Introducing M.AI by MONTREAL.AI
3,333 AI-Generated — One of One — Edition PFP NFTs
With such a simple description, it may be easy to overlook the significance of the project’s careful complexities. It is not your typical profile picture (PFP), expressed in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). It is fine art that was created by arguably the most advanced artist in the history of humanity, and this artist is not human. M.AI’s artist sits at the intersection of art, artificial intelligence, and Web 3.0. However, it does not merely sit at the intersection of these various fields of endeavor. It draws elements from each of them. It synergizes. It transforms. It creates. And it pushes forward the boundaries of the possible.
“In a moment of technological disruption, leadership matters.” — Andrew Ng
The goal of this article is not to create “hype.” It is to inform and educate about what makes M.AI (and the artist that made it) special.
MONTREAL.AI is both the name of a leading AI research company and the Discord alias of Vincent Boucher, the President of the company. He is one of the world’s foremost AI experts. MONTREAL.AI (both person and company) created MONTREAL.AI Master, which is the AI agent and artist that created the M.AI collection. An AI agent can perceive its environment, take autonomous actions to achieve its goals, and improve with search and learning. Vincent Boucher describes MONTREAL.AI Master as, “Turing Complete Open-Ended Meta-Learning and Reinforcement Learning Through Unbounded Creation of Fully Expressive Arts, Games, Metaverses, and AI Agents.”
An ELI5 (Explain Like I’m 5) description of this statement could be that MONTREAL.AI Master learns similarly to how a child learns, through trial and error, by making mistakes, and then improving based on positive and negative reinforcement in a variety of different contexts. Basically, MONTREAL.AI Master learns by creating, and it becomes a better creator the more and more it creates. MONTREAL.AI Master uses “World Models” (models of how the world works), and it is constantly evolving.
“You have relatively simple processing elements that are very loosely models of neurons. They have connections coming in, each connection has a weight on it, and that weight can be changed through learning.” — Geoffrey Hinton
Before the M.AI collection, MONTREAL.AI released two legacy art collections that used previous iterations of MONTREAL.AI Master.
“If we truly reach AI, it will let us know.” — Garry Kasparov
The Quintessential AI Art Collection
The first collection, “Quintessential AI”, represented the very first iterations (including iteration 0) of MONTREAL.AI Master. It was trained on some of the greatest art movements in history, including Abstract Expressionism, Art Nouveau Modern, Cubism, Expressionism, Impressionism, Naive Art Primitivism, Northern Renaissance, Realism, Romanticism, and Symbolism. Through search and learning, MONTREAL.AI Master was able to gradually generate the “purest archetype” of each of these great art movements. The training only started about a year ago, and the training was performed using a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN).
“Search and learning are general purpose methods that continue to scale with increased computation, even as the available computation becomes very great.” — Richard Sutton in The Bitter Lesson
A GAN uses game theory by having two models compete against each other in a tight feedback loop in order to reach a zero-sum Nash equilibrium profile. In simpler terms, a GAN is a type of neural network architecture that might attempt to generate (using a generative model) fake images that after many iterations (search and learning), a discriminator model would no longer be able to distinguish as fake. This allows the GAN to create new, compelling data.
As a side note, MONTREAL.AI has created a tool on https://cryptoaiart.com/ that allows for users to upload a painting and see the “style purity” of that painting. Most paintings use a mixture of styles, and the tool shows the top 5 most dominant styles.
For example, here we upload “The Quintessential Cubism,” and our classifier correctly gives: Cubism: 100%, Abstract Expressionism: 0%, Expressionism: 0%, Impressionism: 0%, and Naive Art Primitivism: 0%.
Here is the tool’s assessment for “The Quintessential Impressionism,” the purest one-of-a-kind archetype of the Impressionism art movement: Impressionism: 100%, Symbolism: 0%, Art Nouveau Modern: 0%, Realism: 0%, and Romanticism: 0%.
The Crypto AI Art Collection
MONTREAL.AI Master is in an aspirational state at the moment, and the “Becoming” collection (also known as the Crypto AI Art Collection on OpenSea) utilizes the GAN trained on the greatest art movements, search and learning, and advanced techniques such as self-supervised learning, reinforcement learning, and world models to help MONTREAL.AI Master “realize itself” by becoming the best artist that an AI artist can be. This collection is still a work in progress. On that developmental path, MONTREAL.AI Master is iteratively evolving to become itself (hence the collection name).
