VAIOT x UniGems: Sitting Down With VAIOT’s CMO
On the 6th of October, our CMO, Anthony Blackburn, sat down with the UniGems Community to discuss all things VAIOT. Below, you’ll find a recap!
Trader Wojak: Welcome to the AMA! Very excited to host you guys as you have one of the more promising fundamentals in the space right now. I haven’t seen anything like this. I’m sure some of our audience knows you, but for the people who don’t: “can you introduce yourself and give us a brief overview of VAIOT?”.
Anthony: Cheers! Thanks for having us 😄
My name’s Anthony, CMO at VAIOT. I started in blockchain about six years ago as a HODLer and early believer in ETH. My professional background is primarily experiential marketing for corporate entities such as PepsiCo, General Motors, Bacardi, Cadillac Fairview, etc. Still, my passion for blockchain and corporate fatigue brought me to this space, and I’ve never looked back. It’s a pleasure to be here to chat with you all today 🥳🥳
Trader Wojak: Big brands you’re naming there. You must have learned some good stuff over there. I love the branding of VAIOT as well. Nice interactive website.
Hand Eye: Yeah, see where you’re coming from there highly prefer the crypto business culture, people having a lot of fun and pushing for innovation. Versus the somewhat stiff culture tradition business may have.
I’m just noticing the AI part of VAIOT.
Anthony: I did enjoy working for the more prominent entities… I met people that made me the professional I am today. The standards were high. Incredibly high. That’s one of the things I feel like I bring to the space. We’re full of startups and highly motivated entrepreneurs that may not know exactly how to run a business. I take a lot of pride in meeting and working with those people and helping them realize their visions.
I agree with the common opinion about rigidity within the corporate structure; it’s the primary reason I left. I was doing great work but didn’t ultimately feel like I was making a difference. Here I get to meet great minds and innovators every day. It was the best move of my career.
VAIOT is a unique project in the sense that due to our team, regulatory status, and product lines, we are closer to a traditional company than most blockchain projects, but we still have a little fun 😉
Hand Eye: So we talked about your background. Can you describe VAIOT in two sentences?
Hand Eye: Hard question, I know, like to keep you sharp.
Anthony: It’s right in the name!! VAI stands for “Virtual Artificial Intelligence,” and “IOT” stands for “Internet of Things”. We don’t use that anymore, but it’s a cool little easter egg for you guys.
As for VAIOT in two sentences…
Okay, that’s a tough one, but I’ll take a stab at it, haha
Here we go
VAIOT combines. AI and Blockchain to develop a portfolio of Intelligent Virtual Assistants for business and legal purposes. We are the first of 350 projects approved for regulatory status by Blockchain Island Malta, and own the first-ever legally classified “Virtual Financial Asset” under the VFA act.
I had to use a run-on sentence, but that was two!
A simple way to break down our project: We’re the Siri/Alexa for business and legal services.
Trader Wojak: Awesome man, congratulations
Anthony: Thanks! AI development is tricky, and the road to regulatory status was a long (and expensive) one.
Hand Eye: Right, so do I understand correctly that VAIOT has the legal right to give legal advice?
Trader Wojak: It’s all very new; it must be difficult to define all the services and the necessary regulations
Anthony: Great question; complicated answer. Our original goal was to have a “Pocket lawyer” that could perform basic legal tasks like generate and analyze contracts, help streamline business processes, etc. Still, the full scope of our solution will take some time to deliver.
With our MVP, we plan on delivering the generation of AI-generated standardized contracts. Alongside our flagship product, the AI Legal Assistant, we have our Intelligent Contracts, which are enhanced versions of smart contracts that are executable and deliverable on-chain or in the form of traditional contracts.
When it comes to legal opinions and generating specific documentation, you still need a lawyer to sign off at the endpoint. Still, ultimately you would save hours and a lot of money in lawyer fees if most of the process is completed by our assistant.
Our goal was never to replace lawyers but rather optimize their time and take some of the load off them and the financial burden of businesses for certain internal processes like producing hiring documentation, performing KYC, etc.
Hand Eye: Gotcha, so you still need a lawyer to sign at the endpoint, but VAIOT can help streamline the process before that
Trader Wojak: Still, 80% of the actual work is done by AI, resulting in lower costs in the end. How far is the MVP? What kind of contracts are people able to make with VAIOT?
Anthony: One use case we currently have that’s being worked on is the analysis of visa applications for the Canadian immigration market. Our assistant will be able to assess the strength of applications and make intelligent recommendations for users.
In many cases, a lawyer’s sign-off is not needed, like with standardized contracts. However, an example of where a lawyer may need to be involved at the endpoint is for a visa application. Currently, the law states that a barred lawyer must submit the documentation.
