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· 4 min read

The Future of Personal AI

The Future of Personal AI

For many years, artificial intelligence primarily piqued the interest of academic researchers and enthusiasts within niche technological sectors such as robotics. Although respected, AI presented little practical application for the average person. That changed in June 2020 with the debut of a Large Language Model (LLM) called GPT-3. GPT-3 inspired organizations and individuals to use AI to accelerate their workflows, from coding and blogging to planning itineraries. Today, the potential of AI is so immense that Simon Westh Henriksen, the CTO of Kin, believes personal AI will be one of the most valuable digital assets we own in the future. Simon and his team built Kin. They describe it as "your personal AI assistant for your private life." The intended persona for Kin is a mix between a life coach and a close friend.

My First Impressions of Kin

For the last three years, I've deemed ChatGPT my bestie, so when I heard about Kin, I immediately downloaded the beta on my phone. My initial impression was that there was a sense of familiarity because the user interface and interaction were reminiscent of other LLM-powered chatbots such as ChatGPT and Gemini. However, there were some key differences between Kin and traditional chatbots – it focuses on privacy and personalization.

Privacy-First Artificial Intelligence

With traditional Generative AI Chatbots, your data lives on the company's servers for telemetry purposes (and more). In contrast, Simon explained that Kin doesn't have backend servers, and users' data stays exclusively with the user. This is possible because of Web5's Decentralized Web Nodes (DWN). DWNs provide users with a local and personal data store. Now, you can ask an AI personal questions without worrying if someone else can also read it.

Personalized for You

Unlike traditional Generative AI Chatbots, Kin retains the context of your conversations to provide personalized and relevant responses. As users engage with Kin, the platform analyzes these interactions to extract facts about the user, constructing a semantic memory. This process involves graphing and mapping details such as your name, relationships, interests, etc.

Simon explained the technological process behind this functionality: "It takes in this new knowledge that we have recognized from the chat, or what we think is new knowledge. And then we query this graph that already exists, and we kind of take a subgraph, the relevant subgraph, that might be related to that thing. Then we give it to the LLM, to the model, and it outputs graph operations. So that's something like add node, add edge, remove node, remove edge, and then we apply those to the graph. And in that way, the memory evolves as you speak and interact with Kin."

The Future of Kin

The team at Kin is working on enhancing the platform's memory beyond facts of the user by introducing episodic memory. Episodic memory tracks events in users' lives and anchors them to a timeline to give AI an idea of how a user's life evolves.

They also plan to implement natural voice interfaces and personalized reminders.

The True Value of Data Ownership

Simon envisions a future where Kin takes full advantage of Web5's data ownership and cryptographic verification capabilities. He provided a futuristic example: After a year of personalized interaction, Kin could use Verifiable Credentials to serve as a digital assistant with verified authority on the user's behalf. Kin could share preferences with third parties like e-commerce websites with the user's permission.

"This is where owning and controlling your data suddenly becomes extremely valuable," Simon proclaims. Data ownership is not just about keeping your data private but having control over who you share your data with.

Rewatch the full episode

Learn more about what Kin is building and watch the full live stream here.

This post highlights key moments from our collaborative live stream with leaders and builders at Kin. Join our weekly live streams every Friday at 12pm ET/9 am PT. We're learning how innovators and community members are advancing the Self-Sovereign Identity and Global Payments industry. Tune in next time via Twitch or in our community Discord.

· 4 min read

Shifting Loan Power to Borrowers

"Our current credit system says, 'Saddle yourself, so we can give you more to saddle.'" Eric Lapin, President of FormFree, stated during a recent TBD live stream. His comment sheds light on a fundamental paradox of the U.S. credit system: it often requires you to accumulate debt as a prerequisite for obtaining loans, leading to more debt. This systemic issue is underscored by recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which reveals that 1 in 5 applicants for mortgages, car loans, or other types of loans were rejected — the highest rate in five years. This trend disproportionately impacts Black and Latino applicants. Guided by their slogan, 'Democratizing lending for all people without bias,' FormFree developed a platform built with Web5 and AI to address these issues.

Residual Income Knowledge Index (RIKI)

The Fair Isaac Corporation score, better known as a FICO score, is a three-digit score that helps lenders in the U.S. evaluate the likelihood of a borrower repaying a loan. A higher score indicates greater reliability. However, achieving a high FICO score — or any credit score — largely depends on accruing and gradually repaying debt. This may come as a disadvantage for various groups of people who may not have a credit score, including veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, immigrants, young adults, and folks who prefer cash transactions.

