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Julius Serenas, Founder of Neurochain AI: How A Trailblazer Shapes The Future of AI and Blockchain Integration

Interview with Julius Serenas

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Julius Serenas is the visionary founder of Neurochain AI, a project at the intersection of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. This interview delves into his crucial career moments and the inspiration culminating in Neurochain AI. Julius also shares his perspective on the crucial role of the community in the growth and development of Neurochain AI. This interview promises an insightful journey into the mind of a trailblazer, shaping the future of AI and blockchain integration.

Early life and Influences

Julius, can you share some insights into your early life and the influences that shaped your interest in technology and AI?

Computers came about when I was in fifth grade, and my parents got one for our household. But the internet was really poor, running on modems that would disconnect the moment someone picked up the phone. I really wanted to get a computer for myself. As they were quite expensive, I had to find strong arguments for my parents to get me one, my main point was that I would use it for academic purposes – who knew, it turned out to be true. Ever since I got my first PC, I was fascinated with technology and hardware and spent countless hours breaking and reinstalling operating systems and trying to figure out how to code. When I grew up,  I embarked on a career path that led me to Barclays Bank, where I initially served as a system administrator specializing in Linux infrastructure. After getting certified, I ascended to the role of technical operations manager, where my professional journey was sparked with a deep curiosity in scalable infrastructure and its operational intricacies.

Could you walk us through some pivotal moments or milestones in your career before Neurochain AI?

The main checkpoint was Barclays, HCL Technologies, and Gamestarter. When I look back at my career choices, it kind of feels like a natural progression to where I am right now. Barclays brought into my understanding the infrastructure part, at HCL Technologies I was working on data center migrations and scaling out, so it added the data and machine learning elements to my background.

Prior to starting Neurochain AI, I was a CTO at Gamestarter, a Web3 Gaming launchpad. In 2021, Gamestarter successfully launched nearly 50 games, providing my first encounter with blockchain technology. However, I knew this wasn’t the end of my journey; I yearned to apply my knowledge of large-scale banking infrastructure to blockchain. The intersection of infrastructure and blockchain often occupied my thoughts late into the night.

Inspiration for Neurochain AI

Was there a specific event or realization that inspired you to start Neurochain AI?

Back in 2022, when OpenAI brought large language models to the public, we began exploring opportunities to enhance and streamline operations for Gamestarter. The more we dug deeper into the tech, the more it became clear that the main problem for the slow growth of this tech was hardware-heavy setup and closed-source solutions. I have always been a big fan of open-source tech, and having experience in Web3 we saw a great opportunity to decentralize infrastructure for AI.

The turning point occurred during a conversation with Paulius, the CTO of Neurochain AI. We had met long ago at some event and occasionally kept in contact. During one of our late-night discussions, we contemplated the concept of connecting crypto miners to power AI computation. This was way before ChatGPT brought AI to the mainstream. Even in 2022, AI remained a significant focus for us, and we were well aware that the demand for computational resources would continue to escalate.

For me it was about decentralizing the infrastructure, open source code, and giving the community the means to participate in this revolution. For Paulius, it’s all about powering AI, developing and training models for diverse applications, much like the wide utilization of his PhD dissertation across research and industry.

This realization led us to conclude that establishing an AI network, similar to Ethereum‘s function for blockchain was imperative. Such a network would unite community-driven infrastructure into a single platform, facilitating collaborative advancements in AI technology.

In your view, what were the gaps or shortcomings in the existing AI and blockchain markets that Neurochain AI aims to address?

Most AI projects currently in the market primarily rely on virtual machine-based, cloud-centric solutions. While these approaches offer certain strengths, they often impose limitations on platform scalability.

Our goal is to become for AI what Ethereum represents for blockchain. We aim to establish a network where AI projects and developers can thrive by deploying their models and leveraging community power to uphold network operations and security. Our network operates much like blockchain, where users are unaware of who finalizes calculations, as anyone within the network can compute the message.

Currently, we have four open-source models operational on consumer-grade hardware, along with a text-to-speech pipeline running on a decentralized network. Utilizing our blockchain, we ensure scalability and integrate protocols, enabling us to create a network similar to layer 2 functionality – Layer 3 AI. Calculations are conducted off-chain, with validation and transaction rollups sent to the blockchain for executing reward redistribution.

Unique Features of Neurochain AI

What are the most unique features of Neurochain AI that differentiate it from other platforms in the market?

