Decentralized Sustainability

Beyond the Tragedy of the Commons with Smart Contracts + AI

David Dao
David Dao
Jun 15, 2018 · 11 min read

Can we scale human economic cooperation with trustable machines?

The Tragedy

A Way Out: Sustainable Self-Governance

Nepali villagers have been self-governing their natural common resources for centuries. Can we engineer machines that guide us to become like them?

Eight Design Principles for Managing the Commons

Elinor (Lin) Ostrom was a remarkable political scientist and the first woman to win a Nobel prize in Economics. Her eight design principles are considered to be a blueprint for sustainable cooperation.

Ostrom Contracts: Blockchain + AI Systems for Sustainable Governance

Designing a system to optimize sustainable group coordination can be seen as designing incentives for a market that optimizes a sustainable objective.
Ostrom’s design principles can be translated into the smart contract design space

Blockchain-based Mechanism Design

Token-based Membership Model (DP 1)

Decision Making with Blockchain Governance … (DP 2, 3)

… via Quadratic (Coin Lock) Voting

… via Prediction Markets

Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 17 percent of carbon emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector
A futarchy, predicting the number of🌲at time X if we either hire A or B to lead our conservation efforts. Image credits to Gnosis (I just added a bunch of trees)!

Increasing Stakes and Smart Contract Judge (DP 5, 6)

Programmable Censorship Resistance and Complexity (DP 7, 8)

Intelligent Machine Monitoring & Learning

Deforestation: Scaling Environmental Monitoring for Static Resources

Satellite images allow us to train classification and prediction models to evaluate and forecast rainforest deforestation. Image from GainForest.

Wildlife Conservation: Scaling Environmental Monitoring for Dynamic Resources

(Un)manned aerial vehicle can be used to efficiently monitor wildlife density. Image credits: the Elephant Atlas Project.

Tightly Coupled vs. Loosely Coupled Ostrom Contracts

Tightly coupled Ostrom contracts are a class of AI smart contracts. Thus the smart contracts are responding to data flows originating from various data sources (here via intelligent monitoring) without any human in the loop.

Conclusion

Resources

GainForest

Blog

David Dao

Written by

David Dao

PhD student in AI and Data Systems for Sustainable Development 🌱🛰️🌍 | Founder GainForest.app | Past: Stanford, Berkeley, MIT https://daviddao.org

GainForest

GainForest™ is a decentralized green fund bridging artificial intelligence with real-world climate action to fight deforestation.

David Dao

Written by

David Dao

PhD student in AI and Data Systems for Sustainable Development 🌱🛰️🌍 | Founder GainForest.app | Past: Stanford, Berkeley, MIT https://daviddao.org

GainForest

GainForest™ is a decentralized green fund bridging artificial intelligence with real-world climate action to fight deforestation.

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