Neurogress is an exciting project that is focused on breaking the barriers of science and technology by implementing some of the popular technologies of the time. To learn more about their endeavors, our team decided to ask them few hard questions and this is what they had to say:
Q: Neurocontrol on Blockchain, an exciting combination of buzzwords. Can you tell us how they both work together as a single system?
A: Well, it’s not as simple and if you state “Neurocontrol on Blockchain” somewhere in the tech crowd, people are going to say you are crazy. Here is why. Neurocontrol is a technologically facilitated process which allows a person to directly manipulate a device using brain waves. What makes it Blockchain friendly is the AI-driven software that is put in the base of the neurocontrol enhancement. Machine learning algorithms utilized in neurocontrol systems are trained with the statistical data of neural activity collected from people. And that’s where Blockchain comes in handy. In a broader sense of our project, Blockchain will be used for several major purposes. First, to enhance machine learning algorithms with the help of users’ neural activity. Second, to serve as an ideal transaction processing mechanism for the marketplace. Third, to provide the means of intellectual property for the developers via smart contracts.
Q: What made you take up this project? What do you aim to achieve with this?
A: The start of the project was accidental in both meeting the people who are onboard today and getting into the technology itself, but as they say, “there are no accidents”. One would think that the project was in a constant linear stage of development. However, the only thing that is constant in this world is a change itself. The cat is out of the bag and now we are accelerating exponentially. We want to pioneer the space at the crossroads of disruptive exponential tech, to build what others think is impossible. We believe it is possible! We believe that the next step in the evolution of controlling the objects around us is to change our environment with the power of thought. This would allow us as a society to take that radical step of removing the barrier between thought and action. With the help of neurocontrol we are not limited by the shape of our body anymore. We are linking our biological thoughts with electronics and machinery in the world around us. We are doing so with the help of our community as the technology these days allows people collaborate and build up a decentralized ecosystem that creates a unique collaborative environment to enhance the neurocontrol technology itself.
Q: What are the challenges you are facing or expect to face in this endeavor and how do you plan to overcome it?
A: Since our project is all about R&D, challenges are what we eat for breakfast every day. There are two biggest challenges in our project: the neurocontrol technology itself and the AI+Blockchain part of the ecosystem. However, both technological directions complement each other. AI + Blockchain will help enhance our machine learning algorithms that form the basis of neurocontrol systems. The development of the ecosystem is not an easy task and requires an involvement of highly skilled developers combined with the long-term platform vision. At the same time, neurocontrol research demands a lot of statistical data processing based on the AI signal pattern recognition that would benefit quite a lot from the ecosystem with people contributing their neural activity through the means of our ecosystem via neurointerfaces and algorithm training for specific actions. It all sounds super complex, but we’ve got the right people to make this vision a reality and we have the will and the ability to proceed and advance the technology at full throttle.
Q: When the risk is high, the reward is potentially much bigger. Can you explain how it fits in this setting?
A: Certainly there are risks associated with the technology development, and yet the opportunities are nothing but asymmetrical shall we succeed. We would say that things like creation of a new generation of prosthetic limbs or AR/VR interfaces would be considered as relatively modest achievements. Our goal is to change the very way of how a human being interacts with this world – its speed, effectiveness, quality. It can hold far-reaching consequences, to say the least. Just as the Internet has changed the way we communicate with each other, the way we process information, so changing the environment with thoughts can change the way everything works. Just imagine you can work as fast as you think – this is the kind of reward we are talking about. Of course, this is quite a long-term plan and it will consume “some” time and energy, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Q: Anything you would like to mention about your team?
A: Our team is assembled of scientists, Blockchain experts, and technology enthusiasts. Neurocontrol is an extremely complicated technology which combines technological achievements of many scientific branches. Of course, if we facilitate it with AI-software and Blockchain, the task becomes solvable, but even more ambitious. That is why our team is actually composed of few sections, responsible for their own field yet constantly communicating with each other. And it goes even far beyond that. As the technical part was not enough, we got mass-adoption to think of. This means we need things like design, PR and community management to think of, that is why teamwork is especially important in this project.
Q: Tell us more about the marketplace feature on the Neurogress ecosystem.
A: The Marketplace is a platform where you can trade neurocontrol software, hardware, algorithms, and services. Each branch not only includes a diverse range of products made by the Neurogress itself but also made by its developer community and partners. Hardware manufacturers who produce control interfaces and neurocontrolled devices are interconnected with Neurogress and various third-party software, all backed up by services that make neuro controlled Smart Environment more convenient and productive, such as algorithms training, UX research, neurocontrol R&D, etc. Moreover, all the products are going to be categorized by their nature: SDK, ready-to-use solutions, algorithms, training software and physical devices.
Q: Any significant partnerships you are exploring?
A: Yes, however, we are not going to speculate on those until we get into the official collaboration phase. We are actively communicating with Singularity University, TransHuman Code Initiative, United Nations, Campus Biotech, EPFL, Global Shapers, Soul Machines. We are very excited about these potential collaborations and the possibilities that might arise for the project development.
Q: How much is Neurogress planning to raise through the crowdsale, what will the funds be used for?
A: We are planning to raise 58,500 ETH. We strive to accomplish a lot of things. We need to build out the whole AI-based ecosystem learning from the user input neural activity signals using machine learning and deep learning algorithms. Add to that the need to provide people with the ability to transfer their brain activity to be accounted in the mainnet when the data goes into the distributed database. Also add the AI infrastructure, the Blockchain infrastructure, the people developing the architecture and bridging things together from the software and hardware point of view. Then there’s a marketplace for software, hardware, algorithm training etc. Plus, the neurocontrol development itself, oh and that’s why we are all here for, right?) We are building a whole new industry of neurocontrol and linking one of its major elements for training AI with the Blockchain. Also, it is of great importance for us to consider taking stakes in other (Blockchain) projects that will be owned by Neurogress and used for Neurogress projects and infrastructure.
Q: When can we expect an operational product?
A: Depends on what you mean by saying “product”. As you probably know, our aim is not just to provide a tool for control of one or two fancy gizmos, we dream of providing a software that can be used to control anything imaginable. We are planning to open Neurogress API and the entire code after Q2 2018. Yet this is just a beginning. There are so many things to be done way up ahead, like neurocontrol system testing in conjunction with VR / AR / MR, synchronizing with gadgets and embedding neurocontrol capabilities into as many industries as possible. Regarding the mainnet of our ecosystem, we are planning to start rolling it out at the beginning of the next year.
Q: Would you like to share anything else with our readers?
A: AI is a very powerful tool for it to be monopolized by a single corporation or organization. We truly believe that for the better future of humanity we need to decentralize and democratize the capabilities of AI. Let people control such a complex and yet useful entity and benefit from it by utilizing the always-evolving technology. By linking our inputs with AI training, we are creating a real human-machine interaction that stays always visible and under control.
We are trying our best to convey the message that neurocontrolled prostheses is just one of the use cases for the technology. The Blockchain is not correlated with a single prosthesis movement, it’s utilized for the purposes of enhancing the basis of neurocontrol technology. We are developing the capability of embracing neurocontrol even faster by the means of value-added machine learning algorithms. Let’s train them together and make their applied use go mainstream. There will be a marketplace for these algorithms as well as a Maker zone marketplace. The more input we provide by training the algorithm for specific actions, the more effective it becomes. So, it’s really about the algorithms that are put into the core of neurocontrol technology and in return the neurocontrol technology for our better and more productive well-being.
You can find more information about the platform and participate in the crowdsale at – https://neurogress.io/