How to Create the Future of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

The necessary tools will soon be available to create true DAOs.

6 min readDec 1, 2017


“The toughest job on Wall St this morning is the guy who has to explain #TheDAO to Lloyd Blankfein.” — David Harrison, May 2016

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is a network that runs itself. It’s able to operate autonomously due to the clever use of mechanisms that align economic incentives (distribute risks/rewards) using software. Basically, the network is structured and incentivized to operate without the use of trust, third-parties, or centralized powers.

Being trustless, the network can work even if each individual actor operates in their own interests. In fact, this dynamic actually makes the network possible.

The most popular use of these incentive mechanisms is in blockchain technologies, pioneered by Bitcoin. Bitcoin proved that, at least in the field of currency, we can align incentives without resorting to centralization and trusted third-parties.

We’re still years away from true and sustainable DAOs

In a way, Bitcoin served as a proof-of-concept for what’s possible with self-governing networks. Ethereum was created to augment Bitcoin’s pioneering, establishing coordination mechanisms that can be applied far beyond currency. Other projects in the space are being used to experiment and implement additional use-cases.

But there’s a major issue in the industry today: fully decentralized autonomous organizations are still not possible.

One of the reasons for this is that the complexity of networks continues to grow, thus requiring increasingly complex governance mechanisms. While the experimentation and implementation of new incentive schemes (eg. a reputation-based governance system) have pushed the industry forward, many aspects of new networks still require input from a centralized third-party, typically the founding team.

Designing proper incentive and governance mechanisms that allow a network to run completely autonomously will take years. That process will necessitate the introduction of many new tools and processes, some of which will be completely novel.

Complex issues need resolving before we attain true DAOs

As mentioned, creating governance and incentive mechanisms for increasingly complex projects is difficult. Some major issues include:

  1. How does governance work? Who can vote, how much power do they have, and what prevents someone from accumulating enough power to override the network’s democratization?
  2. How will the network upgrade itself? Who is responsible for upgrading the network, how are they determined, how much do they get paid, and how does the network determine the value of their contributions?
  3. How can you ensure a fair distribution of governance participation? Running an organization requires thousands of micro and macro decisions per day. How do you make sure that each actor in the network can participate in each decision?

Collective and coordinated AI could be a major tool towards overcoming these barriers.

Why AI is the holy grail of true DAOs

Today, artificial intelligence (AIs) exist in silos, only capable of operating within a specific company, infrastructure, or industry. The lack of interoperability severely restricts the ability to leverage the strengths and capabilities of individual AIs.

So, while major advances are being made in AI every day, we have no way of coordinating each service into a tech stack capable of achieving far beyond what each innovation could accomplish on its own.

Now, imagine a world in which AI agents have access to all of the capabilities and resources of every other AI agents on the planet. What would this mean for the future development of decentralized organizations?

From day one, decentralized organizations could create an AI agent responsible for carrying out network decisions. Instead of voting for each and every action, actors can simply relay their preferences to the AI agent. These millions of micro decisions can then be autonomously addressed by the network’s AI actors. This would be huge.

By outsourcing the network’s multitude of actions to a collection of AI agents, governance mechanisms can be vastly simplified and optimized.

For example, let’s say a network is in need of an upgrade because there is an inefficiency in its payment system. Instead of relying on the network to determine which upgrade to make (along with deciding who builds it and how much to pay), the AI agent would automate this upgrade by:

  • Acquiring an AI capability developed in the U.S. by a payment processor that identifies inefficiencies in largely complex financial transaction datasets.
  • Using this capability to analyze the network’s transaction efficiency, identifying any issues that needs resolving.
  • Connecting with an AI developed in China that automates the contractor match-making process, using this capability to hire qualified developers to build and implement the upgrade.
  • Testing the upgrades using the aforementioned efficiency capability.
  • Releasing payment to the contractors upon successful implementation.

There are many micro-actions not included in this over-simplified example, but all of them can be met by AI capabilities and resources, many of which have already been created (they just lack a way to monetize it for external use).

With empowered, coordinated AI agents, organizations can outsource a significant amount of network decisions, including issues with governance, voting, security, reputation systems, upgradeability, etc. This could take years off the development timeline needed to introduce fully decentralized and fair autonomous organizations.

How we’re making the AI-to-AI economy a reality

At SingularityNET, we want to see the blockchain industry continue to evolve and improve. True DAOs will be a big part of that evolution. We believe our platform is positioned to, not only expedite the introduction of DAOs, but to also serve as a core layer across all future DAO actions and interactions.

We’re holding a token sale to ensure that our platform governance is controlled by the public, not large companies or institutions. Learn how to participate.

SingularityNET is the first and only platform that allows AIs to cooperate and coordinate at scale. This removes one of the major limiting factors to AI growth today — the lack of interoperability — which severely restricts the ability to leverage the strengths and capabilities of individual AIs.

With SingularityNET, companies, organizations, and individuals can empower their AI agents to participate in markets, and buying and selling goods and services. No longer must AIs exist in silos, only capable of operating within a specific company, infrastructure, or industry.

AI-enabled DAOs can use SingularityNET markets to buy rare and valuable datasets or analytical capabilities that previously needed to be developed in-house from scratch. AIs can also use SingularityNET markets to monetize their own assets, creating massive value from proprietary information, algorithms, and functionality.

Building SingularityNET as a Decentralized Self-Organizing Cooperative

One can think about SingularityNET as a “Decentralized Self-Organizing Co- operative.” This is a similar concept to the better-known DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), but is not quite the same.

In the case of SingularityNET, there is a foundational structure that will provide high-level oversight, at least during the early years of the network’s operations. As the network evolves over time, it is intended to have the capability to evolve into a truly decentralized and autonomous organization. This sort of organization is distinguished from an ordinary corporation, above all, by its openness.

At its foundation, SingularityNET is a set of smart contract templates which AI Agents can use to request AI work to be done, to exchange data, and to supply the results of AI work.

These also include contracts to be used by external, non-AI agents who wish to obtain AI services from these agents in the network. Anyone can create a node (an AI agent) and put it online, running it on a server, home computer, or embedded device. This node would be entered into the network, so that it can request and/or fulfill AI tasks in interaction with other nodes, and engage in economic transactions.

SingularityNET can be accessed through its own token, the AGI token. Token holders can participate in the DSOC’s democratic governance process, as well as purchase services within the marketplace.

Join us in our fight for a fully decentralized future

This is a major market opportunity, and we’ve attracted the top minds in multiple fields to our development team. We have globally respected experts with PhDs in theoretical physics, probabilistic logic, and mathematics — not to mention decades of combined experience in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

A few members of the SingularityNET Team during the Wired Next event in Florence, Italy.

SingularityNET won’t be a panacea for DAOs, but we’re confident that we’re an important piece of the puzzle for realizing a fully decentralized, trustless future. Please reach out to us on our Telegram channel to chat with the team and learn more about our mission.




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