More on NFTs & Art
1 month ago
Most people are unaware of how artificial intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world.
Recently, I saw an interesting social media post. In an entrepreneurship forum. A blogger asked for help because he/she couldn't find customers. I now suspect that the writer’s occupation is being disrupted by A.I.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been a hot topic since the 1950s. With recent advances in machine learning, A.I. will touch almost every aspect of our lives. This article will discuss A.I. technology and its social and economic implications.
A computer program or machine with A.I. can think and learn. In general, it's a way to make a computer smart. Able to understand and execute complex tasks. Machine learning, NLP, and robotics are common types of A.I.
AI's global impact
AI will change the world, but probably faster than you think. A.I. already affects our daily lives. It improves our decision-making, efficiency, and productivity.
A.I. is transforming our lives and the global economy. It will create new business and job opportunities but eliminate others. Affected workers may face financial hardship.
OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation
Developers can train, deploy, and manage models on GPT-3. It handles data preparation, model training, deployment, and inference for machine learning workloads. GPT-3 is easy to use for both experienced and new data scientists.
My team conducted an experiment. We needed to generate some blog posts for a website. We hired a blogger on Upwork. OpenAI created a blog post. The A.I.-generated blog post was of higher quality and lower cost.
MidjourneyAI's Art Contests
AI already affects artists. Artists use A.I. to create realistic 3D images and videos for digital art. A.I. is also used to generate new art ideas and methods.
MidjourneyAI and GigapixelAI won a contest last month. It's AI. created a beautiful piece of art that captured the contest's spirit. AI triumphs. It could open future doors.
After the art contest win, I registered to try out these new image generating A.I.s. In the MidjourneyAI chat forum, I noticed an artist's plea. The artist begged others to stop flooding RedBubble with AI-generated art.
Shutterstock and Getty Images have halted user uploads. AI-generated images flooded online marketplaces.
Imagining Videos with Meta
Meta released Make-a-Video this week. It's an A.I. app that creates videos from text. What you type creates a video.
This technology will impact TV, movies, and video games greatly. Imagine a movie or game that's personalized to your tastes. It's closer than you think.
Uses and Abuses of Deepfakes
Deepfake videos are computer-generated images of people. AI creates realistic images and videos of people.
Deepfakes are entertaining but have social implications. Porn introduced deepfakes in 2017. People put famous faces on porn actors and actresses without permission.
Soon, deepfakes were used to show dead actors/actresses or make them look younger. Carrie Fischer was included in films after her death using deepfake technology.
Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion, according to an AI.
Voices for Darth Vader and Iceman
James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, sold his voice rights this week. Aged actor won't be in those movies. Respeecher will use AI to mimic Jones's voice. This technology could change the entertainment industry. One actor can now voice many characters.
AI can generate realistic voice audio from text. Top Gun 2 actor Val Kilmer can't speak for medical reasons. Sonantic created Kilmer's voice from the movie script. This entertaining technology has social implications. It blurs authentic recordings and fake media.
Medical A.I. fights viruses
A team of Chinese scientists used machine learning to predict effective antiviral drugs last year. They started with a large dataset of virus-drug interactions. Researchers combined that with medication and virus information. Finally, they used machine learning to predict effective anti-virus medicines. This technology could solve medical problems.
AI ideas AI-generated Itself
OpenAI's GPT-3 predicted future A.I. uses. Here's what it told me:
AI will affect the economy. Businesses can operate more efficiently and reinvest resources with A.I.-enabled automation. AI can automate customer service tasks, reducing costs and improving satisfaction.
A.I. makes better pricing, inventory, and marketing decisions. AI automates tasks and makes decisions. A.I.-powered robots could help the elderly or disabled. Self-driving cars could reduce accidents.
A.I. predictive analytics can predict stock market or consumer behavior trends and patterns. A.I. also personalizes recommendations. sways. A.I. recommends products and movies. AI can generate new ideas based on data analysis.
A.I. will change business as it becomes more common. It will change how we live and work by creating growth and prosperity.
Exciting times, but also one which should give us all pause. Technology can be good or evil. We must use new technologies ethically, fairly, and honestly.
