Can you give me a high level overview of the SEED Token project?
Seed Vault Ltd. democratizes AI through an open-source, not-for-profit foundation that provides access for companies, developers and individuals to build and use AI interfaces (commonly known as bots) based on a proven core platform and unique IP.
The Conversational User Interface (CUI) Economy is too critical, in terms of privacy, security, and access, to leave it to ~10 global companies to be gatekeepers of AI technologies and interfaces. Therefore, we’re building a viable economy for CUI developers and deployers that compensates them for their contributions to the industry, provides an independent platform to accelerate industry growth, fosters industry standards for CUIs to be authenticated (and, therefore, trusted), and a way for users to both control the data generated from their CUI interactions as well as be compensated for sharing important and valuable user data.
What is a CUI?
Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) represent the next paradigm in interfacing with digital tools and services. As we moved from command line interfaces (CLIs) to graphical user interfaces (GUI), all services and tools were transformed and created astounding new uses, opportunities, services. The same will happen with the transition from GUIs to CUIs. Instead of tapping and typing onto little screens, we will increasingly talk to digital services in conversation. We already use some of these with Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, or Xiaoyu Zaijia. Read more about the opportunities related to this transition in the SEED white paper.
How would you categorize your project: Ecosystem, Protocol, Platform, DApp?
We prefer to call the project an Economy because it includes elements of all of these:
• An ecosystem of existing developers, customers, advertisers, analysts and deployers.
• Protocols, including a core .BOT description language with associated data structures.
• The platform is an advanced multi-modal bot framework of server, middleware, content, and multiple working client deployments (Skype, Messenger, Signal, Slack, Kik and others) that has been in development for a decade with a defensible patent portfolio which we now open source.
• The DApp, called Greenhouse, will use decentralized storage, decentralized communication, and decentralized payments. Unlike most DApps, it will also, in a twist to most DApps, have a GUI. Note that this part has not yet been completed and will be providing updates on specifications, wireframes, user and data flows, etc.
How is your project disrupting the current business landscape / what is your project's impact on the current business space?
The SEED platform disrupts the current bot industry with open source access, industry democratization, and authenticated branding.
1. Open-source: The CUI market is estimated to triple in the coming three years but deployment tools and content are currently proprietary. Currently, only a handful of companies have access to the digital services that make AI possible. Simultaneously open source development provides security considerations that bot frameworks do not currently provide.
2. Industry democratization: The Web would not have grown exponentially if only a handful of companies controlled languages like HTML. CUIs are becoming one of the predominant interfaces for computing systems just as the graphic user interface (GUI) was for the Web. Our platform creates a marketplace of services and components that is independent of the largest technology companies, though they can plug into the SEED platform like any others. As such, it disrupts the status quo in a way that democratizes these technologies in the same way that HTML democratized online publishing, commerce, community, and services.
3. Authenticated branding: Enterprises need to have a direct relationship with customers, not intermediated by Amazon, Apple, Tencent or any other company. CUIs currently have problems being GDPR, HIPPA, COPPA, AML, and KYC compliant. Therefore, CUIs must be authenticated, respect user privacy and provenance, and address other requirements. Authentication, identity management and security methods are of key importance for enterprises to safely operate online.
What is the biggest innovation of your project?
Our platform authenticates CUI interaction and writes interactions to the blockchain ledger.
This allows us to trust CUIs with sensitive data, such as financial and healthcare data, and our marketplaces allow end user contributions to be easily and automatically remunerated to their creators—from all corners of the world, for all of the different components necessary for CUI development and deployment. We will not store users’ personal data on the ledger. This is critical and counter to centralised bot developer platforms.
Have you concluded a feasibility study and if yes, please provide the results. In other words, what makes you sure that you can deliver and that your solution is needed?
Partner companies and members of our team have been deploying bots for seventeen years. The platform and IP constitutes over a decade of development and commercial deployment.
Botanic Technologies, one of our partners, has already built and deployed CUIs with their bot framework that will be provided to any member of the SEED network. This software is a collection of dozens of components and represent over a decade of effort that has been deployed for Fortune 500 companies, three government agencies, and nearly a dozen start-ups around the globe. Botanic is also talking with several corporate customers to introduce them to the SEED ecosystem.
