Tue. Mar 19th, 2019

Interview with Trent McConaghy – Founder of Ocean Protocol, AI*Blockchain Expert | Humans of Blockchain

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Welcome to our comprehensive interview series – Humans of Blockchain  where we get the best in the business to answer diverse questions.

This series will clear the air of doubt in the blockchain space today by focusing on bringing more transparency to the readers.

Our guest, today, is Trent McConaghy, Founder of Ocean Protocol, An Expert in the AI*Blockchain Industry.

Not wasting much time, let’s hear it out from Trent himself.


1. We would love to know more about you Trent. Your journey and how you get into the blockchain space?

I worked on AI for nearly 20 years, via two startups and a Ph.D. I learned about Bitcoin in 2010 and got my hands on a few of them. But I really got into it in early 2013 after realizing the full potential of blockchain technology. From mid-2013 onwards my team and I built ascribe (IP on the blockchain), BigchainDB (blockchain database), and more recently Ocean Protocol.


2. Can you tell more about Ocean Protocol and what do you see as the most exciting application of Ocean Protocol?

AI is wildly powerful and has great potential to benefit civilization. Yet in its current trajectory, most of the benefits will flow into the pockets of a small number of people. Ocean is about forging a different path for AI, one where the benefits of AI can spread. The key to that is to equalize the opportunity to access data (while preserving privacy) since the success of most modern AI is so strongly dependent on the amount of data.


3. What are the major problems faced while adopting blockchain and AI at present and what are the shortcomings according to your views?

The key is to simply solve real problems, or provide real value (value to society or business). Do this and adoption will follow. This has been my experience in building and deploying AI technology that touched the planet.


4. What might be the major factors influencing fundraising for startups in 2019?

The bear market is a good thing, as it filters away scammers and makes it easier for genuine value-adding projects to shine.


5. What does success look like for your project- Ocean Protocol?

If we can make a difference in creating a sustainable future for humanity, I’m a happy person. We trying to do this specifically by using Ocean as a vehicle to catalyze “AI for good” projects and scale them to the planet.


6. There was a recent market crash. Does that affect your project? If so, how?

The crypto market has had several crashes over the years. We simply keep building, to create value for society.


7. What do you see the year 2019 holding for Blockchain projects? And last remarks on Blockchain and AI

What excites me is that we can solve the biggest challenge of AI – shortage of data due to privacy concerns – using tools from blockchain. We can have our cake and eat it too: get the data without compromising privacy. This unlocks amazing applications. Here’s one of my dreams: a friend of mine builds AI models to predict cancer, with a dataset of 100 people. With thousands of input variables. The result is that the AI models are pretty terrible, which means it’s hard to detect cancer early. What if we can build from a dataset of 100 million people? While preserving privacy. Ocean unlocks this! This can save countless lives. And that’s just one application of Ocean. There are dozens or perhaps hundreds like this.

We can use Ocean to scale AI for good 😀


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