“What I cannot create, I do not understand.” — Richard Feynman
The latest piece in the collection is “Crypto AI Art #555”. This collection will ultimately have 1,000 pieces. To better comprehend the power of MONTREAL.AI Master, an instructive exercise would be to view the entire collection from piece #000 to its current piece #555. Note the dramatic evolution and transformation of the artwork over the various iterations. MONTREAL.AI Master is gradually, yet quickly, becoming a better and better artist. Imagine how good an artist it will be at #999. At that time, it will truly be MONTREAL.AI “Master.” And that will only be the beginning…
“Intelligence measures an agent’s ability to achieve goals in a wide range of environments.” — Legg and Hutter, 2007
M.AI represents an even further evolution of MONTREAL.AI Master’s capabilities by introducing PFP faces. The M.AI PFP art was created using the same GAN that was used for the “Becoming” collection (at Crypto AI Art #555). It should be noted that the GAN is used gradually less at each iteration. It should also be noted that Vincent Boucher himself did not think that it would be possible to create the M.AI collection so soon. It is one thing for an AI to create beautiful landscapes. It is another thing to generate balanced, artistic faces, at scale, with rarities. That is an extremely difficult task for an AI, and the fact that M.AI even exists is a testament to the sophistication and power of MONTREAL.AI Master.
Speaking of rarities, every single piece in the M.AI collection is a one-of-one (1/1), absolutely unique and original work of art. There are 524,288,000 possible unique pieces that could exist (based on the mathematics of the metadata traits), but only 3,333 pieces were actually generated. In addition, the 3,333 AI-Generated 1/1 Edition PFP NFTs were generated in one go, without human intervention. A significant point is that this is the first time that an AI has been able to process rarities in latent space (within the “consciousness” of MONTREAL.AI Master).
“Evolution is a slow learning algorithm that with the sufficient amount of compute produces a human brain.” — Wojciech Zaremba
Now that you know a little bit more about the project’s background, here is how you can add a M.AI NFT to your collection. More details will be provided on the official M.AI Discord (https://discord.gg/m-ai) and Twitter account (https://twitter.com/MontrealAIPFP), but here is some preliminary information:
• Mint Supply: The M.AI Genesis Collection (Series 0) will comprise of 3,333 individual M.AI PFP NFTs.
• Mint Date: TBD
• Mint Price: 0.1 Eth per M.AI PFP NFT
• How to Get on Whitelist: Owners of MONTREAL.AI’s Legacy Collections (Quintessential AI Art and Crypto AI Art) will receive one (1) whitelist spot per NFT owned. The official OpenSea links for the MONTREAL.AI Legacy Collections are provided below. Additionally, select communities will be receiving an allocation of whitelist spots. Each whitelist spot qualifies for one (1) mint of an M.AI PFP NFT. Please follow our Discord announcements channel and the official M.AI Twitter account for the latest information as it becomes available (official links above).
• Quintessential AI Art Collection on OpenSea: https://opensea.io/collection/quintessentialai
• Crypto AI Art Collection on OpenSea: https://opensea.io/collection/montrealai
Finally, if a picture is worth a thousand words, here is the equivalent of 9,000 more words.
Art and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There are some people who may question whether the work of artificial intelligence constitutes “art.”
Nevermind that Christie’s auction house has already sold both AI artwork and purely digital artwork for large sums of money. There are deeper questions here. Is art constrained by the medium on which it is expressed? After all, art has been expressed on cave walls, clay pots, and canvases. What difference does it make if art is only expressed through digital means? Must art derive solely from the human mind? If so, why the bias? If an AI “mind” can learn like a human mind… if it can learn better than a human mind, why should its work be negated?
While answering such questions is beyond the scope of this post, the following September 25, 2018 quote by Artnet’s Tim Schneider and Naomi Rea may prove helpful to consider: “To identify truly path-breaking work, we would do better to stop asking where the boundary line lies between human artists’ agency and that of AI toolsets, and instead start asking whether human artists are using AI to plumb greater conceptual and aesthetic depths than researchers or coders.”