“The author generated some sentences in this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The text of this post was further edited using HemingWayApp. Many of the images used were generated using A.I. as described in the captions.”
3 months ago
This is the driving force for my use of NFTs, which will completely transform the world.
Its not a fuc*ing fad.
It's not about boring monkeys or photos as nfts; that's just what's been pushed up and made a lot of money. The technology underlying those ridiculous nft photos will one day prove your house and automobile ownership and tell you where your banana came from. Are you ready for web3? Soar!
People don't realize that absolutely anything can and will be part of the blockchain and smart contracts, making them even better. I'll tell you a secret: it will and is happening.
Why is something blockchain-based a good idea? So let’s speak about cars!
So a new Tesla car is manufactured, and when you buy it, it is bound to an NFT on the blockchain that proves current ownership. The NFT in the smart contract can contain some data about the current owner of the car and some data about the car's status, such as the number of miles driven, the car's overall quality, and so on, as well as a reference to a digital document bound to the NFT that has more information.
Now, 40 years from now, if you want to buy a used automobile, you can scan the car's serial number to view its NFT and see all of its history, each owner, how long they owned it, if it had damages, and more. Since it's on the blockchain, it can't be tampered with.
When you're ready to buy it, the owner posts it for sale, you buy it, and it's sent to your wallet. 5 seconds to change owner, 100% safe and verifiable.
Incorporate insurance logic into the car contract. If you crashed, your car's smart contract would take money from your insurance contract and deposit it in an insurance company wallet.
It's limitless. Your funds may be used by investors to provide insurance as they profit from everyone's investments.
Or suppose all car owners in a country deposit a fixed amount of money into an insurance smart contract that promises if something happens, we'll take care of it. It could be as little as $100-$500 per year, and in a country with 10 million people, maybe 3 million would do that, which would be $500 000 000 in that smart contract and it would be used by the insurance company to invest in assets or take a cut, literally endless possibilities.
Instead of $300 per month, you may pay $300 per year to be covered if something goes wrong, and that may include multiple insurances.
What about your grocery store banana, though?
Yes that too.
You can scan a banana to learn its complete history. You'll be able to see where it was cultivated, every middleman in the supply chain, and hopefully the banana's quality, farm, and ingredients used.
If you want locally decent bananas, you can only buy them, offering you transparency and options. I believe it will be an online marketplace where farmers publish their farms and products for trust and transparency. You might also buy bananas from the farmer.
And? Food security to finish the article. If an order of bananas included a toxin, you could easily track down every banana from the same origin and supply chain and uncover the root cause. This is a tremendous thing that will save lives and have a big impact; did you realize that 1 in 6 Americans gets poisoned by food every year? This could lower the number.
Smart contracts can issue nfts as proof of ownership and include functionality.
9 months ago
Why I Love Azuki
Azuki Banner (www.azuki.com)
Disclaimer: This is my personal viewpoint. I'm not on the Azuki team. Please keep in mind that I am merely a fan, community member, and holder. Please do your own research and pardon my grammar. Thanks!
Azuki has changed my view of NFTs.
When I first entered the NFT world, I had no idea what to expect. I liked the idea. So I invested in some projects, fought for whitelists, and discovered some cool NFTs projects (shout-out to CATC). I lost more money than I earned at one point, but I hadn't invested excessively (only put in what you can afford to lose). Despite my losses, I kept looking. I almost waited for the “ah-ha” moment. A NFT project that changed my perspective on NFTs. What makes an NFT project more than a work of art?
The Azuki art drew me in as an anime fan. It looked like something out of an anime, and I'd never seen it before in NFT.
The project was still new. The first two animated teasers were released with little fanfare, but I was impressed with their quality. You can find them on Instagram or in their earlier Tweets.
The teasers hinted that this project could be big and that the team could deliver. It was amazing to see Shao cut the Azuki posters with her katana. Especially at the end when she sheaths her sword and the music cues. Then the live action video of the young boy arranging the Azuki posters seemed movie-like. I felt like I was entering the Azuki story, brand, and dope theme.
