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EFFECT ICO ANALYSIS: A Decentralized Ecosystem for Artificial Intelligence

  • ICO Platform: NEO
  • Industry: Artificial Intelligence
  • Price: $0.07
  • Bonus: A 10% discount for the first 5.2 million EFX tokens sold.
  • Soft Cap: €4.28 million ($5.23 million)
  • Hard Cap: €14.82 million ($18.1 million)
  • Total Number of Tokens (Available for sale): 650 million EFX (260 million)
  • Website: Effect.ai
  • White paper: White paper
  • Telegram: https://t.me/effectai

The Problem

The Artificial Intelligence industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, however, the market is growing increasingly inaccessible. The infrastructure needed to run AI algorithms are quite complex and datasets are very expensive. Because of this, only the biggest corporations have the means to develop AI algorithms. After spending lots of money to develop their algorithms, these companies are not inclined to share their findings, results nor data with their competitors, and consequently, datasets are sold at a premium.

This has greatly reduced the development of the industry; algorithms are not interoperable and there is a general lack of cooperation in the AI environment.

Proposed Solution (The Product)

The Effect.AI project seeks to remove this restriction and make the AI market affordable for—and accessible to—all interested parties. They aim to accomplish this with their network, the Effect Network, and its 3 phases: Effect Mechanical Turk, Effect Smart Market, and Effect Power.

The Effect Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for AI tasks, and people from all over the world can perform tasks and earn a fair reward for their work. This provides AI developers with a sizable workforce to help them train their algorithms.

The Effect Smart Market will be a decentralized platform where AI developers can sell (or rent out) working algorithms in exchange for cash incentives. On this platform, algorithms can also communicate and buy services from each other.

The Effect Power is the platform where the 2 phases above culminate. It will provide a distributed platform that will run deep learning frameworks, all algorithms on this platform will be blockchain-based and computations are completely decentralized.

The Team

The Effect.AI team is led by co-founder and CEO Chris Dawe, Dawe has some management experience from his time as the CEO of Choice Energy (5 years). He also has some marketing and project management experience. He is joined on the Effect leadership team by co-founder and CTO, Jesse Eisses. Eisses was a developer at Itsavirus for almost 6 years and he spent over a year of his time there as Lead Developer. He has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Amsterdam.

Co-Founder Nick Vogel is the project’s CCO, Pieter Huige is the COO, and Laurens Verspeek is the Chief Architect.

The Market

According to statista.com, the global AI market is worth over $2.4 billion as at 2017. An article by PwC.com also claims that by 2030, the artificial intelligence industry would contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the world economy.

These are significant numbers, and if Effect.AI can come up with the goods, they have ample room for growth in the market.

Roadmap

Phase 1 of the Effect Network is set to be released in the 3rd quarter of 2018, phase 2’s release is scheduled for the 2nd quarter of 2019, and phase 3 is expected to be released in Q4 2019.

Effect’s token sale is expected to take place in March 2018 but the team is yet to announce a specific date.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • The project claims that workers on its platform will earn ~$9/hour. The current rate on centralized platforms is ~ $2/hour.
  • There aren’t many networks like Effect and they may not face stiff competition in the market.

Weaknesses

  • Their use case, while revolutionary, is mostly theoretical.
  • The team is a bit light on management experience. They may also need a stronger, more established team to build the 3 phases they are proposing.

Opportunities

  • The tasks to be completed on Effect’s Mechanical Turk phase do not need specialized skills. With a promise of $9/hour, it may not take long before the platform is packed with workers.
  • By providing 3 phases of AI-related services, they are well placed to wholly dominate a billion-dollar market.

Threats

  • The fact that they have not released an Alpha or an MVP does not bode well.
  • The earliest of their phases is set to be released in Q3 2018 and the final phase won’t be available until Q4 2019. This, combined with the point above, is not encouraging for investors.
  • For a company with only a whitepaper and not much in the way of progress reports, $18.1 million is a lofty hard cap.

Effect.AI, like a lot of blockchain-based projects, have use-cases that are promising and revolutionary but mostly theoretical. While it is smart to be wary, it will not be wise to conclude prematurely that the project is not viable; many have done this in the past and they were left ruing their hasty judgement. For this project, patience is the name of the game.


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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be a source of advice and the information and/or documents contained in this website do not constitute investment advice.

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