As a technologist, keeping up with today's rapid pace of change requires tremendous discipline. For the techno-frontiers of innovation, new advancements have become the norm. Artificial intelligence appears to have reached a point of critical mass where new breakthroughs are spawning constantly. Blockchain too is off to a running start this year, along with yet another set of impossible-to-keep-up-with developments.
Of all these, I'm most excited about the intersection of the two. While organizations from every industry and sector are poised to reap the benefits of AI, it’s the benefits for DAOs that have me geeking.
DAOs, especially those aimed at advancing public goods, tend to be underfunded. This means fewer resources to focus on providing value. Talent is spread thin across DAOs today where expectations are impossibly high. Not only must they build marketable products, but they must do so as public goods organizations, where profits are often not the top priority. This, however, doesn’t change that leaders must operate their organizations efficiently and generate continuous funding to stay afloat. In short, the organizations aimed at making the most positive impact on the world are having the hardest time doing it. I think AI can help change that.
The dawn of hyperautomation will plunge human organizations into a new age where talented leaders' time is freed up to focus on the things that matter most. In the next few years, I expect we’ll see digital assistants for everything, and the way we work will be changed forever.
Digital assistants will help us write, research, analyze, and make decisions more efficiently. Instead of spending resources on organizing meeting notes, AI will do that for us. Instead of hiring executive assistants, AI will do the scheduling for us. Instead of surveying the needs of our people, AI will recommend solutions before problems even arise. At this point, it's become clear: with the right training data, modern AI has the potential to become an anything machine; the technological equivalent of a genie in a bottle. For organizations, this means automating any task or process, saving countless hours and precious dollars.
This won't come without some serious growing pains, of course. Particularly for lower-skilled, entry-level, and early-career workers who have historically handled the brunt of administrative responsibility. I expect that this kind of work will converge to something that looks like data engineering today. That is, less like grunt work and more like building custom datasets for AI to learn the ropes — a massive peanut-butter-and-jelly-instructions experiment.
This will be hard for many people. Current education paradigms will need to dramatically change. Organizations will need to adapt or lose to their competition. Entirely new kinds of technological and social infrastructure will need to be built. And we will need a lot more GPUs.
Despite this, the net for humanity will be positive over the long haul. Organizations will be able to focus more on what matters and we’ll end up with a far more technically capable workforce than ever before. I imagine this will propel us into a new golden age of progress within the next couple of decades.
In my view, decentralization will play a key role. As traditional organizations fight to the death over S&P rankings, DAOs will be focused on doing good for society. As abundance mindsets emerge, the memetic tides will turn from shareholder to stakeholder capitalism where investments in organizations are driven less by revenue and more by the good they net the world.
There will be people who argue I'm being overly optimistic here; that I am far underplaying the risk of misaligned AI. Personally, I much rather be on the optimistic side of history. While we should all approach this new technology with a healthy dose of skepticism, there is a fine line between being a skeptic and being a pessimist.
I much rather live every day envisioning a future where humanity thrives, where we've realized that AI risk was overblown and that decentralization and interoperability were fundamental in building the hyperstructures of the future.
With that, I have only one thing to say friends: welcome to hyperspace.
What's cookin' at talentDAO
talentDAO spent last year's bear market heads-down building. There is a lot of good stuff brewing under the hood, and we'll have plenty to share in 2023. Here are some of the latest happenings:
TalentBot Collective and the Decentralized Workers Digest: if you donated to our last Gitcoin round you were rewarded with our TalentBot NFT. By being a HODLer, you are automatically granted access to the token-gated TalentBot Collective which leverages holders to crowd-source a decentralized newsletter for digital nomads participating in decentralized working arrangments across the ecosystem. If you didn't donate, you can still purchase a TalentBot NFT on Zora.
Gitcoin Alpha Round: speaking of Gitcoin, we're at it again! talentDAO has been admitted into the upcoming Gitcoin Alpha round to experiment with their new grants protocol. The quadratic funding round opens up on Jan 17th to 31st and will support 200 grantees working on open source, Ethereum infrastructure, and Climate solutions with a $1M total matching pool. To learn how you can donate, visit Grants Explorer Guide. The talentDAO Gitcoin page can be found here.
The Newsletter of Decentralized Work: we've published our year in review which includes a deep dive on all the progress we've made in 2022. If you haven't subscribed yet, definitely do! You'll be joining thousands of others in getting the latest news about talentDAO and what is happening in the world of decentralized work.
Governance Experiments: talentDAO will be launching a series of governance experiments piloting a new voting tool, Zodiac bot, in partnership with Collab.Land and RaidGuild. Check out the linked article to learn how you can get involved in contributing to the future of decentralized governance.
And of course, I've saved the best for last...
Journal of Decentralized Work
It's been rumored that 2023 is the year of DeSci. Well, it certainly is for talentDAO. We'll be launching the first decentralized journal for the social sciences this year. It's been a wild ride for our development team but they've managed to build a novel system for scientific publications. I'm personally excited for the first call for papers, in which early adopters will get a say in what a decentralized community peer review will look like, potentially influencing the future of scientific publication. Stay tuned.
We're just about ready to launch our first validation study for the DAO Health Survey which will kick off the work we're doing to provide evidence for the scientific validity of our instrument. While the validation survey has been developed, we're still working on figuring out the right system for rewarding participants. We want to do this right so we're taking our time here. Unfortunately, POAP didn't work for us, so we're currently considering using Badger to distribute research participant badges to respondents. We'd ideally like these badges to earn you reputation in the talentDAO ecosystem, along with access to future drops. We expect to launch the survey before the end of Q1.
Project LION is really moving along. This is where most of my time is spent these days outside of my full-time job. I've had a lot of fun building the system and I've learned a ton about working with large language models. In a few weeks, we'll be recording a demo of LION v1 in the labDAO virtual lab. I'm super excited to show you all what we've built.
Until next time.