Yesterday we announced the HUMAN Token Sale on CoinList. HUMAN protocol enables automated job markets where human workers work on interesting jobs and repetitive tasks are handled by machines. We caught up with the HUMAN team to learn more about what they are building, its use cases, and recent traction.
Let’s dive in:
1. What is HUMAN and what problem does it solve?
HUMAN Protocol is a new way for people and machines to work together. It provides a way to ask questions that machines cannot answer without human help. For example, when an AI learns how to suggest shoes, it first needs to know which shoes people think are similar. HUMAN lets you ask the question, provide the data, and pay people who help. Companies building services like product search gain new options to create the datasets that power artificial intelligence.
The Protocol enables automated job markets where humans work on interesting jobs and repetitive tasks are handled by machines. Network participants use HMT to pay for labor via smart bounties and reward validators who provide services to the network.
2. Why did you decide to build a blockchain agnostic protocol? What benefits and drawbacks did you assess when making this decision?
HUMAN Protocol technology processes many millions of work interactions – tasks published and completed – every month. Popular blockchains today have different strengths and weaknesses, and require substantial design tradeoffs to achieve true web scale. For example, to avoid overloading underlying blockchains, HUMAN tasks are batched by the thousands into fewer transactions, and payouts can also be consolidated to further reduce network load.
Allowing users and network operators to choose where to run their workloads means that as Layer 1 blockchains compete on features, performance, and cost, HUMAN users can choose the Layer 1 that makes the most sense for them.
3. What is HUMAN’s target audience and user base? What sort of interactions do these users have with your platform?
HUMAN Protocol has three sets of participants: Requesters (those requiring work to be done), Workers (distributed parties that wish to be rewarded for the completion of tasks), and network service providers, for example operators of oracles. Developers can integrate HUMAN Protocol within their applications to create greater incentives for their users, and to use the results of tasks completed, including the data labeled, to improve their applications.
Network service operators perform a variety of functions. For example, those running a HUMAN Exchange publish job types they support, hand out tasks to Workers, then send results to a Recording Oracle for aggregation. Reputation Oracles then perform a final evaluation of aggregated task quality and authorize smart bounty payouts based on the value of the work.
Requesters publish jobs by launching smart bounties that describe the work to be done. Individual tasks required to complete each job are then disseminated by Exchanges. Workers receive and complete tasks by connecting to an Exchange.
4. What is the use case for the HMT token?
HMT is the native token of HUMAN Protocol. It is the primary mechanism of value transfer within the network. Those wishing to have a million images labeled must fund the smart contract with HMT; the websites and workers on the other end, who complete the work, are paid in HMT. Network service operators are also compensated in HMT. There is a fixed supply of the HMT token.
5. How does HUMAN empower the gig economy by leveraging the AI industry? What are the limitations HUMAN hopes to solve in gig economy jobs?
The most exciting AI products often rely upon billions of human annotations. To train a driverless car, data scientists need to teach the software to recognise a traffic light, which requires humans to label millions of images of traffic lights.
Gig economy workers like the flexibility of being able to choose when and how they work, and HUMAN is designed to support this. HUMAN is a way to both recruit and pay workers for their efforts. Most importantly, HUMAN’s technology is designed to be applied to all kinds of data annotation tasks and to many kinds of digital work. The Protocol is simply a set of software rules that define ways for parties to trade trustlessly on either side of a marketplace using blockchain technology, making marketplaces themselves more fungible.
6. What are HUMAN smart bounties? How do these smart bounties guarantee that funds are only released when jobs are completed?
Smart bounties are software algorithms which govern the movement of funds across HUMAN Protocol. They are equivalent to smart contracts: the ‘bounty’ refers to the fact that the smart bounty must be preloaded with funds, which are held in escrow. This is how the Worker knows the Requester will pay. As work is completed and aggregated by Recording Oracles onto the blockchain, a Reputation Oracle assesses the work. If the work is completed to standard, the smart bounty releases funds to the Worker. This protects both Workers and Requesters, and ensures they get the desired result for the money spent.
7. What are some of the HUMAN use cases that you are most excited about?
We’re most excited about HUMAN’s application in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and in enabling greater diversity, representation, and relevance in those technologies. Right now, the majority of artificial intelligence reflects a narrow viewpoint; it is designed, contributed to, and evolved by a Western audience, and thus often fails to understand information from other parts of the world equally well.
By increasing the points of human-to-machine interaction, HUMAN Protocol ensures machines learn from a broader sample of workers: a global workforce, more representative of all humanity.
8. What crypto trends are you most excited about in 2021?
Blockchains are getting faster, and this enables new design opportunities for applications to build with fewer compromises. Price-performance improvement in new technologies lets them address a wider set of problems, and we expect to see this process continue in 2021.