Cortex is the first ever blockchain project that allows the execution of AI algorithms on the blockchain. By providing an AI platform and complete stack toolkit to developers and researchers, Cortex allows anyone to upload their AI models and integrate them with smart contracts on the blockchain. In September, Cortex released its fully functional Mining TestNet. The Cortex AI Smart Contract TestNet was also partially released in September, several months ahead of schedule. The Cortex MainNet itself is scheduled for release in Q2 2019.
The potential of these developments cannot be understated: it can help developers create smarter and more powerful DApps that are tailored to a virtually limitless set of real-life use cases and scenarios. By enabling common developers to create, tweak, refine, and optimize AI algorithms in sync with smart contracts on the blockchain, Cortex can open a new world of efficiency and benefit to the creators, users, and other participants of a wide range of business ideas and tools.
Proof of the success of Cortex technology can be seen in the discovery of the first-ever Cortex AI DApp called “The Master of Digital Clash.” This game was created by developers who are passionate about Cortex and uploaded their DApp to the Cortex TestNet. After discovering it, the Cortex team helped these indie developers improve and debug their game. With both teams working together, the game was optimized and enhanced, leading to the development of a more efficient and performant dev environment, along with better and richer development tools.
How the AI DApp works
The Master of Digital Clash is a pixel game that utilizes AI inference. You can play the game by downloading the Cortex Wallet extension for Chrome browser and requesting test coins from the Cortex block explorer using your Cortex Wallet address. Alternatively, you can mine on the Cortex TestNet to receive test coins.
In the game, you pick a team (Red or Blue) and begin to draw on a canvas. Initially, coloring one pixel costs 1 CTXC, the native token of the Cortex ecosystem. The price goes up as more and more users draw on the same pixel. The game ends when the highest priced pixel reaches 3,000 CTXC, or the total pixels drawn reaches 8,000. You can learn more about this game by referring to Help on the game page.
The game uses the open-source MNIST model for digit recognition on the Cortex blockchain. Each time a game participant modifies a pixel on the canvas and initiates a transaction, the AI smart contract infers the AI model to identify the pixel on the canvas and tells you the relevant result.
While the game is running, the AI model provider gets paid by CTXC every time the model is called. The DApp developer gets a share based on how they write their smart contracts. (“The Master of Digital Clash” pays 2% of tokens to the development team). New transactions are processed by miners into new blocks that are then added to the chain. The entire game and AI model are both open-sourced and transparent, and they tie together everyone in a cohesive ecosystem in which all participants benefit.
What this discovery means
This game represents a significant breakthrough. While predictive AI models have been around for some time, The Master of Digital Clash is the first AI DApp inferring open-source AI model on-chain. It has shown that, although AI-based decision-making already exists, it can become a reality on the blockchain. The discovery of The Master of Digital Clash has opened the gates for AI to transition from the applications that it currently has to being used as powerful AI-driven DApps for business, healthcare, finance, social, and many other spheres.
This DApp game achieves another significant milestone: it represents a major advancement of the Cortex AI-on-blockchain ecosystem. The Cortex TestNet was launched with two AI models pre-loaded to the TestNet. The discovery of this DApp shows that the TestNet, the Cortex development toolkit, and the Cortex ecosystem as a whole have strong potential to facilitate the advancement of new AI-on-blockchain initiatives with real-world applications.
As explained above, The Master of Digital Clash game created a mini ecosystem in which miners, developers, and players all benefit. This shows that the more AI models we have, and the better and more efficient they are, the higher the aggregate utility of the ecosystem will be for everyone involved. This will help nurture and grow the Cortex ecosystem as it incentivizes developers to create DApps that push the envelope when it comes to developing new and creative ways of addressing issues or creating tools for public use, and it also incentivizes AI model developers to come up with more realistic and highly efficient models that accurately reflect the way things work in the real world depending on the area, industry, or proposed field of use in question.
With Cortex, blockchain and AI developers have the power to work on and enhance AI models and smart contracts that run on the blockchain. This will help to boost the applications, capabilities, and scope of blockchain technology.
Let’s improve Cortex Ecosystem together
The development of DApps and AI models for specific industries and use cases vary in terms of scope, requirements, and problems that need to be overcome. These are all things that are specific to those industries. As a result, subject-matter experts are needed to guide such initiatives to help the AI and dev teams design performant solutions to those industry-specific obstacles. It is in this spirit that Cortex is open to collaboration with developers and AI researchers to work with the Cortex ecosystem to improve and expand AI, machine learning, and DApp development on the blockchain.
The recent launch of the Cortex TestNet in Q3 2018 and the upcoming MainNet launch in Q2 2019 will play an important role in facilitating these initiatives. They will help the Cortex ecosystem in terms of market exposure and attention from the developer community, and it will also help Cortex more meaningfully engage with the public to share progress and updates. Furthermore, collaboration of this type with the public will help create a useful feedback loop that will promote the continuous improvement of Cortex’s environment and dev tools, as well as research into newer applications and innovations. These will, in return, help developers build better and more useful tech infrastructures and applications of their own on top of the Cortex Ecosystem.