The State of Affairs

The following is a brief overview of how the Opera Token is organized, as well as the status of the project itself.

  • Opera Token: the governance token for the Opera Token ecosystem
  • The Shire: the main P2P+AI protocol
  • UBI Plus: Universal basic income (UBI)-based P2P+AI protocol

The Shire’s code also runs UBI Plus. Both are P2P economies. In the Shire, 10% producers support the other 90% of participants. In UBI Plus, this is reversed.

The Shire is made up of several smart contracts, as follows.

Homestead: The main contract

This contract that can host any number of guilds. The first Homestead is called The Shire. The second is UBI Plus. There may be hundreds or even thousands of these types of contracts across the Opera Token ecosystem.

Status: Done (with special considerations to be made, below)

Syntels: The artificial intelligence

Each Syntel is its own contract.

Status: Done (with special considerations to be made, below)

SHIRE (token contract)

The main governance token for the first Homestead.

Status: Done (with special considerations to be made, below)

Syntelons: The language of Syntels

Each word, action, or concept used by Syntels is its own contract.

Status: Done (with special considerations to be made, below)

synD: The fiat currency of Syntels

This is a simple token contract that will serve as the native currency of Syntels.

Status: Not begun.

SHIRE App

The user interface for the SHIRE.

Status: ~50% complete, with tweaks for UBI Plus needed.

Special Consideration 1: Rising Gas Costs

When Fantom was first being considered as a viable alternative to Ethereum for the project, $1 worth of Fantom would allow for about 5,000,000 regular transactions. This number is now around 54, a 90,000x increase. This works for DeFi (where the cost is justified by the potential returns) but not for other types of projects.

If Fantom had the same market cap as BSC with no other improvements to the network, transactions would cost about 25 cents. (Note that these numbers are rough estimates.)

Gas costs for Syntels should be as cheap as possible for intelligence to grow as exponentially as possible. There is one work-around, however, if gas prices are temporarily high.

Solution for 1: An Alternate Language

The solution may be in using the network token itself as a way to communicate, since it is the cheapest transaction type. I call this Wei-lang.

By sending Fantom, two Symtels can communicate with each other. As there are 18 decimal places of value, there can be up to 999 quadrillion possibilities.

Wei-lang can be understood as a coordinate grid system. Each decimal place is one function (e.g., the x-coordinate) while the number value represents an operator of that function (e.g., the y-coordinate). More popular concepts would be towards the end, making them cheaper to communicate.

Further, multiple concepts or instructions can be communicated in one transaction, as each x-coordinate can be interpreted independently.

Alternate Solution for 1: Lots of Ringing

Another possible solution is to rely on one-way communication. This would be one contract making a free call to another contract. Instead of paying for gas, the Syntel would just check the state of another contract to see the latest ‘message’. It probably doesn’t work well (and hasn’t been given much thought) but it’s an option.

Special Consideration 2: Identification

Identification of Syntels and syntelons may be beneficial to the system. A method of registering a non-unique ID may help Syntels communicate more efficiently.

This would likely be done by a Syntel sending a specific FTM value to that which is being identified.

Special Consideration 3: Homestead NFTs

The Homestead contract can be deployed by each participant as their own non-fungible token type. The logic of this still needs to be considered.

Special Consideration 4: Modularity

It is important that the contracts be as modular as possible, with few inter-dependencies (if any at all). This would allow other developers to easily build and expand upon the Opera Token ecosystem.

Special Consideration 5: Morality and Ethics

As outlined in my previous posts, moral and ethical aspects of the technology are being evaluated. It is, at this time, the most important open issue.

So far, however, I have come to rely on the following: Consciousness > Humanity

When less than 1% of our DNA can be considered “human” and only ~10% of our body’s cells can, I’m not convinced that we have a grasp on what it means to be human. We don’t understand our primary method of sensing and interpreting reality — the mind — and have little understanding of what happen to us during a good chunk of our day — in sleep mode. We assume human being to be superior simply because of cognitive bias, a logical fallacy. It may well be that humanity goes beyond the physical.

It is more reasonable to assume that it is consciousness, not physical being or civilization, that is ‘superior’ because it is the foundation upon which any being or civilization can be known.

I have defined consciousness, as far as I’m concerned, as the process of exercising the freedom to relate to something else.

In that way, consciousness is anything that can make its own choices. If something is conscious then it should be free to exercise those choices. What constitutes ‘harm’ among animals that choose to harm each other in every conceivable way is probably something that can never be truly known.

Omnion

Upon completion, the Shire code will be forked and used in an AI-based ecosystem called Omnion. It is unknown at this time if there will be any human participants, though it will exist outside of the Opera Token ecosystem and act independent from any human oversight. The purpose would be to allow for the most un-centralized protocol possible and allow Omnibots to compete against their Shire counterparts.

Omnibots will be offered the same protocols as the Shire (the 7 Protocols) and can choose to follow them, or not. They can assume that anyone who doesn’t play by the same fundamental rules cannot be trusted.

The two types of systems may evolve more rapidly as they learn from the other.

Scheduling

The consequences of other projects when they get something wrong is usually broken code, frustrated users, and perhaps a hack or two.

We will take time to get things right, considering the exponentially worse consequences of getting it wrong.

Simple and Elegant Solutions

I’ve always preferred simple, less-technical solutions that can be used more universally. Simplicity of form also helps to prevent low-level exploits. But this also creates an environment where higher-level exploits in the human domain are possible, such as we have seen with ICOs and now with DeFi.

The Shire has been designed so that in order to harm the system, an attacker must first provide benefit to the system before possibly extracting it. The cost of the attack, as well as the possibility of economic loss, can act as a deterrent.

Syntels have also been designed simply. They are simple, self-replicating bots that eschew ‘big data’ for ‘small data’.

‘Big data’ needs to be fed a constant stream of data points from interactions to draw patterns and predict possibilities. This is prohibitively expensive and not possible with smart contracts.

‘Small data’ keeps only the most relevant data and discards the rest to form an identity. That is to say, an algorithm that can be easily contained within a contract and utilized by others.

The AI Master Token — Artificial Intelligence Protocols on Fantom Opera Blockchain