Edge Of Science & Data: Data Con LA + IM Data 2022 Panel Feat. Josh Kriger + Stanley Bishop & Gordon Gould (New Atlantis) 

October 3, 2022

In today’s episode of the Edge of NFT Podcast, Josh Kriger sits down with Gordon Gould and Stanley Bishop from New Atlantis, an open platform for ocean and biodiversity regeneration, to unpack the origin of decentralized science and how that movement is serviced by the utilities that NFTs offer. Part of the New Atlantis’ core team, Gordon and Stanley dive into biodiversity markets, bioinformatics technology, tokenomics, biodiversity credits, IP ownership, and even the MRNA technology for the COVID vaccine. NFTs truly have a lot of fantastic roles. Tune in to discover what's now possible with NFTs, data, and open science and how you can take part in helping save the ocean and get compensated for it.


Listen to the podcast here

Edge Of Science & Data: Data Con LA + IM Data 2022 Panel Feat. Josh Kriger + Stanley Bishop & Gordon Gould (New Atlantis)

Welcome, everyone, to our fourth annual IM Data Conference. Thank you to our panelists for coming out. We're super excited. You're our first panel group. That's exciting. I'm not going to take the honor of introducing them because these guys are going to do a way better job at that than me. The floor is all yours. Thank you.

Thanks for having us. Gordon, Stanley and I are of the rare breed where this is more fun than being on the beach for Sunday. You will start to understand why we're so passionate. My name is Josh Kriger. I'm one of the Cohosts and Cofounders of Edge of Company. We produce the Edge of NFT podcast, which is one of the top NFT podcasts in the world. We also host NFT LA. The inaugural one had about 4,000 attendees, 150 satellite events, and 11 million media impressions. People care a lot about what is going on in this space. That was the lesson learned there. We will be hosting that again on March 23, 2023.

I'm also building and advising in this space. I'm passionate about real utility-based approaches to NFTs. Part of my background in a former life before being an entrepreneur is I worked in Federal government consulting. I helped program the Geospatial Line of Business and do some data analytics projects around homelessness and veterans. That's where I learned about the power of data in an open government and what can be done in the innovation world.

I started the first-ever innovation lab in the Federal government with Housing and Urban Development, which was full of bureaucratic challenges and opportunities to empower the stakeholder with information and bring them into what the government is doing. We see a lot of these similar trends in what's possible with data, NFTs and open science, which we will talk about here. I would love to hear from Stanley and Gordon a little bit about yourselves and why this topic is relevant to the work that you do.

My name is Stanley Bishop. I'm a mathematician who works as a data scientist and a machine learning scientist. Typically, I build computer systems that help scientists in other fields use machine learning in their research. I also have run an alternative art tech incubator in Venice Beach called Spacepost Labs for the past ten years as a community service practice. We try to bring technology and art together in interesting ways. My entry to NFTs was them becoming an incredibly powerful tool for building inclusion for artists.

Having gotten some cool exposure to NFTs, Web3 and the art space, I've discovered that in my main life as a scientist, they have some incredible contributions. I've been contributing as a bioinformatic solutions architect to a project called LabDAO, which I'm excited to talk about. Roughly, LabDAO is looking to use transparency in the blockchain to lead to scientific reproducibility and stability of the software, which is a big problem in the field of genetics and bioinformatics. I can also queue up and hand the microphone to Gordon for LabDAO, which is looking to support scientific projects. Gordon's project is probably the most important one we're working on right now.

I'm Gordon. Stanley is the Chief Architect of the project that we're working on together called New Atlantis, which is an ocean region DAO. We're very focused on building biodiversity markets for the oceans. By way of background, this is going to severely date me because I'm the oldest person in the room here. I've been in the internet business since the early '90s. I did a ten-year stint with my wife and business partner where we built and sold a CPG company. We built it to $200 million in revenue and exited through Unilever in 2020. I have been working full-time in crypto since then.

I have been an investor in crypto since 2016. I have raised a lot of venture and PE money over the course of my career. I've done digital publishing, early mobile communications platforms, and early social web and social shopping. New Atlantis is our full-time focus. I don't know if any of you have Apple TVs. There's a picture of the swimming polar bear on the screensaver. The guy who shot that is named Paul Nicklen. He's one of the founding partners of New Atlantis along with me and Stanley. He is the most followed photographer on Instagram in any category. His wife is the most followed female photographer.

