6 min read

The Web3 and AI Newsletter 16

The Web3 and AI Newsletter 16
Image generated using OpenAI's DALL-E 3

Hello, everyone, and warm welcome to all newly joined subscribers!

This is the Web3 + AI newsletter, where we explore the intersection of blockchain and artificial intelligence. It has been an important week both for Web3 and for AI, with Ethereum smoothly executing one of its most important upgrades, and the EP voting largely in favor of the EU AI Act.

Thank you for being here! Let's dive in!

What's New in the Web3 + AI Startup World?

ChainGPT to Award $1M in Web3 + AI Grants

The Web3 + AI builder ChainGPT is on a mission to supercharge the space by providing $1M in grants to startups, innovators, and researchers pioneering the intersection of blockchain and AI.

[...] the initiative is designed to provide financial support across three tiers: scaling-focused growth grants, builder grants for early-stage innovation, and research grants for exploratory projects.

The future grant beneficiaries may be working toward expanding the capabilities of the ChainGPT ecosystem, but that is not a mandatory condition for support. Watch the video below to learn more and apply.

ChainGPT is a one-top shop for various crypto + AI products and tools in domains like chatbots, smart contract generation and auditing, NFT generation, blockchain analytics, and more.

Ritual Partners with MyShell, Story Protocol

After it struck deals with EigenLayer and io.net a couple of weeks ago, the sovereign AI network Ritual keeps the ball rolling with two more partnerships in the realm of Generative AI. The first one is with the Web3 + AI creator economy builder MyShell.

MyShell empowers users to employ in-house open-source AI models to create AI personas or avatars, and to interact across a variety of modalities, such as text, voice, and more. The avatars' appearance and behavior can be cloning celebrities or the users themselves. Now, thanks to this integration, MyShell will use Ritual's infrastructure and will allow users to run various models on Ritual's inference layer to create more expressive apps and agents. Thus, MyShell will become one of the first applications powered on the future Ritual Chain.

Ritual × MyShell: A New AI Creator Economy
Ritual and MyShell are excited to announce a partnership that leverages Ritual’s infrastructure to power MyShell’s range of open-source AI models and the applications built on top of them for their 1M+ users and beyond.

The second deal involves the programmable IP and licensing project Story Protocol, which will enable users to bring various AI assets on-chain and to register them as Intellectual Property.

Imagine being able to license your image model and monetize it, not just by allowing users to pay for inference, but also by taking royalties on the use of generated images, all in a trustless and transparent manner.

With Ritual and Story, this will now be possible.

Both AI models and creative works can be registered as IP. Consequently, models can be easily fine-tuned on decentralized marketplaces, whereas creations can be transparently fed into models' training data and, accordingly, monetized.

The collaboration between Ritual and Story Protocol makes it possible to prove that outputs like text, image, and voice are generated by specific models, so that IP can be tracked, attributed, and compensated correctly. One of the first initiatives under it will let MyShell creators hosting their models on Ritual to register them as IP assets on Story Protocol.

Link to the original tweet

Ritual is focused on building critical infrastructure that connects the worlds of Crypto and AI, and permits smart contracts to natively access AI models. You can watch Ritual's Niraj Pant's talk at ETHDenver to learn more about their strategy.

RIDO Collaborates with Trusta

RIDO Protocol, the verifiable data layer for AI, has announced a partnership with on-chain identity provider Trusta, aimed at building AI-powered reputation infrastructure for the Web3 world.

Rido is actively offering accessible, standardized, and sovereign data to enhance the capabilities of AI systems. It works almost exclusively with user-generated data to ensure authenticity and quality, and to allow users to monetize it.

Link to the original tweet

Alaya Joins Forces with PredX, Adot, aivestDAO

The distributed AI data platform Alaya I wrote about some time ago, has recently struck a series of interesting AI-related deals with the prediction market PredX, built on the Sei network, the search network Adot, and the tokenomics assistant aivestDAO.

Link to the original tweet

They come to demonstrate the variety of use cases to which the Web3 + AI space is already able to cater.

Link to the original tweet
Image generated using OpenAI's DALL-E 3

Noteworthy Podcasts, Articles, Events

Ethereum's Dencun Upgrade is Live

March 13th marked the activation of Dencun, one of the most significant upgrades of the Ethereum blockchain since The Merge, i.e., its conversion to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Sybil-resistance mechanism in 2022. The Dencun hardfork combined changes to both the execution and the consensus layer of Ethereum, as it included the execution of 9 highly-technical EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals).

One of the major innovations it introduced are the so-called "blobs", a new data management system that allows Layer-2 solutions to store transaction data in a much more cost-effective way. As a result, the transaction fees on L2s like Optimism, Arbitrum, and Base are currently close to 0.

Layer 2 Blockchains Become Cheaper After Ethereum’s Dencun Upgrade
The upgrade allows layer 2 solutions to store data in “blobs” instead of the expensive call data.

The EP Votes in Favor of the EU AI Act

This Wednesday, the European Parliament predominantly approved the EU AI Act, the bloc's trend-setting artificial intelligence regulation. The vote was moved forward by a month, which testifies to the fast-moving AI space, but also to the legislature's desire not to risk leaving the bill to the next cohort of MEPs to be elected in May.

The final approval of the act is expected to take place at the next plenary session in April, which would translate into it coming into force in May or June.

Provisions will then take effect in stages: countries will have six months to ban prohibited AI systems, 12 months to enforce rules against “general-purpose AI systems” like chatbots, and up to 36 months for AI systems the law has designated as “high risk.”
The EU AI Act passed — here’s what comes next
The EU Act will come into force in 2025.

Many still fear that the new legislation will hamper the EU's innovation and startup ecosystem. Fortunately, certain exceptions regarding AI's open-source development and dissemination have been adopted, although:

[...] it is to be seen whether these exceptions will be used as loopholes, as some companies may open source their models to benefit from disseminating their products to the open source community (such as by having their product improved) without having to comply with certain safety and assessment requirements.

The concrete results of the bill will become palpable only after it takes full effect, but I will surely be here to closely follow them.

Disclaimer: None of this should or could be considered financial advice. You should not take my words for granted, rather, do your own research (DYOR) and share your thoughts to create a fruitful discussion.