Infinite Automata is an implementation of a new kind of society, a society designed to play to the strengths of the people it is composed of, and to shore up the many flaws that seem to appear in the human character. Despite the very technical nature of most of the solutions proposed herein, Infinite Automata is a people-focused organization: one that fully engages with its members to create an ecosystem where amazing people can learn and create together. Members collaborate to understand or create whatever they are passionate about. They are encouraged to bring their passions to work with them. Whether it is creating a film, researching stem cells, or pioneering the next technological leap, nobody should have to leave their dreams at the door when they go to work.
A New Society
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
– T.E. Lawrence
Infinite Automata implements a simple organizational structure designed to encourage cooperation and personal engagement. This structure focuses on individuals working together to create value.
The most basic component of the network is a division. Divisions serve to organize members who work on similar projects. Divisions are responsible to oversee the lifecycle of all the projects they manage. Projects consist of one or more teams who collaborate to deliver value to the network, their customers, or people in need. Teams are groups of members who work together to achieve a specific goal.
Each division of Infinite Automata is capped at 75 members. This is based on a conservative interpretation of Dunbar’s Number, which suggests that there is a cognitive limit to the number of stable social relationships people can comfortably maintain. There is no reason that a member’s division should be their entire social world, but it is imperative that divisions maintain a cohesive social fabric that breeds familiarity and trust.
New members are admitted by invitation only, and must be approved by the members of the division into which they have been invited. New members are immediately able to participate as equal peers on the network.
Members may propose projects to a global funding network of participating divisions. Proposals undergo a public revision process to be polished into a business, research, or production plan. Fair, impartial judgement of merit is accomplished using autonomous sampling systems running on a publicly auditable blockchain app.
Infinite Automata is built around cutting-edge technology designed to enable trust in large groups. This allows divisions to operate under the assumption that the entire network is operating under the same set of rules.
Ethereum is a next-generation block chain technology, much like Bitcoin, but usable in a more generalized way. By themselves Bitcoin and block chain technology have enabled transformative innovation across the world. This technology is creating ways for people and organizations to step outside of borders and remove artificial barriers to commerce, business, and innovation.
The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. This way, Bitcoin wallets can calculate their spendable balance and new transactions can be verified to be spending bitcoins that are actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography. 1
Ethereum takes the next step and uses the block chain to create a shared virtual machine with the same security and trust properties as Bitcoin itself, including a digital currency called Ether. This means that you can create self-enforcing smart contracts secured by a global network of peers. An interesting consequence of this capability is the idea of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization or blockchain app, which is a computer program that can be thought of as a corporation, under the control of an immutable software program, run without any human involvement
A Digital Economy
Another interesting property of Ethereum is the possibility of creating custom digital currencies with adjustable operating parameters. These custom currencies can be used to create a digital economy that can easily be adjusted to maximize its value.2 These currencies are secured by a shared network, but operate according to their own rules.
Infinite Automata uses one such currency: Credit. Like Bitcoin, credits have real world value and will eventually be available on currency exchanges, such as Coinbase. As a currency, Bitcoin faces some major challenges that Credit aims to solve. One unfortunate property of Bitcoin its extreme volatility and deflationary nature:
These rapid changes in value make it difficult to know how much a Bitcoin can buy on a day-to-day basis. They also make it difficult to make sound financial plans over longer time frames. The fact that it is designed to increase in value over time makes spending it a difficult choice. Credit is able to intelligently side-step these issues: the currency is programmed to react to its own fluctuations and maintain a relatively constant value, much like MakerDAO.
Ethereum enables divisions to be completely democratic. The ultimate authority in any division is held by its DAO, which is programmed to be a completely fair and unalterable arbiter for its members. Current-generation smart contracts are lacking in several areas, but significant improvements are not unattainable.
Infinite Automata is a collection of tools, built around a set of standards for communicating and sharing data. These tools enable members to securely interface with the DAO that manages their division, propose new projects to the network, allocate resources, communicate, and so on. This software can run on any system at any scale, from a laptop to an entire datacenter.
One of the most significant barriers to adoption for any new technology is user friendliness. These tools must be made to be accessible to a wide audience, with little to no technical training, and require as little user-facing maintenance as possible, if they are to make an impact. A simple interface, built using widely accessible open source technologies, will allow anyone with an internet-enabled device to participate on the Infinite Automata Network.
Free and Open
Infinite Automata is an open source project; everything we create is freely available online for modification and redistrubution. We welcome contributions, questions, and comments. There is a lot to do, and we can’t do it without you. Together, we hope to build a better tomorrow, not only for ourselves, but for the entire human family.
Let’s make it happen.