A ghostly semi-transparent face limned with blue overlaying a background of golden orange and blue cyberpunk circuitry generated by an generative AI

Open-Source AI Platform Sentient Raises $85M Co-Led by Peter Theil’s Founder’s Fund

Open source AI development platform based in San Francisco Sentient announced today that it has raised $85 million in a seed funding round to overturn the dominance of centralized AI model development in the industry.

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Framework Ventures co-led the massive funding round. Other investors who participated in the round included Ethereal Ventures, Robot Ventures, Symbolic Capital, Delphi Ventures, Hack VC, Arrington Capital, HashKey Capital, Canonical Crypto, and Foresight Ventures.

Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, a blockchain network scaling solution designed to solve the scalability problems of the Ethereum blockchain, served as a key contributor to Sentient. He worked alongside several other key contributors. These included Professor Pramod Viswanath of Princeton University, co-inventor of Flash OFDM, the technology behind the 4G wireless standard, and Professor Himanshu Tyagi of the Indian Institute of Science.

Another key contributor is the startup AI studio Sensitivityfounded by Kenzi Wang, co-founder of Symbolic Capital. The company will act to support companies working within the Sentient ecosystem with.

“The rapid advances in artificial intelligence have the potential to transform every aspect of our lives, but the concentration of power in the hands of a few centralized entities poses significant risks,” Nailwal said. in a statement“By building an open platform for AGI development, we aim to ensure that the benefits of AI are distributed equitably and that its development is in line with the interests of humanity as a whole.”

Artificial general intelligence, or AGI, is a theoretical field of artificial intelligence research that aims to produce software capable of functioning at human-like levels of intelligence. Until now, it has been considered the “holy grail” of artificial intelligence as it would unlock the ability to produce really capablebroadly task-oriented AI assistants that would be able to perform at human levels.

So far, most of the development and research in AGI has been kept behind closed doors by large companies because they can mobilize enormous resources. Closed-source models also pose a problem in that all the parameters and variables that go into producing the large language model cannot be examined, verified or distributed by third parties and remain entirely under the control of centralized authorities.

To combat this, Sentient plans to build an AI platform for collaborators to collaborate and monetize their innovations in a way that will catalyze a path toward evolving what the company calls “Open AGI.” It will use blockchain technology to incentivize people to build, copy, and expand AI models and receive rewards for pioneering builds of AI agents and models as part of a mass collaboration.

“Currently, anyone can simply copy models without paying for them, and Sentient aims to solve this incentive problem that disincentivizes open source AI,” said Joey Krug, a partner at Founders Fund. “This is really interesting research area.”

Sentient is entering its testnet phase this quarter and plans to use the funding from this round to hire experts to expand its team, including talent in artificial intelligence and blockchain engineering.

Image: Plumage

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