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OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman’s $200M bet that crypto will solve AI threat

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OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, is close to securing a further $100 million in financing for his crypto project Worldcoin, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Worldcoin already received $100 million in 2022 via a private token sale, led by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz at a $3 billion valuation.

The open-source protocol aimed at using IRIS scanning to secure a new digital currency is powered by the Worldcoin wallet app, World App, which launched May 14.

According to the FT report, the funding will be “sourced from both existing and new investors.” However, the valuation for the round is not immediately apparent. Yet, it was noted that the new funding is not a part of the original private token sale.

The crypto bet to support AI job displacement

Altman’s Worldcoin, led by The Worldcoin Foundation (WF), announced on May 11 that Worldcoin will launch on Optimism, and Worldcoin executives told the FT that the project’s focus would be two-fold:

“Distinguishing between humans and bots, and providing a form of universal basic income which might offset job losses caused by AI.”

There have been calls for a version of universal basic income from some in the AI space in light of  generative AI models showing an evident ability to create job displacement in many sectors. Workers in the “knowledge sector” are directly threatened by current workflows that do not contain generative AI innovations.

OpenAI exploded to over 100 million users in record time, and it appears that Altman is expediting the solution to the problem he has helped create through Worldcoin. A recent TechCrunch article on the topic commented that “flash forward a few years, and it will be impossible to know if someone is communicating with another mortal or a neural network.”

Altman believes that the solution to the existential threat of AI is through crypto and blockchain. Through integrating biometric IRIS scanning and distributed ledger technology, Worldcoin is tackling what is sure to be one of the biggest problems humanity has faced; how to allow AI to bring about a better, fairer, more equitable world — without the human cost of mass job displacement.

The decision to launch on Optimism was explained in a WF article announcing its desire to aid the push toward the “Superchain vision” for Optimism.

“The Worldcoin Foundation and the early protocol contributors at Tools for Humanity (TFH) are announcing a commitment to support the Optimism Collective in bringing the Superchain vision to life.”

Worldcoin claims to have over 1.7 million users, 60,000 daily wallet transactions, and 25,000 daily World ID checks since the launch of the World App.

Interestingly, as the Worldcoin Foundation calls to make Optimism a “Superchain,” others have already theorized the potential for ChatGPT to become a “Super App” with the addition of plugins.

Along with Elon Musk’s project X and Tencent’s WeChat, the race for the AI-powered Super App is on. However, the OpenAI ecosystem will now be in the race for the “Superchain,” backing crypto to give it the competitive edge in the “super” market.



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