To provide a more holistic view of a person's creditworthiness, FormFree developed a new system called Residual Income Knowledge Index™ (RIKI™). Instead, RIKI analyzes monthly income and spending. Integrating this method into our existing credit system provides greater opportunities for home ownership, car purchases, and other essential loans.

"It's like Tinder for banks!"

During the live stream, FormFree Software Engineer, Jon West, showcased their Passport product. The demo highlighted Passport's ability to match borrowers with lenders. This feature inspired an audience member to comment, 'It's like Tinder for banks!'"

Here's how it works:

  • Borrowers securely connect to their bank account.
  • FormFree analyzes the account records and creates an anonymized credit profile for the borrower.
  • Lenders review these anonymized profiles and decide which borrowers to extend offers to.
  • Borrowers can now review offers from lenders and choose their preferred option.
  • All necessary borrower data is shared with the lender once a match is made.

Typically, borrowers endure aggressively pitched products from dozens of lending institutions. FormFree shifts control to users for more tailored loan consideration.

How FormFree Uses Web5

FormFree uses the following Web5 technologies:

Coming Soon - tbLend and Credential Selector

As part of our incubation program, organizations such as FormFree, Sophtron, and MX are working in partnership to build Web5 protocols that will help their products evolve.

  • tbLend - A Web5 protocol that connects the lender and borrower to exchange money securely.
  • Credential Selector - A Web5 protocol that enables developers to embed the Verifiable Credentials (VCs) into their application and allows users to select and retrieve VCs.

Rewatch the full episode

Learn more about what FormFree is building and watch the full live stream here.

This post highlights key moments from our collaborative live stream with leaders and builders at FormFree. Join our weekly live streams every Friday at 12pm ET/9 am PT. We're learning how innovators and community members are advancing the Self-Sovereign Identity and Global Payments industry. Tune in next time via Twitch or in our community Discord.

· 4 min read

Top 8 TBD Hackathon Winners!

As we wrap up our very first self-hosted hackathon, we're thrilled to announce that out of 1,681 participants we have our top 8. These three hackathons have been a great learning experience, and an amazing opportunity to see what unique projects developers can build with Web5. In hopes of keeping the Hackathon open we came up with 6 categories, FinTech, Health, Music and Arts, Personal Data,and Empowerment & Enablement applications. Join us in celebrating our top 3 and best application per category.👏

· 2 min read

Top 5 DevCareer Hackathon Winners!

DevCareer 🤝 Web5 Hackathon

It's winner announcement time! We're thrilled to have been a part of DevCareer's first-ever hackathon. DevCareer's mission is to cultivate new talent and make a difference in Africa through tech, and having that talent play around with our Web5.js sdk was an invaluable experience. The level of creativity resulted in us having not 3 but 5 winning projects! 🚀

· 2 min read

DIF Hackathon: Top 3 Winners!

DIF 🤝 Web5 Hackathon

The results are in! Out of 418 participants we have our top 3 projects! We were honored to sponor a Web5 challenge with DIF Foundation. DIF (Decentralized Identity Foundation) is an engineering-driven organization focused on developing the foundational elements necessary to establish an open and interoperable ecosystem for decentralized identity. The challenge given was to build a decentralized web app utilizing Web5.js and Decentralized Web Nodes.

· 4 min read

A Digital Toast: My Encounter with Louisiana's Mobile Driver's License

It was Friday night in New Orleans, and I was ready to kick off the weekend in true local style with a drink. I ordered my favorite wine on a food delivery app, but before the sale could be finalized, the wine store needed to verify my age. Seamlessly, they connected to my digital LA Wallet, and without sharing any extra details, my wallet confirmed I was 21+. Within 30 minutes, I was sipping my wine, in awe of the blend of tradition and cutting-edge technology - technology that I'm fortunate to work on, and also enjoy the convenience of.

· 3 min read

Web5 Meets Generative AI

"What can you actually build with Web5?" This is one of the most common questions I've heard as I enter my two-month mark at TBD. It's one thing to discuss the theoretical aspects of Web5, with its focus on decentralization and user empowerment, but it's another to see tangible, innovative applications come to life. This is why builders, visionaries, and project maintainers at TBD are excited to showcase Netonomy, a Web5 project built by Anthony DeMattos.