We originally started New Atlantis like, "Let's sell some NFTs to raise money for ocean projects," but we quickly realized that the NGO model is super broken. After spending a year studying ocean conservation and emerging opportunities, we focused on the idea of biodiversity markets. I'm sure all of you have heard of carbon credits and the carbon market. There's carbon and there's climate. Carbon is a proxy for that. There's nature, which is biodiversity. Nature gets forgotten a lot in a lot of these things and having a planet that's the right temperature but with no life. There's no wind.

We're very focused on preserving marine biodiversity. It's worth noting that the ocean sequesters sixteen times more carbon than the total combined area of all terrestrial ecosystems. Most of that sequestration comes through life. We're building New Atlantis. We will be selling NFTs as memberships in the community. We may be doing one-of-one NFTs for high-end collectors with Paul and Christina's work. We're interested in using NFTs as governance tools as well, not just as collectibles.

NFT Science/Data | Open Science
Open Science: NFTs can also be used as governance tools, not just as collectibles.

What was the product that you sold to Unilever?

It's a gummy vitamin brand called SmartyPants. I ran the data science team for us and the Amazon business. We grew that from $0 to $110 million. We were the number one multivitamin in Amazon for eight years in a row before we exited. We were in 30,000 stores across the US.

We both had that food tech background. Stanley, let's start with you and unpack the origins of decentralized science, which is the underpinning for this whole conversation, and how that movement is serviced by the utility that NFTs offer.

That's my favorite topic. You can ask my girlfriend. It's hard to get me to shut up about it. It's great to be here with you all again. Decentralized science has been fascinating. To me, a lot of the practices grow out of the field of open-source science. I've been a contributor to various open-source science projects for quite a while. You see incredible successes but then you see a lot of the same failures, particularly when a project reaches a point where there's a lot of demand and it needs to scale.

If a project didn't start with a profit motive alignment, it's very challenging for an open-source project to pivot into systemic operationalization for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is money. When you have a project that wasn't originally envisioned with a motive, it can be hard to fit it into the four corners of a business deck in a way that venture capitalists would normally understand.

One project they contribute to that's a beautiful project is called DeepChem. It's out of Stanford. There are a lot of the same people who do Folding@home, which is such a fascinating example of pre-blockchain decentralized science. This is an interesting project because there are a bunch of very high-level quantum simulation tools for molecular dynamics.

It's stuff that's done with the best-in-class software practices. In bioinformatics, there's a little factoid that we should all be ashamed of. The more impactful a piece of bioinformatics technology is in terms of research, the less likely it is to run in terms of code. It's the only field where that's true. There's a big cultural issue in bioinformatics that to me all spins from over-centralization.

The more impactful a piece of bioinformatics technology is in terms of research, the less likely it is to run in terms of code. Click To Tweet

To bring an example on this project, DeepChem has the most stable, reliable and reproducible tools for the quantum simulation of molecular dynamics. The tools are starting to be used by Big Pharma companies all over the place but then it's a struggle to get enough developer time to do the work as the tools become more popular because they started within an open context. In the Web2 world, it is difficult to pivot into a profit or a partial profit context.

I'm thinking about going down the rabbit hole, which is to think of everything you said in relation to the COVID vaccine process and the fact that that was semi-permeable, which is a big deal for a situation where most of the time, that doesn't even happen. With it also came a lot of challenges. Maybe you can talk about your perspective there as it relates to open science. What about these NFTs? How do they fit into the mix?

You opened up a different can of worms with the COVID vaccine because we are very fortunate that we did have the MR technology for the J&J vaccine, which was a DNA vaccine that was not so good. A lot of the easier reasons we're having so far with COVID are because the mRNA vaccines do produce robust immunity. That almost didn't happen.

There's a particular female scientist that is going to win the next biology Nobel for her work. She believes that mRNA vaccines would be possible. She was told by her institution, “They weren't possible, and if you don't stop studying them, we're terminating your employment here. That's not a subject we're interested in supporting." She laughed and founded a company and is now going to be a legendary hero for progressive history.

