Cortex Labs

Cortex aims to provide state-of-the-art machine learning models on the blockchain. Find out how it works today in our review.

What Is Cortex?

Cortex, found online at CortexLabs.ai, is a decentralized AI platform built on the blockchain.

Cortex is built on a new public chain called Cortex. The chain includes AI algorithms that support smart contracts, which means anyone can use Cortex to add AI to their smart contracts.

Cortex also creates an incentive mechanism for collective collaboration, allowing anyone to submit and optimize models in Cortex, while model contributors can also be rewarded.

The end result of Cortex, according to the whitepaper, is the creation of “artificial general intelligence”, or AGI, “being born on the Cortex”.

Cortex completed a private token sale in February/March 2018 for its CTXC tokens. That funding round was led by Bitmain and FBG Capital, among other well-known investors in the cryptocurrency space.

How Does Cortex Work?

Placing artificial intelligence systems on the blockchain isn’t a straightforward process. However, Cortex will solve this problem by allowing machine learning researchers around the world to upload well-trained corresponding data models to the storage layer of the Cortex public chain.

Other users who need these AI models can make inferences using the models, then pay the person who developed those models.

At each inference, a full node synchronizes the model and the data from the storage tier to the local site. Making an inference using Cortex’s unique virtual machine, or CVM, will synchronize the results to the whole network and then return the result.

Every time a user initiates a transaction on the Cortex, opens a smart contract, or performs an intelligence inference, the user will need to pay a certain number of “Endorphin” tokens. Endorphin is the pricing unit for transactions on Cortex. However, the platform will have two tokens, including Endorphins and Cortex Coins (CTXC).

The overall goal of Cortex is to provide state-of-the-art machine learning models on the blockchain where users can infer using smart contracts. Cortex also seeks to create a machine learning platform where users can post tasks on the platform or submit artificial intelligence-based decentralized apps.

Cortex Features

Cortex’s core features include:

Smart AI Contracts: Cortex allows users to write machine learning programs on the blockchain, then submit interactions that are dependent upon other contracts.

Cortex Virtual Machine: Cortex has its own virtual machine called the Cortex Virtual Machine, or CVM. The CVM instruction set is fully Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible and supports inference instructions.

Cortex Inference Consensus: When a user initiates a transaction to a contract, the full node needs to execute the code of the smart contract. Cortex smart contracts differ from ordinary smart contracts because Cortex’s “intelligence contracts” can be equipped with inference instructions, and then all nodes need to agree on the result of this inference. This creates consensus.

Model Submission Framework: Cortex also provides a submission interface for training off-chain, including submissions for virtual machines that interpret instructions for models. This creates a bridge between computing power providers and algorithm providers, allowing for trading and collaboration between participants in the Cortex ecosystem.

Cortex Intelligence Inference Framework: Machine learning researchers around the world can upload well-trained corresponding data models to Cortex’s storage layer. Then, users who need these AI models can make inferences using models, then pay the providers.

Who’s Behind Cortex?

Cortex is led by Ziqi Chen (CEO), who co-founded Waterhole.io with Cortex’s Chief Blockchain Engineer, Yang Yang. Other listed members of the team include Weiyang Wang (CTO), Xiao Yan (Chief Deep Learning Engineer), and Amy Chen (Operating Officer).

Cortex has received investments from Bitmain, FBG Capital, ZhenFund, DFund, Connect Capital, Blockwater Capital, Nirvana Capital, and other companies (most investments occurred during a private token sale in February 2018). They’ve also partnered with Tsinghua University, the University of California Berkeley, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Cortex is headquartered in Singapore.

The Cortex Token Sale

Cortex’s token sale began with a single private placement round. That round took place from February 7 to March 7, 2018, during which tokens were sold at a price of 1 ETH = 1500 CTXC.

In March 2018, the company announced that it had reached its target cap of 40,000 ETH for 60 million CTXC, or 20.01% of the total token distribution.

FBG Capital and Bitmain were lead investors during the token sale.

CTXC tokens are ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. There’s a total supply of 299,792,458 tokens. Of the total supply, 50.03% (150 million) are reserved for Cortex coin miners as a mining reward, 24.95% (74,792,458) are dedicated to the project’s foundation from the genesis block (including 15.01% to the Cortex Lab, 9.01% to project marketing, and 0.93% to challenge bounties), with the remaining 5% going to advisors, academia, and the community from the genesis block.

Cortex Conclusion

Cortex aims to place advanced artificial intelligence systems on the blockchain. The company recently completed a private investment round during its token sale for CTXC tokens in February/March 2018. The next step is to roll out the Cortex public chain.

Key features of the platform include its smart AI contracts and its Cortex Virtual Machine, both of which allow for advanced AI-based smart contract programming.

To learn more about Cortex and how it works, visit online today at CortexLabs.ai.

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