NFTs Just Got Smarter with Artificial Intelligence


“But what can you do with them?”

It’s been the cry of NFT critics since CryptoKitties mewed their first meow, as though every antique store wasn’t stuffed with porcelain cats that do nothing but look pretty on a shelf. But it’s a complaint that the blockchain world has taken seriously. NFT collectors do want more from their collections of JPGs and avatars than half-complete sticker albums that they can sell for a profit. 

They want to be able to use their NFTs.

Developers have stepped up. Metaverses have given NFTs entire worlds to roam and interact in. Games companies have developed coins that can be used to purchase in-game assets and items that players can keep and own. Designers are matching digital assets to physical goods that bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds.

But perhaps a better question might be: what can NFTs do for you?

Altered State Machine, or ASM, is a new venture that adds a layer of artificial intelligence to NFTs. Each token, or “agent,” receives a “frame,” a collection of random attributes that determine their behavior. Just as generative NFTs might randomize background color or eyewear, so ASM’s agents randomize speed and size for gaming NFTs, or risk tolerance and randomness for trading agents.

The characteristics can determine the appearance of the agents. Still, collectors can also attach the frame to their existing NFT artworks, giving their collections a new set of attributes.

But it’s the third aspect of ASM’s innovation that makes the difference. The blockchain usually does little more than list the current location of digital assets. ASM keeps track of an agent’s activities as “memories.” As the agents interact, they learn. An agent can have dozens or even hundreds of memories that can change how they function.

ASM currently sees its agents operating in two spheres. To show how AI-powered NFTs can improve gaming, the company has built a soccer world that allows avatars supported by frames to compete against each other and learn from their behavior. They become better players.

ASM also sees its tokens used in finance. They can make trading decisions, track results, and learn to make better predictions to improve their next position. The company also sees its agents used as chatbots and voice assistants. 

The result should be a significant step-up for digital tokens. No longer are NFTs simple JPGs that collectors can admire, collect, and sell. They’re developing into simple robots powered by artificial intelligence that can learn ways to better navigate their digital worlds. NFT collectors will even get an additional strategy beyond collecting and holding. They’ll now be able to train their NFTs, increasing their value by giving them rare new abilities. 

Non-fungible tokens were always a smart idea. Now the tokens are about to get even smarter. 

(Note: the author is an advisor for ASM.)

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