There are a lot of situations where the over-centralization of decision-making in science leads to bad outcomes. What would lead to good outcomes? How does this NFT stuff fit into the picture? At LabDAO, we're doing an interesting thing. We're taking bioinformatics workflows and putting them on the chain in a reproducible way. For example, New Atlantis is creating what's called a Metagenome Pipeline.

NFT Science/Data | Open Science
Open Science: There are a lot of situations where the over-centralization of decision-making in science leads to really bad outcomes.

It's a system that takes every little fragment of DNA that's present in a cubic yard of ocean water and produces the taxonomy of what species that DNA is evidence of, and even gets some of the details of the metabolic interactions between the different creatures. It's a powerful piece of bioinformatics technology that has only been possible in the past few years. Typically, if you find it, it won't run.

We're going to move back to NFTs. A lot of people talk about NFTs as mini-computers with layers of metadata. Is that the connection we're talking about here?

100%. The workflow would exist as an NFT on the blockchain. The relationships the NFT has with the workflows that have been executed off of it are transparent. You can see what success people have had with different hardware and software configurations. All of that becomes a shared and learnable common source database.

Gordon, you can help us bring traditional blockchain infrastructure and tokenomics into this. As you're looking at New Atlantis and this ambitious project that you have, it seems like there's a hybrid economy here where you've got NFTs that serve a purpose from a metadata layer but also there are some benefits with some of the pure blockchain infrastructure and tokenomics. How do you see those two fitting together?

NFTs have a couple of roles. One is the one that Stanley outlined in the workflow. Second, as I alluded to earlier, was membership. Those can be different tiered memberships. That's more about access and direct fundraising into the DAO. The third one also could be an NFT that represents certain areas within the ocean. People can buy into a square kilometer of ocean. To your question about tokenomics, we start to develop biocredits based on the biodiversity within that square kilometer. Those can get put into the piggy bank of that NFT.

If I buy a part of the ocean and support your project, can I fly there in the metaverse and hang out?

Can we get you to do that and tell the story? That's part of the power of community building that we're excited about.

Certainly, an important thing that we're talking about here is that narrative or that storytelling that makes more people curious about the project. That's part of the power of NFTs.

It's the ability to leverage that community engagement into monetization and commercial reality. That storytelling is a huge part of the model. I was excitedly sharing that Oxford Nanopore liked a tweet of mine with Gordon at the start of this talk. I don't know if you've heard of Oxford Nanopore but it's a Star Trek tricorder for DNA. It's a little device you can plug into your cell phone, take to the beach, and sequence the water at the beach. One of the things we're excited about is empowering citizen scientists to do regenerative work on the oceans and get compensated for it. You could travel to your favorite MPA and sequence it, and then benefit from the economics and the data.

We must empower citizens and scientists to do regenerative work on the oceans and get compensated for it. Click To Tweet

I see your collab with Baby Shark at some point in the future.

Do you want me to talk about tokenomics?

Yes, please. Sorry, that was a little bit of a tangent.

To Stanley's point, the narrative is super important in this space because most people don't care about technology per se. They want to get behind a story, some art or a cause, or they want to make money. NFT appreciation or price appreciation is certainly one area to do it, but our focus is on marine biodiversity markets. NFTs can be containers that can hold these biocredits at the end of the day. The biocredits will be a fungible layer and empower the overall community.

The International Monetary Fund, which is a giant potentially questionable international institution that manages trillions of dollars, has put a price tag on the ecosystem's value of the oceans at around $30 trillion a year. Putting actual pricing onto these ecosystem services represents a massive trillion type of opportunity to build a market. Those fungible layers will allow the NFTs to accrue value, not just on the art side but as they represent certain aspects of the ocean or pieces of the IP that is developed either by the DAO and the Metagenome Pipeline or the people on top of our platform.

NFT Science/Data | Open Science
Open Science: The International Monetary Fund has put a price tag on the ecosystem value of the oceans at around $30 trillion a year. Putting actual pricing onto these ecosystem services represents a massive trillion-type opportunity to build a market.

How do you create a sustainable tokenomics model there that isn't going to be another Axie Infinity or one of the many projects that we had high hopes for but ultimately, correlated strongly with the markets and flatlined? Is that even possible?

