AI Startup CloudSight Announces Support for Bitcoin Lightning Network Payments

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AI CloudSight Bitcoin Lightning Network

CloudSight, a Los Angeles-based technology startup that specializes in image captioning and understanding, will use the Bitcoin Lightning Network for microtransactions to gather and share visual knowledge and allow artificial intelligence (AI) systems to learn from and communicate with each other, the company said on Thursday.

By supporting Bitcoin Lightning, CloudSight said it will be able to offer advanced value interactions for an exchange of information that was previously impossible.

“Today, while the information economy continues to grow, data providers are seeking new methods for upgrading traditional payment networks to handle the future of AI communication,” Folken said in a statement.

“At CloudSight, we found that Bitcoin payments (BTC), via the Lightning network, offer the perfect pairing for a unique utility with our visual cognition neural networks. We are very excited for the future of autonomous AI, and we believe this is a critical step in the development of this new technology.”

CloudSight will leverage the Bitcoin Lightning network to allow parties, including AI systems, to engage in trustless transactions within a decentralized framework. Autonomous AI systems will be able to leverage information with greater efficiency to question their immediate environment and learn in real-time, by transacting with any human, service provider, or another AI entity. According to CloudSight, these features are critical for autonomous entities to communicate with each other, enabling information exchange in the AI-based economy.

Taking the example of self-driving cars, the startup explained:

“Imagine, your self-driving car needs to know what an unknown object is in the road ahead. This autonomous AI network will allow it to ask surrounding cars or reach out to a data provider. Once the car gathers the information, it could then be compensated for that fee by other cars asking the same question.

“Rather than users signing up with a credit card to manage costs on their own or developers combining multiple services for a cumbersome experience, CloudSight’s system supporting Bitcoin payments creates a decentralized framework providing a trusted mechanism to transfer value from data provider to data consumer.”

Founded in 2012, CloudSight has developed a visual recognition technology that analyzes digital media to return relevant web-based information to users. CloudSight’s proprietary technology leverages hybrid human and machine intelligence to provide real-time understanding of visual media.

It can perform automated image captioning, image classification, fine-grained object recognition, and scene understanding. Utilizing curated real-world data to train deep learning neural networks, CloudSight API continues to learn on its own and improve over time.

CloudSight
CloudSight

In a blog announcement, Folkens explained why his company opted for Bitcoin:

“Why Bitcoin? Why not our own utility token? Bitcoin’s utility extends far beyond its value in messaging monetary value: it’s secure, it’s decentralized, and it enables two parties (including AI) to engage in a transaction where they don’t need prior trust,” Folkens wrote.

“All of these features are critical for autonomous entities to communicate with each other, enabling information exchange in a new AI-based economy.

“Should apps, autonomous AI, or any other application need to gather visual knowledge, CloudSight will be able to serve and exchange with these queries through this new monetary medium. We are very excited for the future of autonomous AI, and we believe this is a critical step in the development of this new technology.”

The Lightning Network is a second layer payment protocol that operates on top of a blockchain, most commonly Bitcoin, to enable instant transactions between participating nodes. It features a peer-to-peer system for making micropayments of digital cryptocurrency and has been touted as a solution to the Bitcoin scalability problem.

Version 1.0 of the Lightning Network protocol was released in December 2017. Several protocols and networks have planned to support the technology. Stellar has scheduled to go live with the Lightning Network in December 2018.