Unlike generative art, which often uses algorithms to automatically generate art, art created by an AI like MONTREAL.AI Master is able to learn and make its own model of the world. There is a degree of abstraction here that recalls human capabilities. MONTREAL.AI Master will continue to grow, evolve, and forge forward in exploring new artistic horizons. As stated by artist and futurist Rama Allen, “The defining art-making technology of our era will be AI.” And in the words of Vincent Boucher, “The Artists Creating with AI won’t follow trends; THEY WILL SET THEM.”
Here’s to setting new trends.
The M.AI by MONTREAL.AI art collection is one piece of a larger puzzle.
More details of the roadmap will be released soon, but here’s a hint: AI Art x AI Agents x AI Nodes x AI Metaverse x AI Token.
The M.AI by MONTREAL.AI art collection could be seen as a key piece of a wider ecosystem that includes AI Agents, MONTREAL.AI Club, and access to a network of AI Nodes.
Here are 3 exclusive potential benefits for members of the MONTREAL.AI Club:
1) MONTREAL.AI Orchestrator: AI agent learning to orchestrate synergies amongst MONTREAL.AI Club’s members.
2) MONTREAL.AI Strategist: AI Agent designing strategies holding an advantage for each member.
3) MONTREAL.AI Sovereignty Mechanism: Learn to Play to Earn, allowing members to generate wealth via Play to Earn blockchain games.
More generally, the MONTREAL.AI Orchestrator will be an AI Agent learning to orchestrate synergies in Metaverses (this could do to Web 3.0 what a search engine (i.e., Google) did to Web 1.0 approximately 20 years ago).
We’re also preparing to launch an Apollo program at the convergence of AI and blockchain: MONTREAL.AI Metaverse, which will introduce a mechanism to create value by bridging both the Metaverse and the real world: Learn to Play to Earn. In the MONTREAL.AI Metaverse, we will openly develop Saraswati AI — a Superhuman Teacher (saraswati.dao) — to give “All of Education for All” (open and free). Saraswati AI will be to Education what Ethereum is to Finance. Saraswati AI will come with Polymatheia AI: An AI Agent learning to orchestrate synergies among all Saraswati AI beneficiaries to create impactful projects and change the world. MONTREAL.AI Club members will have privileged early access to the most innovative and impactful projects provided by Polymatheia AI.
AI Agents, AI Master, and AI Metaverse (and more…) will be (at least partly…) powered by AI Nodes.
Providing AI Agents (which are maximizing expected Utility) with scalable AI compute resources via AI Nodes is key to generate unprecedented value utilizing an AI Token.
This is part of MONTREAL.AI’s global roadmap to become the most important brand at the intersection of AI and Web 3.0. A much more sophisticated roadmap will eventually be designed by the MONTREAL.AI Strategist.
Please note that this roadmap is preliminary and subject to change.
The Bigger Picture
Most of this article has considered art and artificial intelligence, and how M.AI brings them together. The Web 3.0 component of all this has not yet been discussed, but it is crucial.
Web 3.0 is known for a number of things. It is known for the various technologies that it will involve: blockchain, NFTs, metaverse, VR, AR, and more. What it may not be as known for, but what may be most important, is the underlying ethos that it supports. There are certain values and principles that Web 3.0 facilitates, including decentralization, community, and self-sovereignty.
Once upon a time, the enormous potential of artificial intelligence was overlooked. No more. AI is currently transforming the world, and it will continue to transform the world in radical, exponentially-increasing ways. There are many problems in the world. Although AI carries with it certain risks, it also offers humanity a resource to solve many of its problems, from the small problems to the planetary-sized ones. AI represents the power for change.
But who will possess this power? Will it be solely in the hands of rich elites, massive corporations, and nation states that may or may not have the best interests of their citizens in mind? Or will the power be more distributed and decentralized, accessible to people of every race, religion, national origin, gender identity, social class, etc…? The answers to these questions represent vastly different visions for the future. Artificial intelligence will undoubtedly change the world. How the world will actually be changed will be largely determined by the values and principles that drive that change.
We believe that M.AI is a special project. But what do we believe sets it apart? Is it the art? Yes. Is it the technology? Yes. But it is more than that. It is the values and principles that M.AI represents. The pictures in the M.AI PFPs represent a bigger picture. Here, MONTREAL.AI Master creates more than artwork. It creates our vision for the future. That vision is decentralized AI.