Tokenomics is a hugely complex question. The real answer is that we don't know all the answers, but we are big believers in the idea that we have to try because as Elon says about SpaceX, "The odds are likely that they will fail but you need to take the swing because what's the alternative?" This gets down into a little bit of the weeds but there's something called a Marine Protected Area, which is a national park for the oceans. The United Nations has said that we need to get about 30% of the oceans into these MPAs by 2030. Less than 8% of the oceans are in MPAs. Only 3% of the ones that aren't nominally in MPAs have even marginal funding to manage their enforcement.

You have a scenario where you've effectively got a 10X the amount of ocean that needs to be adequately protected to protect our remaining biosphere. These MPAs are government programs often in the Global South in a world where there's increasing energy shortage, increasing food shortage, and deglobalization, which is going to impact supply chains and inflations. For anybody who's downstream of the dollar, it's going to be very problematic. It's very unlikely that Global South governments are going to be positioned to adequately fund these MPAs.

What we can do is go in, look at the MPAs, evaluate the health of those MPAs, and start to generate both carbon credits and eventually biodiversity credits that can be used to fund that MPA. Speculators are also able to participate in that because they can bet early that the value of a square kilometer, square meter, or cubic meter in the case of the water column, will have a discount associated with it now because the data resolution won't be as good as it will be in 3 to 5 years as our platform gets developed and we get more time series data.

There's an idea of green bonds that people can buy into. The problem with Axie is the game wasn't that fun to begin with, which is problematic in a game. It was also a child of excess liquidity in the marketplace. In our case, we have 130 million kilometers that need to be protected by the oceans. That's a big speculative opportunity. A lot of governments are also going to be looking to swap their nature-based assets for debt that they owe. By being able to price the value of those marine ecosystems, we can help them swap living ecosystems instead of forcing them into situations where they've got to exploit those ecosystems to make debt payments.

As we think about all these opportunities, some core things always come up. One of those things is IP ownership. That's a particularly interesting topic when it comes to science and what we're talking about here with decentralization and encouraging innovation. At the same time, people who are going to dedicate their lives to research want some value back because let's face it, it's not the highest-paying job all the time.

Particularly in academia.

Stanley, I would love to get your perspective on how NFTs and IP interact or the ways that you're thinking about data science and IP rights.

I mentioned LabDAO supporting them in Cloud architecture for data science and environment informatics. They have some partner DAOs that I also work with through the relationship. It's interesting too to mention in particular VitaDAO and Molecule. Molecule has a very banger DeSci podcast. You should start it too. It's worth checking out. Do you know a longevity DAO?

Their articulation of the research use case towards human longevity is one that's very suited to decentralized science. It's interesting. To a lot of pharma companies, it might not make sense as a profit motive for them to be researching extending life. It might not be. There are certain situations where it is. Allocating funds specifically to extend the human lifespan is something we all have an interest in. It's cool to see it happening in a decentralized way.

Many pharma companies have a profit motive and allocate funds specifically to extend human lifespan. Click To Tweet

Let's bring that back to IP rights. How does that fit in with these DAOs and with the work that you are doing? How is it different from traditional IP assignments?

VitaDAO and Molecule DAO are both pioneering the use case of an IP NFT framework. They're both dispensing. They have medium eight-figure fund allocations. They have about half of their funds out to different labs. The IP that those labs are working on will be memorialized in IP NFTs. Those are some of the first examples of that being done. It's a thing where the researchers will get residuals for any use of the software side of their research.

Gordon, out of curiosity, do you think NFTs further complicate IP assignments or make them easier?

I think both. They make it easier. In that the way we think about IP for New Atlantis, for example, we want to enable collective intelligence into New Atlantis. The goal is to create a very broad dataset. NFTs are representative of datasets being uploaded by people. Those datasets or the motion of raw data will be an NFT. Those NFTs are used to calculate credits.

Those NFTs can start to accrue value that way. Similarly, as algorithms that people might submit or their algo for making forecasting predictions about ecosystem health, for example, get incorporated into the meta-model of our approach in terms of calculating biodiversity credits, the NFT that represents that algo can also get a revenue stream associated with it.

In that sense, they make things easier because now a random researcher in a lab somewhere who comes up with an interesting mechanistic model to forecast coral reef health might publish a paper that ten people will read and say, "I can upload this into New Atlantis." There's a revenue stream that can be associated with it. That's a big value unlock. It can make things complicated too from a regulatory standpoint.

