, a big limitation is cost, which requires training costs and data collection costs.

Sandeep has publicly expressed his views on this: through crypto incentives, these cost issues can be solved through open source, such as the need for a tokenized model, and Polygon will have many attempts.

In addition, there have been many attempts at decentralized computing, such as the DePIN infrastructure for AI computing.

AI is in high demand but limited supply, and while decentralized solutions may solve the supply problem, they will not necessarily replace centralized providers, which may have better coordination and performance.

4. Highlight 3: Open source AI, competing with technology giants such as Google with subversive ideas

Finding long-term decentralized alternatives to current entities like OpenAI that provide AI services is a demanding pain point in the AI era.

First of all, why does AI need to be open source? We all know that artificial intelligence is developing rapidly and has the potential to change many aspects of human life, but if these technologies are controlled by a few companies, there will be great risks.

Second, why do we need a decentralized alternative? Today, the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) is mainly carried out in secret by large companies because they have a lot of resources.

This closed approach means that all model parameters and variables cannot be checked, verified or distributed by the outside world and are completely controlled by these companies.

This is also Sandeeps concern, so he came up with the idea of developing artificial general intelligence (AGI) by building a decentralized open platform to ensure that the benefits of AI are fairly distributed and that the development process is in the interests of everyone.

With  million in financing, what is the origin of the open source AI project Sentient?

To solve these problems, Sentient came into being.

Imagine an AI platform that is open and open source, allowing everyone to collaborate and incentivize people to build and expand AI models through blockchain technology, from which participants receive rewards.

This is what Sentient is doing, committed to building open source AI models through community contributions to address the current centralization and security ethics issues in the AI field.

Furthermore, it aims to compete directly with OpenAI and differentiate itself from it through its community building approach.

Unlike OpenAI, which restricts users from directly accessing its models, Sentient will allow users to access and contribute to the models, and reward contributors.

Sentients reward mechanism is implemented by launching activities, each of which has specific indicators to evaluate contributions and give rewards.

If it can be done, Sentient will solve the core problem that has hindered the development of open source AI: incentives.

Because currently, on AI open source platforms, anyone can copy the model at will without paying any fees.

Sentient plans to enter the testnet stage this quarter and plans to use this round of financing to expand the team, hire experts, etc.

V. Risk Warning

Sentient’s token incentive model has not yet taken shape, which is one of the core structures of the project. If the incentive mechanism is not good enough, the core problems that hinder the development of open source AI will still be difficult to solve.

The project is in its early stages, and there is no final product yet. The test network has not yet been launched, the community is small, and there is a lot of uncertainty. It is recommended that users wait for further information disclosure or for project progress before interacting.

At a time when there is little information and the project has not made any progress, please be cautious when clicking on the website and Discord links below Twitter to protect the safety of your funds.

VI. Conclusion

The rapid development of AI has brought humanity to the crossroads of two future worlds. One path is to enter a closed world dominated by a few large companies and closed-source models. The other path is to enter an open world where models are open source by default and reasoning is transparent and verifiable.

This open world is our ideal future, and only through blockchain technology can this vision be realized, making artificial intelligence more fair and transparent.

In every bull market, there will be a group of public chains that are in the limelight, and when the bull market ends, another group of public chains will quietly exit the stage. We look forward to Sentient leading Polygon and Ethereum to a deeper future.

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