Even though AI is now at a point where it offers more accurate assessment than human capability, we still rely on a final human sign-off in some cases.
Anthony: We’re pretty far along and have a much broader scope than we initially thought we would at this point. We have a working beta of several iterations of our AI Assistant that we’ve already been sending out to client prospects. We’re in an exciting place right now where we are speaking to large business entities, institutions, and even governments 👀
Anthony: We’ll be starting with standard service agreements, exchanges of goods, the day-to-day contracts that are most commonly used. As we progress, we will expand our assistants’ capabilities.
For example, with one of our partners MILC, we will be delivering our intelligent contracts as policy agreements for artists, and our assistants will be the mediator and negotiating tool.
We’ve found that almost every project in the space lacks contracts, which is a significant issue. Without us, many of them won’t deliver their platforms or governance with any form of accountability.
Trader Wojak: Amazing use case; how did you end up getting this assignment?
Trader Wojak: Tons of projects didn’t know the legal stuff, many of which are just PnD tokens. But I can imagine it is difficult for all projects.
Anthony: The firm we’re working with is a long-time friend and contact of mine. He’s one of the best lawyers in Canada that you’ve ever heard of. We’re still in the development phase, but we will be releasing more details about this partnership and use case in the coming months.
Trader Wojak: Aligns nicely.
Anthony: That’s one of the most significant issues we’re facing in the crypto/blockchain space. Many projects are unwilling or unable to follow the legal framework to run a legitimate company, which keeps us from mainstream adoption.
Now I’m not saying centralize by any means, but there are ways to maintain the sanctity of decentralization while bringing legitimacy to the space. That includes protecting investors and token holders.
On-chain contracts are a major step towards that.
Hand Eye: It’s becoming a bigger problem as well since regulation is getting stricter.
Did I see correctly you guys are working with IBM to make the AI? Curious what their role in all of this is?
Anthony: Oh yeah, IBM. Our company started as a joint proof of concept with IBM. We have their full backing and support as a partner, and we built the initial version of our AI Assistants on Watson.
That was almost three years ago, now we have added a few other tricks up our sleeve by leveraging some components of Microsoft Luis and OpenAI’s GPT-3 conversational AI software. As a result, we can confidently say we deliver the best in AI tech for our assistants.
IBM continues to work with us on marketing and has featured us at a few of its conferences over the past few years. We have some of them on our YouTube page as well.
Trader Wojak: Impressive
Hand-Eye: Watson legendary name in the AI space.
Anthony: Absolutely. Watson as a complete AI infrastructure can’t be beaten.
YouTube IBM Conference:
IBM Proof of Concept x VAIOT:
Trader Wojak: You guys have kept on developing during the bear market. Why did you do this? And more importantly, how? It must be capital intensive.
Anthony: Well, as I mentioned before, our project is a bit of a unicorn in the sense that many of our investors are more traditional, they have been patient with us, and ultimately we did wait up until this year (February) to launch our token with DAO Maker. We had raised almost 8 million in funding, and we have the best COO in all of crypto, so we were able to safely manage our budget and keep the lights on until our rSHO in Feb, which did incredibly well.
Trader Wojak: Very nice
Anthony: Bulls thrive in the bear market, and the show must go on! We have a much bigger vision than just taking advantage of the bull run. Our ultimate goal is to deliver a tool for you to make your business dreams more achievable and help the little guy get the legal tools or representation they would otherwise not be able to access.
Trader Wojak: I can imagine investors from traditional markets being more patient than crypto VC’s
Anthony: Yes. Fortunately, they want to see our project succeed.
Trader Wojak: I’m curious to see how you bridge the traditional markets with the crypto market. I believe the answer lies in the token. Could you tell us about its utility?
Hand Eye: Do you mean how you can be accessible to both audiences at the same time?
Trader Wojak: Yeah.
Anthony: Bridging the on-chain and off-chain markets is a tricky one. Some of it is dependent on the utility of a project, some of it is dependent on the token. In most cases, the reality is they will never see the traditional market and will have to rely entirely on the crypto market. That’s perfectly fine, but our goals are much larger, and that’s why we pursued the regulatory framework for our token to position us for mass adoption in the future.
The lack of regulation in the crypto space turns large corporations, institutions, and governments from adopting them. The auditing standards are incredibly low, and the currently accepted model presents too much risk for mass adoption. With our token, the regulatory framework ensures transparency and legitimacy, meaning no minting or burning tokens on a whim, adjustment of contracts, or infrastructural changes without a legally commissioned memo and public announcement updating our investors and token holders on what we’re doing.
This is why we believe we will end up ahead of the game when the proverbial hammer of regulation comes down, and we already see it happen now, and it’s shaken up the market quite a bit.