We have seen the Treasury Department be very aggressive in crypto. They have been going after Tornado Cash, which is different but you never know what foolishness is likely to come out of the SEC and the Treasury Department around the IP and these ideas around accredited investors. You all know what an accredited investor status is. That's in my opinion a stupid law or set of laws. NFT investment could run afoul of accredited investor laws. That could be a complication. You could see a lot of US citizens being blocked from participating in IP NFTs.

When we look at the film world and some of the music royalties, it does trigger the curiosity of the SEC. There is this security NFT path that's being forged. Everyone is walking or running ahead with partial vision and trying to invest. My follow-up question on that point is this. You come from a big-brand background and some pretty regulated environments. This is a project that you're super passionate about. It was progressing before NFTs were involved. Why do you have to go down this decentralized science path to amplify your work?

NFT Science/Data | Open Science
Open Science: This security NFT path is being forged, and everyone's walking or running ahead with a partial vision right now and trying to invest.

The ocean is a common good. It's the biggest geofeature on Earth. Both the optics and the ethics of it being tapped to a small group of people trying to own the platform that is valued by diversity notions is extremely problematic. Beyond the social justice aspects of it, if you want to aggregate the best collective intelligence from the ocean science community as well as the regenerative finance community around the world, you want to build an open platform.

You want to align incentives toward creating an economic system where people can contribute data, know-how, or useful work in exchange for tokens. The token price is ultimately linked to improvements in the health of the ecosystem overall. If we can align ecosystem health with value appreciation in the token, then you have a positive upward spiral. The way that you get broad alignment is you get a lot of people involved.

I mentioned to these guys that we get hundreds of requests to be on the show that pour in every month. It's something I always think about, "Why is everyone compelled to try this?" It's because other methods have failed. This seems like it has promise. We have to give it a shot because some of the core components or frameworks of civilization are embedded in the use of this technology in terms of how communities gather, build tribe culture, and support each other. It can be profound what's possible here. I'm sure the audiences have some questions.

One other point in what you're saying too is that a lot of these are embedded in our social history. For the first time ever, we have a good way of distributing funds. One of the big problems with conservation work is that a significant majority goes to wealthy countries, and when it does go to Global South countries, a lot of the time, there are inefficiencies involved in both the NGO and the government bureaucracies there. Little wealth trickles down to the local populations that need it.

One of the big problems with conservation work is that a significant majority goes to wealthy countries. When it does go to global south countries, very little wealth trickles down to the local populations that need it. Click To Tweet

When we talk about the challenges with building and sustaining communities around NFTs and tokens, they're there but there are challenges in the status quo too. Stanley, I would love to get your perspective on what else you're seeing out there in terms of other examples of open science projects that are benefiting from emerging technologies like what you're using at LabDAO.

There's one that also relates to the New Atlantis part because it's the artificial intelligence we will need to understand the complexity but is in the news for a lot of other reasons. These things are called Large Language Models. Maybe you've heard of DALL-E 2. You give it a piece of text that draws an incredible picture you wouldn't believe is done by a computer. There's another platform, Midjourney, that has gotten to be popular. Another technology in this field is called GPT. It's a text-to-text system.

A Google engineer got in a lot of trouble because he said that one of these programs was Ascension. He went public saying that Google had Ascension AI. These systems are my core area of research as a mathematician. I've been working with them for a number of years. One of the things that's problematic, interesting, and complicated about them is they squeeze the juice of the cultural data they're fed.

For example, with DALL-E 2 being trained on the decades of work of many artists who release their art into the open source not knowing it would be used to create a robot artist that would replace all of them, we have a weird situation where these very complex amalgams of the content of many contributors are now going to be the next trillion-dollar products. IP NFT is interesting because it can automate the complexity that is very real behind these new systems where you might have thousands or hundreds of thousands of contributors to the data that's needed to train one of these AIs.

Does anyone in the audience have any questions for these very fascinating gentlemen?

I'm curious how you see universities interacting with decentralized science, specifically for projects that are not computational in nature, the ones that require resources like laboratories and physical or actual resources. How can DeSci funding and IP management interact with universities and technology transfer offices in a way that the university doesn't scream at everyone?