But SEED is bigger than just Botanic and it also comprises some of the world’s largest bot developer communities such as Bottish, Brillig Understanding, and PandoraBots, made up of millions of developers willing to commit expertise and code to the project.
Though we’re deploying smart contracts using Ethereum in a novel way (specifically suited to bot development and deployment), we are relying on tested smart contract solutions such as the Ethereum virtual machine and ERC20 token standards.
What is the development status of your project? Is it MVP, Alpha, Beta or just PoC? Is it already publicly available?
All of the CUI components have already been deployed for enterprise clients. Additional research and innovation continues, specifically for voice commands that drive real-time 3D conversational avatars, video chatbots and other fringe use-cases.
Botanic is licensing a host of their well used and loved existing tools and technologies. Seed Vault aims to create a demonstrable platform combining these. This will prove the ability to authenticate and remunerate CUIs via the licenses inherent in their components. There will be a rudimentary CUI and CUI store functioning with the SEED token. However, the final, full-featured wallets, bot stores, and communities won’t be available until the platform is completed. This will be deployed in waves, starting with an alpha and then a beta, for our existing community of several thousand CUI developers and deployers, working toward a final release.
Underlying server, middleware, clients, data and content is already working, continues to be improved, and has active deployments. The SEED platform will integrate this with the SEED bot stores and community features. All of this will be enabled with the SEED Token as the atomic unit of authentication and remuneration within the system. Developers will be building CUIs, components, and services, while also providing end-user data, via SEED. Our transparent governance, dialogues, and intimate relationships with these developer communities will help define the features needed and requested and test them throughout development.
Has your code been audited by a third party?
There are two different answers for this: regarding the smart contracts and the CUI framework.
All of our smart contracts for both the issuance (or trading) portion and the CUI portions will be audited by a third party to be announced soon.
The CUI framework components, primarily the middleware layer, which will be licensed from Botanic, was audited in 2016 and has been relied upon and improved since. However all code submissions to the ledger and freely auditable by the community by the systems very nature and this is the power of already having several thousand developers as participants.
What partnerships have you officially established and what is the nature of these (how does the project benefit from those partnership?
Our partners and communities are our foundation. We will continue to build technical, legal, financial, marketing, and developer communities.
Botanic Technologies is our initial/launch partner as both the concept and the support for this project was started within this company. We will be licensing their multimodal bot framework, patents, middleware, and other tools for use on the SEED platform so that these tools are as widely available to developers and deployers as possible.
Outlier Ventures is another key partner who has been advising us on our strategy for every aspect of the project including token design and partnerships. They have experience within the crypto community, having advised IOTA, Ocean Protocol, Evernym, and others.
TokenMarket, having taken over 60 projects from inception to ICO, is one of the most experienced token sale administrators and advisors in the industry. They will be writing our issuance token smart contracts for the trading portion of the token’s market interactions, as well as helping us with promotion and awareness of the token, community, and project.
We will announce additional partnerships with other bot communities representing the largest consortium of bot developers in the world.
Our strategy is to enlist these development communities in defining the .BOT description language to make it as useful and robust as possible for all, so that developers can collaborate on the features and tools most needed (and the associated priorities) to ensure maximum utility, and to help outline which features, tools, and services are needed to quickly evolve the capabilities available to bot developers and deployers. This process has already begun.
Fire On The Hill, a London-based marketing and PR firm started specifically to address the emerging blockchain economy, works closely with our internal marketing group.
Looking ahead in the coming weeks we will be announcing banking, AML, and legal partners both in Singapore and externally, as well as trustees that participate in Swiss and Singaporean governance.
Additional partnerships in the VR, AR, robotics, and IOT industries will be announced in the coming months.
If you would like to partner with us, please contact us: email@example.com
How and in which timeframe do you expect your project to be adopted by the current business landscape?