On top of that, for us, it’ll be relatively simple. We have a rich and flowing token economy but a real-world product to pair with it. Aside from our token, we have a product that your grandma could use without much hassle or understanding of blockchain or crypto.
Trader Wojak: First movers advantage.
Hand-Eye: I think that’s the key takeaway here; anybody outside of crypto can use it. So, what is the role of your token inside of the VAIOT ecosystem?
Anthony: Great question! We’ve got a rich and flowing token economy. A few uses for our token as it stands to include:
- Utilization as a purchasing asset
- A unit of account for transactions
- VAIOT’s payback program (Based on the value of the transaction, there is a mechanism that determines how many VAI tokens you are paid back as a bonus. This means you are getting lower prices and more rewards with each transaction)
- VAIOT’s Value Assurance System (The ability to fix the value of your assets for a period of time)
- Staking and liquidity pools (both ETH and BSC)
- We also have a bonding system.
Our token is available on ETH and BSC, but we will ultimately move over to COSMOS when we launch our mainnet.
THE VAI TOKEN ECONOMY
An overview of VAIOT’s network incentives and token utility.
Trader Wojak: How does the payback program work?
Hand Eye: Right right, so a huge part of its use case is a currency to exchange services for, if I understand correctly
Anthony: Our blockchain lead still defines the mechanism, but it will effectively work as a rewards system for every transaction. For example, purchase protection for your digital assets for 1 ETH. You will receive a percentage of that transaction back as VAI tokens, which you can then use in other parts of our digital economy.
Anthony: Yes. First and foremost, it’s a purchasing asset.
One important note is that we have three business lines. I’ve spoken mostly about our legal assistant. Still, we also have a sales assistant and a crypto protection broker that will educate you and guide you towards finding the best crypto coverage for you.
Trader Wojak: Doesn’t this mechanism create selling pressure?
Anthony: All of which can be purchased with VAI tokens.
Hand-Eye: Increased supply see where you’re coming from
Anthony: It’s a great point, but ultimately the utilization of our services will be paid in VAIs. Therefore you can look at it as you’re getting a discount. Our goal is to offer a digital economy robust enough that people will want to hold on to our token, whether for purchasing products or services or taking part in our staking or LP (200% APY, by the way).
Trader Wojak: Nice APY
Anthony: For large entities to access or utilize our services, they will need to buy a fixed number of our tokens and stake them, similar to a subscription model. This mechanism will help manage the supply and keep demand for our token high.
A significant % of our token supply is specifically dedicated to our future clients who will need to stake large amounts of tokens to utilize our technology.
Trader Wojak: You attract big buy orders this way, nice.
Trader Wojak: Is there a deflationary mechanism in place? Compensating the APY and payback program?
Anthony: There isn’t. Due to our regulatory status, we cannot mint or burn tokens. However, a percentage of transactions will go towards the treasury (Including the bonding system) to keep the APY and Payback program functional.
We also have 25% of our token supply dedicated to validator rewards and another large portion of supply for these purposes.
Trader Wojak: Ah, okay. As price increases and APY lowers, you can compensate, sort of.
A rather significant amount, over how many years, is it being vested?
Anthony: Our token release schedule spans ten years, probably the longest in recorded history!
Trader Wojak: Wow!
Anthony: This was done in collaboration with DAO Maker, and we felt this was the best route to go.
It allows for our project to grow without the tremendous sales pressure most projects face.
Trader Wojak: Good stuff. Now, onto something else. I think we’ve covered tokenomics extensively.
The AI almost sounds like a personal assistant with infinite possibilities to expand to. What is your vision regarding the integration of AI in IoT/Smart offices?
Anthony: Great question. As our assistants progress, we see their potential as the backbone of smart offices, offering complementary technology that helps our workforce become more efficient and higher performing.
Our primary focus will be the augmentation of human work through collaborative intelligence. Collaborative intelligence means AI, in many ways, will help us without even knowing. The very nature of AI is constantly improving and learning from new entries, mistakes, and breakthroughs. We imagine a professional world where everyone has a pocket assistant at their fingertips, ready to help them instead of having to call that extra meeting or working those overtime hours. The impact may be subtle, but with AI, it’s the accumulative nature of intelligence and the optimization of our time that will pay dividends in the long run.
In the words of Jeff Bezos, AI is “Quietly but meaningfully improving core operations” around the globe.
Also, with the help of OCR and other cool AI advancements, we do see our assistants eventually performing validation of IDs, documents, contracts, and other professional use cases with the sample use of your phone or laptop. All of these functions can be found in our whitepaper (Which is 167 pages long, so bring some water and snacks before you crack it open), and as time goes on, we plan to deliver all of them.
Trader Wojak: Innovations like these seem inevitable. I’m very excited to see what you guys will bring in the future.
Anthony: We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.