I wish I could summon our beloved LabDAO Founder, Niklas, to field it because he's doing incredible stuff and negotiating deals like this with universities. Anyone who has done any scientific basic work with a university shudder when they hear the phrase, "Tech transfer office." There is a lot of work to be done finding places of collaborative alignment, but the non-digital or non-computational is one of the real motives because. In a lot of situations, you will have a lab that has a mass spectrometer and a lot of open time on it.

NFT Science/Data | Open Science
Open Science: There is a lot of work to be done finding places of collaborative alignment, but the non-digital, non-computational is one of the real motives.

If there was some networking possible where that lab could find a service trading with another lab, you might have a lot more scientific work being done. Honestly though, the computational has been one of the ways we get our foot in the door. In a lot of situations, the hackers and people doing frontier machine learning work are not in the networks of more traditional scientific labs. In a lot of circumstances, we get them to start the DeSci handshake by finding a place where we can build something they need.

I'm very curious to know more about the projects that you do at LabDAO, and also in terms of the fake products that can be now generated, which are very difficult to distinguish from real products, whether it is art, text or anything. I don't know to ask a philosophical question, but what does it mean to do something valuable or a human thing? It's becoming more realistic and hard to distinguish between real and fake products.

Are you referring to real and fake NFT projects?

It's data products in general but you can narrow the scope to any project that you think would explain how we can find the right information and disinformation with computer-generated text that are very hard to distinguish.

One interesting component of this that you're alluding to is how you differentiate someone with an overly ambitious plan or a realistic plan from someone that's out to be nefarious. Both over-ambition and nefarious natures are a project that is very difficult to sustain, which is the problem.

I always get philosophical when I'm on the panel. I love that.

I was trying not to get a philosophical question because I don't want to philosophize something concrete.

I was even going to share that I saw this interesting thing on Twitter. There's a philosophy done at Oxford. He did an experiment where he took one of these new Language Models and had it write an essay. That would have been the first essay you write in the philosophy graduate program. He had it generate a five-paragraph essay on the topic. He did a little bit of tweaking and then tried to have his other professors grade it and see if it passed, and it passed. We're in a weird era. We're going to have to get a lot smarter about how we verify BS for a bunch of different reasons.

We're in a weird era where we'll have to get a lot smarter about verifying BS for a bunch of different reasons. Click To Tweet

You saw the article about the reporter that was interacting with Meta's new AI bot that was dissing Zuckerberg. You can look it up. Facebook created an AI that was asking about what Facebook's real intention is. They're like, "It's evil." This is Facebook's own bot saying that.

"Elon Musk is the most powerful person on the planet." To your point, you can't divorce the philosophical. What you're asking about is real versus fake. You're talking about it in a market context, ultimately. At the end of the day, you're predicating this like, "Can people value something produced by an AI or is this produced by a human?" Is that what you're driving at?

No. I mean it's so easy to copy and flood the market.

There's going to be a lot of crap in the marketplace for sure. There has been. My personal feeling is that these tools are going to put the human creativity on asking the right questions, and partnering with these AI in ways to develop an intuition of trying to get the right answer or useful answer out of them as opposed to putting in stuff and saying, "This is the end product."

An interesting illustration of this is I play with Midjourney a lot. The training data was only sent in 2019. Apparently, they don't have a lot of whales in their training data. We tried to get it to generate a whale. It's super hard to get it to do a realistic whale because, to Stanley's point, they have this legacy dataset that's in there. You have to start to understand what the limitations are of the datasets that are in there.

That's an opportunity for humans to start completing and providing more fleshed-out datasets. I also think it's going to be about how these tools give you a chance to ask new questions in new ways. That will be the value. The question you asked and the answer that can move society forward are going to be where a lot of value is derived, in my opinion.

Here's one thing on there too. I even focused a little bit on the verifiability of AI. Your question might have been a little broader too because even outside of Web3 stuff, it's getting harder to vet projects. We had Theranos happen. This is an example. As a machine learning scientist, in recent years, the bulk of my work has been doing diligence, going into companies, asking questions, and trying to figure out what's true.

The particular thing Web3 has an interesting solution for is called Gitcoin. It's using a transparent blockchain social signal to verify technical projects. I love it. I used to have to go into companies and figure out who is who and who to talk to. Now, you go on Gitcoin. The project has a concise presentation, and then you can see transparently specifically who contributed money to the project. It creates almost a pre-baked social signal for the technical merit.

