The technology behind Ananas
At Ananas we are building a platform that allows users to access and navigate the right information and contexts to understand how others think, both from within their communities and outside of them.
The first practical application of the platform tackles an incredibly important area, Islam and the Qu’ran, but it needs to be able to scale to a position where any contextual information or relevant resource can be mapped and easily navigated, beyond religion to the stories that bind any community.
How it all fits together
After a few years of thinking, we settled on the above top level structure to achieve our goals, which we will now explain (don’t worry, its not as complex at it seems).
At the core of Ananas is the Community, the group of individuals and organisations that join us in building this incredibly valuable resource.
At a practical level we are building this on the well-respected Discourse platform, with custom integrations for Anacoin rewards and to pull in information from the Collaboration Platform where content is collated, created and enhanced.
This will initially be invitation only for those that want to contribute to the project (mail us!) but in time open to the general public, offering a safe, structured area where they can interact with others at a similar level or get access to individuals who can help them understand certain communities.
We are creating structures and guidelines for this community according to best practices on online communities from a behavioural science perspective.
Core to community and information verification is identity, handled by the Ananas Identity Framework as reputation and verifiability are key to this platform.
This has several levels, from a login that can simply handle your preferences through to enhanced verification to be eligible to receive Anacoins for contributing to the platform.
This also pulls in details from our sponsorship programs to accurately reflect status on the platform.
We are currently in discussions over several options for the top level of verification such as Civic and Blockstack as the preference is for decentralisation over centralisation and for full self-sovereignty over identity data to maximise security, which is a key consideration given religious persecution.
We believe that most human communities have a common structure in the stories that bring them together, stories that allow them to exceed Dunbar’s number and trust individuals from other races or tribes to do wondrous, or on occasion pretty awful, things.
In a general sense this can be generalised into a stack of a base text, be it a Bible or Constitution, interpretations of said base texts according to a certain set of axioms and private and public rituals that stem from that.
As each community differs, we need to have the best possible experience stemming from the base text of each. On a practical basis for our first project, The Living Qu’ran, this means delivering the best, dynamic, Qu’ran experience possible across Android, iOS and Web devices, pulling in the right data sets appropriate to the user and providing the right resources at the right time.
The features of these customised apps will be guided by the communities around them, although we have already had significant research and feedback on the Living Qu’ran app.
The first iteration of this application will be like other Qu’rans, but with more dynamic information presentation and specific context. Over time it will grow, pulling in additional resources from the core of the product.
The collaboration platform is where the relevant resources undergo our three step process of collation, creation and enhancement. Communities can coalesce and choose resources that best represent them, create new resources or enhance old ones.
Bounties can be placed on the creation or enhancement of resources and this links into the identity layer to provide some.
Base texts form the backbone of this platform, with the data uniquely stored in a Grakn hyper-relational knowledge database. This is basically a slightly different type of database where rather than being like a filing cabinet, it is a filing cabinet with an index and attached context on each part of that index.
On a practical level this means that you can have multiple interpretations or belief systems existing side by side with the system recognising and adapting to that complexity.
Once a group has collated, created and enhanced its resources to its satisfaction they can submit their data sets for review and inclusion into the consumer application via the Data API.
Interaction with the identity layer is key to assign platform rights and responsibilities appropriately, as well as to defend against potential attacks and ensure the integrity of the data as fully transparent. It is also where, in addition to the Community area, Anacoins are distributed by individuals, organisations or the Foundation in exchange, transparently, for value-added service to the platform and where donations are handled.
In our first releases the information here will just be at the collation stage and the user experience is unlikely to be hugely refined. Just as with the consumer element of the platform, this should thereafter rapidly overtake similar platforms in utility and usability.
Evaluation and curation/AI framework
These two elements are interlinked and form part of what we term the hybrid collaboration platform. The term hybrid refers to how Ananas not trying to use AI to solve the worlds ills, but recognises that human endeavours augmented by AI may be a good way do things.
Over time this will highlight areas where more needs to be done from an information perspective on the platform and steadily standardise how Anacoins should be given out in a structural manner.
Initially this part of the platform will be human-led, but as the structural cohesion and richness of the data increase there is more scope for these to be automated, bearing in mind the feedback of the broader community.
The nature of the platform is to value the human element augmented by the tools at hand as opposed to automating or replacing them. We don’t want people to be stuck on our platform, but for it to be a tool to connect individuals with real life resources and build real world connections, while offering tremendous scalability.
Artificial knowledge system
This is the core of the system that provides context to key information in line with our approach to objective subjectivity.
It feeds into the AI framework and builds on the hyper-relation database, but is also responsible for cross-checking the curated data sets created by communities. There is no substitute or better incentive than self-policing this element for communities, aided by the Foundation to ensure no illegal or unrepresentative information makes it into the final curated data sets for public consumption. This does not preclude forks in communities as the platform is sufficiently robust to capture nuances in interpretation and differences in opinion.
This also forms an integration layer for third party services with connections provided by the other elements of the platform, as well as providing a hook for services such as API.AI that can rapidly offer the ability to interact with the platform using natural language given the highly structured, relatively clean nature of the target data and its high level of structuring.
These APIs will be controlled to ensure security and fair use of the content, with the focus being on making as much as possible free and open, but with the possibility of acting as a repository for structured data that can further reward creators by integrating with efforts such as the Ocean Protocol.
The Ananas Data API is designed to structure the various levels of data on the Ananas platform and make them as easy to access, navigate and augment as appropriate.
We believe in paying it forward and would look to make this data as freely available as possible while recognising the careful approach that needs to be taken to user data given the current situation of increasing hacks and cybercrime.
Putting it together in practice
Although the above schematic may seem daunting, we have designed the Ananas platform to be incredibly flexible and not beholden to any third party provider who could cut us off without backup.
We are focusing on open source software for different components with solid developer teams and a record of delivering solutions.
The complexity here lies not in the technology but in organisation.
There is where cryptoassets shine, as they allow for different perspectives and groups to align together if the appropriate incentive structures are baked into the protocol with reference to the behavioural science and game theory that underpin cryptoeconomics.
From a timeline perspective the community area of the platform will launch in the coming weeks on an invitation-only basis, the Living Qu’ran app into the new year and the hybrid collaboration components into next summer. We are incorporating open source software wherever possible so the platform quality can continue to improve irrespective of our contributions.
We hope to create something of lasting value using cutting-edge technology. The success will not come from technological breakthroughs, but intelligent use of available resources and the community and partners we build in the coming years.