Hello, my name is Bastian Blankenburg, and I live and work in Nairobi, Kenya, where I co-founded and am CTO of UTU Technologies (https://utu.io), whose mission is provide “trust infrastructure to the sharing economy” (or in fact, on-demand economy), based on a personal relationship-based recommendation algorithm which also employs AI/ML techniques to learn who trusts whom for recommendations for which (kind of) services in what situations.
We’ve for a while thought hard about what blockchain technology might mean to our approach, and if and how we should employ the technology. Recently, we were accepted into the 3rd cohort of AI-startup accelerator zeroth.ai, we met many blockchain-enthusiasts. This pushed us to get serious with our blockchain ambitions.
Additionally, we were at the recent WBS Nairobi where we met some other African blockchain enthusiasts who are interested in building an African identity management and trust platform. We’re currently forming an African partnership around this, and are jointly working on a white paper.
At WBS Nairobi, I also had the great pleasure to meet @nikola and @emin there, and could immediately see and was impressed by the high level of the technical team and approach. I’m a sort of “programming language design connoisseur”, if such a thing exists, and love ML. So I was thrilled to learn about Sophia’s design.
As for my own background, besides having worked as a software engineer in industry, I’ve done a PhD in distributed AI, aka multi-agent systems, about “Coalition Formation among Rational Agents in Uncertain and Untrustworthy Environments”. As part of that work, there were several instances of (parts of) algorithms/protocols which would have been quite a bit simpler to devise had blockchain technology and particularly smart contracts been available at the time.