Nostr is a new-ish social community venture and if I’m being sincere, I haven’t considered it a lot in any respect besides vaguely as that obscure factor Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is backing. However when Philip Rosedale was telling me about FairShare, he talked about Nostr as « [the other] factor I am most enthusiastic about proper now as an idea and in addition as a code base.”
Philip being Philip, his curiosity isn’t precisely about Nostr turning into a substitute for Fb or no matter, however being an answer to a very completely different however equally regarding downside in know-how: The rising energy of AI applications to spoof or deep pretend actual folks.
“I believe that stuff goes to change into an ultraviolet disaster within the subsequent 12 months,” he tells me. “Perhaps lower than a 12 months due to the AIs.”
You’ve in all probability seen audio recordings like this, the place a deep pretend is ready to imitate Obama and different public figures. That’s all enjoyable and video games in the meanwhile, however what occurs when that very same know-how is used to provoke pal of yours — after which that “pal” calls you up, telling you they’re stranded abroad, they usually want you to wire them $2500?
“I believe one of many issues that is going to occur with AI is that each one our messages are gonna change into [spoofable by AI deep fakes]– we will not belief them anymore,” as Philip Rosedale places it.
“I believe that we’re about to enter into, in some methods, really an excellent time, the place all of the messages on the general public Web are simply presumably bullshit; they’re extra prone to be rubbish than not. And so everyone’s simply gonna need to cease [using existing social media] and use signed messages.
“I believe we’re gonna have to maneuver to a brand new system. And that is going to be actually disruptive. However I believe it is kinda good as a result of we’ll get much less nonsense messages.”
That stated, right here’s an introduction to Nostr from Philip, and why he believes it’s additionally higher than blockchain:
“Nostr is a crypto primitive, so it is very simple… It is a signed message relay. And also you run the relay, and the relay is form of a impartial, encrypted place the place you simply ship messages, so it is form of like a router. You principally simply ship a message there and anyone else can search for messages which have a sure key on them.
“And so, what it seems is you should use Nostr very simply — like very, very simply — to switch Sign, Twitter, Snap Maps, Grinder, all of those various things might be carried out in a single day, utilizing Nostr. And it makes all of these issues very, very non-public, and really, very simple to do.
“And so we do not want an organization like Sign — to the extent that it is an organization — you do not want a benevolent platform to run a relay. It is tremendous easy to simply run one on Nostr. And there is already hundreds of those Nostr relays. All of the relays form of copy their messages to one another.
“So principally Nostr is sort of a model of a blockchain that does not have a blockchain. It is only a free server that folks run. That server gives mixture signed, transmitted messages.”
Funnily sufficient, the primary individuals who appear focused on Nostr are from the blockchain/crypto world. However Philip believes Nostr just about obviates that entire venture.
As he put it, as if he had been speaking with web3 followers:
« Hey, everyone, why do not we simply use the easier factor? We do not want cash, we do not have to battle about who will get the subsequent greenback. »
As a result of sure, that’s finally how Bitcoin and Ethereum function:
“All of the blockchain stuff is principally a system that allows you to do some stuff, but additionally primarily permits folks to gamble and battle over who will get the subsequent greenback printed. It was such a nasty thought I do not even know the place to begin.”
Extra on Nostr right here. We’re beginning to see some shopper apps that run on Nostr, equivalent to Damus, a cellular social app, however thus far it’s pretty area of interest.
As with many initiatives Philip Rosedale is focused on (ahem), Nostr could also be too forward of its time to realize actual traction any time quickly. Present social networks are so deeply ingrained in our day by day Web lives, will probably be very troublesome to shift away from them.
However then once more, seeing how Jack Dorsey’s substitute at Twitter has helped make that social community fairly problematic, there’s a rising want for a successor. And we’re one main life-threatening catastrophe away from AI deep fakes turning into a worldwide disaster.