The team did not disappoint with the Azuki NFTs. The level of detail in the art is stunning. There were Azukis of all genders, skin and hair types, and more. These 10,000 Azukis have so much representation that almost anyone can find something that resonates. Rather than me rambling on, I suggest you visit the Azuki gallery
If the art is meant to draw you in and be the project's face, the team makes it more. The NFT would be a JPEG without a good team leader. Not that community isn't important, but no community would rally around a bad team.
Because I've been rugged before, I'm very focused on the team when considering a project. While many project teams are anonymous, I try to find ones that are doxxed (public) or at least appear to be established. Unlike Azuki, where most of the Azuki team is anonymous, Steamboy is public. He is (or was) Overwatch's character art director and co-creator of Azuki. I felt reassured and could trust the project after seeing someone from a major game series on the team.
Then I tried to learn as much as I could about the team. Following everyone on Twitter, reading their tweets, and listening to recorded AMAs. I was impressed by the team's professionalism and dedication to their vision for Azuki, led by ZZZAGABOND.
I believe the phrase “actions speak louder than words” applies to Azuki. I can think of a few examples of what the Azuki team has done, but my favorite is ERC721A.
With ERC721A, Azuki has created a new algorithm that allows minting multiple NFTs for essentially the same cost as minting one NFT.
I was ecstatic when the dev team announced it. This fascinates me as a self-taught developer. Azuki released a product that saves people money, improves the NFT space, and is open source. It showed their love for Azuki and the NFT community.
Community, community, community. It's almost a chant in the NFT space now. A community, like a team, can make or break a project. We are the project's consumers, shareholders, core, and lifeblood. The team builds the house, and we fill it. We stay for the community.
When I first entered the Azuki Discord, I was surprised by the calm atmosphere. There was no news about the project. No release date, no whitelisting requirements. No grinding or spamming either. People just wanted to hangout, get to know each other, and talk. It was nice. So the team could pick genuine people for their mintlist (aka whitelist).
But nothing fundamental has changed since the release. It has remained an authentic, fun, and helpful community. I'm constantly logging into Discord to chat with others or follow conversations. I see the community's openness to newcomers. Everyone respects each other (barring a few bad apples) and the variety of people passing through is fascinating. This human connection and interaction is what I enjoy about this place. Being a part of a group that supports a cause.
Finally, I want to thank the amazing Azuki mod team and the kissaten channel for their contributions.
So, what sets Azuki apart from other projects? They are shaping a brand or identity. The Azuki website, I believe, best captures their vision. (This is me gushing over the site.)
If you go to the website, turn on the dope playlist in the bottom left. The playlist features a mix of Asian and non-Asian hip-hop and rap artists, with some lo-fi thrown in. The songs on the playlist change, but I think you get the vibe Azuki embodies just by turning on the music.
The Garden is our next stop where we are introduced to Azuki.
We're creating a new brand together.
A metaverse brand. By the people.
A collection of 10,000 avatars that grant Garden membership. It starts with exclusive streetwear collabs, NFT drops, live events, and more. Azuki allows for a new media genre that the world has yet to discover. Let's build together an Azuki, your metaverse identity.
The Garden is a magical internet corner where art, community, and culture collide. The boundaries between the physical and digital worlds are blurring.
Try a Red Bean.
The text begins with Azuki's intention in the space. It's a community-made metaverse brand. Then it goes into more detail about Azuki's plans. Initiation of a story or journey. "Would you like to take the red bean and jump down the rabbit hole with us?" I love the Matrix red pill or blue pill play they used. (Azuki in Japanese means red bean.)
Morpheus, the rebel leader, offers Neo the choice of a red or blue pill in The Matrix. “You take the blue pill... After the story, you go back to bed and believe whatever you want. Your red pill... Let me show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Aware that the red pill will free him from the enslaving control of the machine-generated dream world and allow him to escape into the real world, he takes it. However, living the “truth of reality” is harsher and more difficult.
It's intriguing and draws you in. Taking the red bean causes what? Where am I going? I think they did well in piqueing a newcomer's interest.
Not convinced by the Garden? Read the Manifesto. It reinforces Azuki's role.
Here comes a new wave…
And surfing here is different.
Breaking down barriers.
Building open communities.
Creating magic internet money with our friends.
To those who don’t get it, we tell them: gm.