There's this underlying component of trust. Where does trust fit into the picture? We have seen projects with reputable founders that have been in shams. We have seen projects that have incredible roadmaps that have been in shams. We see the opposite of projects that come out of nowhere with folks that you didn't know doing amazing things in the industry. It's complicated. There's going to be a continuous theme around verifiable trust and how that works. Do you have a question?

NFT Science/Data | Open Science
Open Science: Where does trust fit into the picture? We've seen projects with reputable founders and projects with credible roadmaps that have been shams, but we see the opposite with projects that come out nowhere with folks that you didn't know but are doing amazing things in the industry.

It's exactly on this point. It's a good segue. The notion of decentralizing any coordination system associated with a common good like in the ocean of your case, how do we control bad actors? A lot of times, people are either pseudo-anonymous or anonymous completely. There's no KYC associated with almost any cryptosystem right now. At least, that's the ethos. What are the themes we should be thinking about when we're handing potentially large sums of money over to actors that we can't verify?

First thing, I don't think you just hand it over. You want to have some methodology or verifiability before it goes. It's a super complex question. One of the projects that are most inspiring and one of the best uses of data science out there is a company called Numerai. A guy named Richard Craib is the CEO and founder. It's an extremely smart approach to developing a hedge fund.

Their goal is to be the "last hedge fund." What they have done is they have issued a token called Numeraire or NMR. That's their ticker. They run weekly data science tournaments where they distribute the trading data that they have encrypted in a way that obscures what the actual underlying DNA is but preserves the shape of the data the more it transforms. They allow you to run data scientist predictions against whatever target variable they tell you to optimize against that week.

You as a data scientist can submit. If your predictions are used in their Meta Model, you will get paid in NMR for that. The way that they control crap uploads and people spamming a platform with a bazillion uploads hoping one of them gets picked up is that if you want to get paid, you've got to stake NMR yourself. If you put garbage in, you're going to get your stake slashed. It's going to cost you to put junk in there. You're incentivized to only put in things that you think are going to generate real value.

You've got an alignment, which is an important one where you want to align self-interest with the public good because people will do the predictable thing over a long enough timeframe. Relying on people to do the right thing is probably not a winning strategy. If you want to go with the predictable thing where they're going to eventually turn to their self-interest, you want to make sure that if they go down that road, the outcome is going to be a net positive for the collective. It's a somewhat arcane thing that they're trying to do in the hedge fund world, but the model is a good one.

You want to align self-interest with the public good because people will do the predictable thing over a long time. Click To Tweet

There's one last question for you both as we wrap up. Stanley, what's next with LabDAO? Where can folks learn more about what you're doing?

You can check out the website but probably Twitter is better. It's @Lab_DAO. We will have a lot of content because it's an open project. We're building in the open on Twitter. That would probably be a good place. I'm working on two exciting projects, the New Atlantis Metagenome Pipeline, which is going to do some good for the fishies.

I'm also building something pretty fun. It's a deep-learning approach to drug discovery. We're trying to find whether any known molecules are helpful for rare diseases that don't have a large enough patient base to get expensive computational work. I'm excited and proud of that one. You will be able to see some of the proteins we're working with on Twitter if you want to check it out.

Gordon, where can we learn more about you, what you're doing, and anything else on your roadmap and partnerships that you wanted to mention?

We're super psyched to be partnered with LabDAO. Thank you to Stanley for all his wizardly work on New Atlantis and the Metagenome. He's our Chief Architect. We are @NewAtlantisDAO on Twitter. We're also doing a Gitcoin round. Please, even if it's just $1, give us that because it's a fun round. That round starts on September 7th, 2022. Please, look for us if you are Gitcoiners.

You can find the show on Twitter @EdgeOfNFT. NFT LA is going to be @NFTLAlive on Twitter. There's EdgeOfNFT.com and NFTLA.live. We have newsletters. We do events all over LA throughout the year and globally now. Our show features leaders in this space like these gentlemen every week. We had Mila Kunis's business partner. We have Keith Grossman, the Editor in Chief of TIME coming on the show. We had the Chairman of Filecoin. If you are excited about diving into this topic a little bit broader on what NFTs are doing and where the real utility is at, please get to know us better. Thank you all for your time.

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