Botanic and other partners currently have existing and new customers asking for this solution. So we already have product market fit. Since we know of no platform like this in existence, we expect developers to use it as soon as they have access to the tools, in the beta phase. This will be in a rudimentary way initially and then in increasingly more sophisticated ways over the next 3-6 months. That will allow the existing CUI industry to quickly transition to this open platform—just at the point when the industry, itself, should start experiencing explosive growth in demand for CUIs for every kind of interface to digital services.
Use case of your token? What can be done with it?
People will use the token to stake bots, components, reviews, ratings and other data. And to be compensated when those assets are used.
Developer A downloads the Greenhouse DApp, selects a CUI from the bot store, tests it, and then deploys it in a channel of their choosing. They can then return to the bot store, provide additional components, content, data or functionality. Later, Developer A would find that SEED tokens have appeared in their wallet, indicating other Developers have used those assets.
Developer B has already deployed many bot components and has earned many SEED from these components being used. Developer B has rated these components, staking SEED in doing so, and runs a node on the network as well. As a more advanced member of the network Developer B might choose to collaborate or team up with other developers, pay them in tokens, invent new assets and use SEED to post this content, or choose to leverage these resources to become a Deployer, licensing assets from other Developers.
A Deployer may be an individual, company or collective and will use the token to compensate Developers. Of course reviews, ratings, and reputations are of key value and the token is core to these interactions.
Our token will be used to power the largest, independent market and marketplace of CUIs, components, and services. It could allow new indie hardware manufacturers to come online and compete. It can also help cars, appliances, robots, and homes to speak. How developers and deployers use this platform remains to be seen. Please read some of the prepared use cases on the website or in the white paper.
Is the token supply stable, or will it inflate/deflate over time?
The supply is fixed so it will neither inflate nor deflate over time. Tokens staked to components in the SEED bot stores can be lost for violating the terms of the SEED platform. As stated above, these will be folded back into the endowment to fund new tools and solutions to increase the value of the platform.
Was your smart contract audited by an independent cybersecurity company?
When it is finished, yes, it will be. TokenMarket will be developing the smart contract using Ethereum and this will be audited by DLT Labs and two third-party providers. Any additional smart contracts developed by DLT Labs will be audited by third-party providers. Additionally we will offer bug bounty programs. That said, because the system tokens will be fully ERC20 compliant, we do not anticipate problems, but will take multiple security measures and assume the worst well before necessary.
What is the token supply?
The token supply is fixed with no inflation schedule. The full amount will be circulating once the foundation expends tokens reserved for strategic purposes and all vesting/lockups expire. Tokens staked to components in the SEED bot stores can be lost for violating the terms of the SEED platform. As stated above, these will be folded back into the endowment to fund new tools and initiatives to increase the value of the economy.
The global token supply is: 10,000,000,000 (10 Billion) tokens.
What is the business model of Seed Vault?
Seed Vault Ltd is a Public Company Limited by Guarantee in Singapore (a “non-profit”). No one owns equity in Seed Vault and, as such, the trustees are not focused on building financial value for the organization itself as a for-profit corporation. Instead, the foundation is focused entirely on the development of the SEED token and platform.
As a participant, why should I consider this token?
These tokens are meant for active participants of the network only: be that developers or end-users who want a more equitable value exchange as they interact with bots. We assume they all share the mission of an independent CUI Economy that will determine the future of CUIs that front AI services and their relationship to trust and successful compensation or users and developers.
I’m a blockchain and cryptocurrency expert. Why would I need this token?
We don’t believe you can be passionate about decentralisation and Web 3.0 and not care about how we will interface with it and who owns it. That’s why we believe the crypto community are the natural early adopters and users of the network, as exemplified with Outlier Ventures involvement with the project for over 12 months because it is open source, decentralised and tokenized meaning we as a community all own and contribute to it.
I’m a CUI or AI expert. Why would I need this token?
The SEED platform will be the premiere, global platform for deploying and licensing CUIs, components (including code), and services. It uses the SEED Token to authenticate and remunerate CUIs, developers, and users. As such, SEED tokens are the incentive to coordinate a decentralised network of participants and are necessary for staking CUIs, components, and services, for developers and deployers. Read more about the opportunities related to this transition in the SEED white paper.
What is the relationship between Seed Vault and Botanic?