They’ll come around eventually.
Here’s to the ones with the courage to jump down a peculiar rabbit hole.
One that pulls you away from a world that’s created by many and owned by few…
To a world that’s created by more and owned by all.
From The Garden come the human beans that sprout into your family.
We rise together.
We build together.
We grow together.
Ready to take the red bean?
Not to mention the Mindmap, it sets Azuki apart from other projects and overused Roadmaps. I like how the team recognizes that the NFT space is not linear. So many of us are still trying to figure it out. It is Azuki's vision to adapt to changing environments while maintaining their values. I admire their commitment to long-term growth.
To be honest, I have no idea what the future holds. Azuki is still new and could fail. But I'm a long-term Azuki fan. I don't care about quick gains. The future looks bright for Azuki. I believe in the team's output. I love being an Azuki.
Thank you! IKUZO!
Full post here
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15 days ago
When we want to return anything, why on earth do stores still require a receipt?
A friend told me of an incident she found particularly irritating: a retailer where she is a frequent client, with an account and loyalty card, asked for the item's receipt.
We all know that stores collect every bit of data they can on us, including our socio-demographic profile, address, shopping habits, and everything we've ever bought, so why would they need a fading receipt? Who knows? That their consumers try to pass off other goods? It's easy to verify past transactions to see when the item was purchased.
That's it. Why require receipts? Companies send us incentives, discounts, and other marketing, yet when we need something, we have to prove we're not cheating.
Why require us to preserve data and documents when our governments and governmental institutions already have them? Why do I need to carry documents like my driver's license if the authorities can check if I have one and what state it's in once I prove my identity?
We shouldn't be required to give someone data or documents they already have. The days of waiting up with our paperwork for a stern official to inform us something is missing are over.
How can retailers still ask if you have a receipt if we've made our slow, bureaucratic, and all-powerful government sensible? Then what? The shop may not accept your return (which has a two-year window, longer than most purchase tickets last) or they may just let you replace the item.
Isn't this an anachronism in the age of CRMs, customer files that know what we ate for breakfast, and loyalty programs? If government and bureaucracies have learnt to use its own files and make life easier for the consumer, why do retailers ask for a receipt?
They're adding friction to the system. They know we can obtain a refund, use our warranty, or get our money back. But if I ask for ludicrous criteria, like keeping the purchase receipt in your wallet (wallet? another anachronism, if I leave the house with only my smartphone! ), it will dissuade some individuals and tip the scales in their favor when it comes to limiting returns. Some manager will take credit for lowering returns and collect her annual bonus. Having the wrong metrics is common in management.
To slow things down, asking for a receipt is like asking us to perform a handstand and leap 20 times on one foot. You have my information, use it to send me everything, and know everything I've bought, yet when I need a two-way service, you refuse to utilize it and require that I keep it and prove it.
Refuse as customers. If retailers want our business, they should treat us well, not just when we spend money. If I come to return a product, claim its use or warranty, or be taught how to use it, I am the same person you treated wonderfully when I bought it. Remember that, and act accordingly.
A store should use my information for everything, not just what it wants. Keep my info, but don't sell me anything.
Ren & Heinrich
30 days ago
200 DeFi Projects were examined. Here is what I learned.
I analyze the top 200 DeFi crypto projects in this article.
This isn't a study. The findings benefit crypto investors.
A set of data
I analyzed data from defillama.com. In my analysis, I used the top 200 DeFis by TVL in October 2022.
Total Locked Value
The chart below shows platform-specific locked value.
14 platforms had $1B+ TVL. 65 platforms have $100M-$1B TVL. The remaining 121 platforms had TVLs below $100 million, with the lowest being $23 million.
TVLs are distributed Pareto. Top 40% of DeFis account for 80% of TVLs.
Ethereum's blockchain leads DeFi. 96 of the examined projects offer services on Ethereum. Behind BSC, Polygon, and Avalanche.
Five platforms used 10+ blockchains. 36 between 2-10 159 used 1 blockchain.
Use Cases for DeFi
The chart below shows platform use cases. Each platform has decentralized exchanges, liquid staking, yield farming, and lending.
These use cases are DefiLlama's main platform features.
