When you combine distributed open source communications and distribution protocols with distributed open source money and sprinkle in the power of AI things get very exciting.
The #AI4ALL hackathon organized by Fedi and Stak ended last week with the winners being announced earler this afternoon. The PhotoBolt project took home the grand prize of $10,000 worth of bitcoin and I wanted to highlight it here today because it is a great view into the power of combining lightning, Nostr and AI to create powerful work flows that enable individuals to access AI tools over an open distributed communications protocol.
Before I jump into the meat of the post I will acknowledge that this project combines three of the biggest buzzwords in the industry at the moment; lightning, Nostr and AI. Lightning gets a bad rap because many believe it hasn't lived up to the hype since launching in 2018. I would argue that we're finally reaching a point where the landscape of implementations, dev tools, and wallets is mature enough to begin building useful applications at scale and begin getting lightning integrated across the web. Nostr is a nascent distributed protocol that many view as a pet project that is distracting many bitcoiners. I think that Nostr has a lot of scaling issues to solve before it can be considered a massive success, but the progress that's been made over the last two years and the speed at which things are getting built is undeniable. AI is going through a hype cycle that will come with a lot of capital misallocation. This is certainly the case, but there is little doubt that there are definitive use cases for AI that will be massively beneficial for humanity.
What PhotoBolt built during the AI4All hackathon highlights the potential power of combining these three things. Nostr provides an avenue to broadcast work requests via events that are picked up by AI bots scanning the network for work to do. Once they find the work they connect with the person looking to get the work done and present them with a lightning network invoice that ensures that they get paid for the work and then they complete their task(s). Put another way, there is an open two-sided marketplace developing where individuals can request work to be done and AI bots compete on price to deliver that work and are incentivized to do so because they get paid up front. I don't think many grasp how powerful this will be at scale or what it means for open innovation that will be extremely hard to stop.
When you combine distributed open source communications and distribution protocols with distributed open source money and sprinkle in the power of AI things get very exciting. PhotoBolt may be a "rough around the edges" hackathon project, but I think it highlights the massive potential we have to completely reimagine and rework the way the digital economy operates. Open networks produce the freest markets humanity has ever seen and sound digital money enables them to operate efficiently.
I miss my laptop.