Botanic Technologies is a strategic partner. Founded 2011, Botanic is based in San Francisco with offices in Denver and Buenos Aires. Botanic is providing over a decade’s worth of critical intellectual property to start the SEED platform. (EIN 81-5404521// DE Corporation Number: 3995146)
How reliant is the future success of Seed Vault on Botanic?
After funding Seed Vault, and the intellectual property and licenses are transferred to SEED, Botanic will become an advisor and Seed Vault Ltd. will take-over development and maintenance of the transferred tools and technology. However SEED would be free to contract other vendors at any point through a formal procurement process and will be independent in its decision making. It is SEED that holds an irrevocable license for this intellectual property for use on the platform, including the developers and end users that use the platform. SEED and Botanic’s success are not tied to each other, removing vendor lock-in and any associated execution risk.
How will this relationship evolve in the future?
Botanic will continue to be a key partner and developer on the SEED platform. Its relationship with Seed Vault Ltd. will not be exclusive as we are already signing more strategic partners in the CUI development, crypto, and other technology industries. As the SEED community and economy grow, its influence will naturally diminish as more developers, deployers, and end users operate on the platform.
Will Botanic make additional developments in API aggregation middleware, clients, servers, libraries, protocols, data structures, tools, patents, and other IP, available to Seed Vault in the future?
Future transfer of intellectual property is possible, just as it is with any developer to the SEED network. In fact that’s its whole purpose. However for now, all of Botanic’s listed IP will be transferred and we don’t foresee any hindrances or missing IP required for the SEED platform to grow. The properties offered at the inception of the SEED platform will provide independent bot developers with the same capabilities that Botanic currently offers to their customers. The foundation may, with community approval, initiate new projects, purchase new technologies or incentivize on-going development of any technologies, IP, or assets with any partner, including Botanic.
Will Seed Vault create its own IP in the future?
Absolutely. It is part of Seed Vault’s strategy to grow the capabilities and value of the SEED platform and token, both through the additional of developers and users and the development of new tools and IP usable on the platform. This IP will be determined by the community, as needed, and Seed Vault will provide the funds necessary to facilitate development and potentially even acquisition of code to make open source and available to all.
When do you anticipate SEED token demand from CUI developers, who want to operate on the network?
Developers have already joined the project and are working with Seed Vault to help shape some of the initiatives. As the token and platform become usable, in alpha and beta stages, developer partners will get access as soon as possible. Thousands of developers have already signed-up for more information and access as it becomes available, in addition to our formal partnerships with CUI developer communities like Bottish, BotWiki, and Pandorabots.
What is the development roadmap?
Details of the roadmap are available on page 34 of the White Paper.
Are Proof of Stake mechanisms planned (like masternodes or rewards for holding)?
SEED is the incentive to mobilize participants to join the network and contribute meaningfully to its growth, there it is designed to be used actively. Obviously in the early stages utility is limited but over time will increase.
Developers of bot components who upload content for licensing into a SEED marketplace or deploy a SEED-connected bot, have to stake an amount of SEED Tokens in the process and get rewarded with SEED Tokens for their contributions.
Reviewers or curators who rate bots have to stake an amount of SEED Tokens to do so, and get rewarded as they give more accurate reviews. We apply principles from curation markets and are finalizing our design.
The nodes in the initial network are planned to be configured using Proof of Authority, with a diverse set of known organisations running nodes validating transactions. Validators will receive a small amount of tokens to cover their cost.
We plan to expand the network infrastructure with staking nodes, where an amount of tokens is required to put at stake and nodes receive rewards based on that stake. Like all of the SEED network, we will build on proven technology for these low-level systems. In this configuration we aim to incentivise nodes to deliver high quality of service. If a node that has been bidding fails or goes off the network the stake is lost. Punishing nodes who fail or go offline improves network security, incentivizes validators to be careful about their node uptime, reduces censorship of transactions, and increases decentralization. Forfeited SEED Tokens are returned to the Seed Vault Ltd. foundation for use in paying developers for enhancements to the protocol, network, marketplaces, or other tools.
If you have more technical questions, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org