We are building a network on top of a blockchain, as explained previously, to operate in a similar fashion as blockchain, specifically Ethereum. This framework facilitates the seamless exchange of information among interconnected devices, ensuring swift integration for developers, typically requiring only a few minutes to set up.

Distinguishing ourselves from many other projects, we are developing an all-in-one solution. At the core of our network lies the community-powered GPU & CPU network, essential for AI training and computations — a point where many other AI projects reach their limit. We are also building an AI model marketplace. We are running our models, but post-launch, we will open it up for the community to share their AI models and receive royalties in return.

We’re not just stopping here. We also want to involve the community in a gamified process to collect, validate, and label data—a crucial component for AI models to function effectively. This approach equips developers and businesses with all the necessary tools and elements to construct custom AI solutions, saving both time and resources.

Finally, just like Ethereum or any app store, we’re giving developers an opportunity to build AI solutions or dApps that they can monetize and grow into a self-sustaining business. So just like the world couldn’t have known that the launch of Apple’s app store will result in completely new business models, we’re hoping to see Neurochain AI powering the future with multiple new business models springing out from the Neurochain AI network.  

How does Neurochain AI enhance the user experience for developers, businesses, and the community compared to traditional AI models?

We ease developers’ major challenges by simplifying and streamlining the process of building, deploying, and running AI dApps. Neurochain AI not only saves time and money through accelerated development but also offers cost-effective hosting solutions for AI computation. We furnish developers with an array of tools for seamless integrations, rapid development, efficient model testing, and access to AI models themselves.

We recognize that developers may work independently or as part of businesses seeking tailored solutions for internal use or commercialization, we offer enticing incentives for early integrations with our partners. Already, we’re integrating AI into platforms to empower businesses to create and sell innovative tools. Moreover, businesses can utilize existing AI dApps at a fraction of the cost compared to competitors.

Finally and most importantly, community. Community is actually at the center of what we do, as mentioned earlier, we’re inviting the community to share their GPUs & CPUs for starters with a growing engagement on all levels – model testing, data collection, and validation, decision making until finally, Neurochain AI will be ready to become fully open-source community-driven network.

Key Milestones

Could you highlight some key milestones Neurochain AI has achieved since its inception?

As developers at heart, our primary focus is crafting a network that withstands the tests of time, scalability, and evolving market and technological landscapes. To this end, we have developed an MVP tailored for launch, currently undergoing UAT testing and slated for public release early in the first half of this year. This marks the initial iteration of our inference network implementation.

We’re also actively collaborating with numerous paying customers, designing bespoke AI solutions to meet their specific needs. Approximately 10 AI dApps are in development and will be launched concurrently with the network. 

We have a few exciting highlights in the pipeline that we prefer to keep under wraps until they are officially announced as part of our go-to-market strategy.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and how did you and your team overcome them?

Our biggest challenge so far was partner concerns with our choice of a fair launch approach and not engaging in a large funding round. Not gonna lie; it takes a bit more time to polish the product with a smaller team. However, it gives us the versatility to make agile decisions. Our main goal is to have a community-driven ecosystem focusing on open-source technologies. Our project is going to be successful if the community gets the largest share of its benefits.

Projections for Neurochain AI

What is your long-term vision for Neurochain.AI, and how will it evolve in the next 5 to 10 years?

The dream is to have a fully decentralized ecosystem with community-driven validators and fully functioning inference and training network cores. Quite recently, I had an interesting discussion about what AI is, and I’ve heard an interesting comment that AI is bound to become a standard commodity. We want to provide a way for a non-biased AI to truly exist. The Neurochain AI layer is chain agnostic and could easily integrate with any dApp on the blockchain if a bridge is in place. We aim to be the go-to network solution for all things AI, powering the future we can’t imagine yet.

How crucial is the role of community in the growth and development of Neurochain AI, and how do you plan to foster this community engagement moving forward?

As mentioned earlier, it’s all about the community at Neurochain AI. Our plan is structured around gradually giving the community more control over the network. Finally, it will be fully operated and decentralized by the community. It might not seem like it for now, as we’ve been busy laying the solid foundation to ensure the network is community-ready. But starting with AI miners and then progressing toward validator and training network integrations, the community is an essential part of our platform. That is why everything we do is focused around it – fair launch, the largest allocation to community incentives and miner network growth, grant program, and other programs meant to significantly incentivize valuable contributors. 

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Brian Koome

Brian Koome is a cryptocurrency enthusiast who has been involved with blockchain projects since 2017. He enjoys discussions that revolve around innovative technologies and their implications for the future of humanity.

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