Which use case costs the most? Chart explains. Collateralized debt, liquid staking, dexes, and lending have high TVLs.
The DeFi Industry
I compared three high-TVL platforms (Maker DAO, Balancer, AAVE). The columns show monthly TVL and token price changes. The graph shows monthly Bitcoin price changes.
Each platform's market moves similarly.
Probably because most DeFi deposits are cryptocurrencies. Since individual currencies are highly correlated with Bitcoin, it's not surprising that they move in unison.
This analysis shows that the most common DeFi services (decentralized exchanges, liquid staking, yield farming, and lending) also have the highest average locked value.
Some projects run on one or two blockchains, while others use 15 or 20. Our analysis shows that a project's blockchain count has no correlation with its success.
It's hard to tell if certain use cases are rising. Bitcoin's price heavily affects the entire DeFi market.
TVL seems to be a good indicator of a DeFi platform's success and quality. Higher TVL platforms are cheaper. They're a better long-term investment because they gain or lose less value than DeFis with lower TVLs.
4 months ago
100-day SaaS buildout.
We're opening up Maki through a series of Medium posts. We'll describe what Maki is building and how. We'll explain how we built a SaaS in 100 days. This isn't a step-by-step guide to starting a business, but a product philosophy to help you build quickly.
Focus on end-users.
This may seem obvious, but it's important to talk to users first. When we started thinking about Maki, we interviewed 100 HR directors from SMBs, Next40 scale-ups, and major Enterprises to understand their concerns. We initially thought about the future of employment, but most of their worries centered on Recruitment. We don't have a clear recruiting process, it's time-consuming, we recruit clones, we don't support diversity, etc. And as hiring managers, we couldn't help but agree.
Co-create your product with your end-users.
We went to the drawing board, read as many books as possible (here, here, and here), and when we started getting a sense for a solution, we questioned 100 more operational HR specialists to corroborate the idea and get a feel for our potential answer. This confirmed our direction to help hire more objectively and efficiently.
Back to the drawing board, we designed our first flows and screens. We organized sessions with certain survey respondents to show them our early work and get comments. We got great input that helped us build Maki, and we met some consumers. Obsess about users and execute alongside them.
Don’t shoot for the moon, yet. Make pragmatic choices first.
Once we were convinced, we began building. To launch a SaaS in 100 days, we needed an operating principle that allowed us to accelerate while still providing a reliable, secure, scalable experience. We focused on adding value and outsourced everything else. Example:
Concentrate on adding value. Reuse existing bricks.
When determining which technology to use, we looked at our strengths and the future to see what would last. Node.js for backend, React for frontend, both with typescript. We thought this technique would scale well since it would attract more talent and the surrounding mature ecosystem would help us go quicker.
We explored for ways to bootstrap services while setting down strong foundations that might support millions of users. We built our backend services on NestJS so we could extend into microservices later. Hasura, a GraphQL APIs engine, automates Postgres data exposing through a graphQL layer. MUI's ready-to-use components powered our design-system. We used well-maintained open-source projects to speed up certain tasks.
We outsourced important components of our platform (Auth0 for authentication, Stripe for billing, SendGrid for notifications) because, let's face it, we couldn't do better. We choose to host our complete infrastructure (SQL, Cloud run, Logs, Monitoring) on GCP to simplify our work between numerous providers.
Focus on your business, use existing bricks for the rest. For the curious, we'll shortly publish articles detailing each stage.
Most importantly, empower people and step back.
We couldn't have done this without the incredible people who have supported us from the start. Since Powership is one of our key values, we provided our staff the power to make autonomous decisions from day one. Because we believe our firm is its people, we hired smart builders and let them build.
Nicolas left Spendesk to create scalable interfaces using react-router, react-queries, and MUI. JD joined Swile and chose Hasura as our GraphQL engine. Jérôme chose NestJS to build our backend services. Since then, Justin, Ben, Anas, Yann, Benoit, and others have followed suit.
If you consider your team a collective brain, you should let them make decisions instead of directing them what to do. You'll make mistakes, but you'll go faster and learn faster overall.
Invest in great talent and develop a strong culture from the start. Here's how to establish a SaaS in 100 days.