Amasa’s AMA with DataUnion, 16 November 2022 — Recap and Prize Winners
And thank you to all that could join us. We really appreciated the question submissions and the engagement from our community. Both Robin Lehmann & Dr. Mark Siebert provided us with some excellent insight into the world of DataUnions and how we can get involved and start participating today.
For those that missed out, please see the recap of our conversation below.
We are also pleased to share the winners of our question submissions for both the pre-selected and live questions below.
Part 1 — Amasa questions to DataUnion + partnership question
Sarah (Amasa): Welcome everyone to today’s AMA with DataUnion, we’re so glad you could be here! Joining us today, we have Robin Lehmann, CEO & Dr. Mark Siebert, COO of DataUnion and Will Birks, Founder & Core Contributor at Amasa. Thanks for your time today guys.
I’m Sarah, Amasa’s Social & Community Coordinator, and I’m delighted to be hosting today’s discussion with you all.
How are you all? Can I ask each of you to give us a short introduction, explain your role at DataUnion and a bit about your background?
Mark (DU): Hi, I’m Mark, Co-founder of DataUnion, focussing on business development. I come from a data publishing and AI background and am happy to help shape the new data economy.
Robin (DU): Hey everyone, my name is Robin and I am the CEO of DataUnion. My background is in computer science, especially in artificial intelligence. I worked many years in the automotive industry, starting as a developer in a company that got acquired by Panasonic — some algorithms I developed there are still driving around in the world on cameras of cars. I then moved on to become a project manager, product owner, and finally an AI program manager at Rolls Royce. I quit that job to start working on DataUnion full time.
My journey in Web3 started as an investor in 2017, then I became involved in the SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol communities — focusing on AI + blockchain tech. I built up the Ambassador project for the Ocean Protocol project and moderated the Telegram channels for both projects.
Will (Amasa): And just for anyone new to the Amasa community and those from DataUnion, I’m Will — cofounder and core contributor of Amasa. My background is mixed across design and product management, went deep into the space in 2017 and committed to web3 expansion 4 lyfe.
Sarah (Amasa): Great, thanks for that guys! Now let’s jump into part 1 of this AMA.
Q1. What is a DataUnion? How do DataUnions work? How does a DataUnion work?
Robin (DU): If you break down the two words into their most simple meanings we get:
Data: information & Union: the state of being joined together.
The core premise of the DataUnion model revolves around the democratization of data, whereby all willing participants (businesses, organizations and individuals) can pool, annotate, and verify their data together to build out extensive, high quality, and clean data sets to be used to create higher-quality AI models.
As part of a Union, all collaborators are rewarded with a share of the value created from that data. This creates a drastic paradigm shift away from typical web2 platforms that farm their users’ personal data and then monetise that directly for themselves. Not sharing with the users, even though without those users it wouldn’t have the asset in the first place.
Sarah (Amasa): Thanks for that Robin!
Q2. How can individual contributors benefit from joining a DataUnion?
Robin (DU): There are a variety of ways contributors will be able to benefit from DataUnions. One of the mostly hotly discussed topics out there is the idea of data sovereignty.
This means the ownership of data. Now, one of the biggest arguments out there is with the Big 4. Companies like Facebook (Meta now), Amazon, Google and Apple. All of these companies offer incredible services at no cost to their users. The way they do that is by offering advertising to businesses. But to make advertising on their platform interesting, they offer the ability to show adverts to only people who would be relevant. To figure out who’s relevant and who isn’t, they track data. A LOT of data. And this data fuels algorithms that are run to create models that decide who sees adverts for beach holidays and who sees adverts for second hand motorbikes.
It’s a simple argument to make at this point. If a company like Meta is making BILLIONS of $$$ by selling advertising based on peoples’ personal data, why wouldn’t they share that revenue with the users.
This is where we can make fundamental changes to the way the world works. We can start by simply creating an environment where if you opt in to giving your data to an organisation, they agree to share with you a percentage of the revenue they create using that data.
Now imagine, Meta generated around $117BN from around 2bn users. Surely there’s room to share that revenue with the users that make it all possible.
And that’s just one example. The same will be true in health data, geo-location data, business analytical and logistical data. There will be TONS of opportunities for people to share data, collaborate and generate more value from that data.
Sarah (Amasa): Very detailed and interesting response.
Q3. What sort of DataUnions can I join today? How many are out there, and how do they differ?
Mark (DU): Today there are a few DataUnions that are out there and that are ready for users to join and start collaborating with. Recently, one of the projects using our technology stack, WeDataNation, has officially launched their beta testing phase.
WeDataNation allows users to pull their web2 data profiles from websites like Twitter, Facebook and Netflix, and import these into web3. From here, each user can choose whether they want their data to be monetised. Ie: would you like to be paid when someone targets an advert at you based on that data.
This means, you can finally start monetising that data, if you wanted to. WeDataNation (WDN) are signing up BETA TESTERS at the moment — check it out here https://wedatanation.io/join
In general, DataUnions focus on data sovereignty — like WDN — to monetize and govern individual data on the one hand side and focus on data crowd work on the other side, e.g. citizen-science or sustainability data.
In terms of how many DataUnions are out there right now, I’d say we’re still early, but more and more are appearing on a regular basis. Some are focused more on niche collaboration (for example nCight is a project where Medical Professionals and Surgeons can label and validate data sets based on imagery from prosthetic surgery. For obvious reasons, it’s not open to everyone.
But it’s a growing space. Brainstem. Health is bringing a health wearable device to the market, which will allow users to track and share their health data (such as heartbeat data) if they want to monetise it. It can then be pooled to create a bigger data set which can then create value that is shared across all users who collaborated.
And there are many data projects that don’t call themselves a DataUnion, but actually are teaming up to collaborate around data 😉
Sarah (Amasa): We love data sovereignty!
So many interesting projects are emerging. A very exciting time for data and web3!
Q4. Can you update us on some of DataUnion’s most recent news?
Robin (DU): Right now, DataUnion is focused on helping new startups and projects that want to create a new data economy. We’re working with some amazing projects already, and whilst it’s still early days, we’re excited about the recent partnerships and projects we’ve been lucky enough to work with.
From our recent announcement with Openfabric.ai, the platform for building and connecting AI applications, to the work we’re doing with Pollinations.ai on generative art creations for DataUnions. Then obviously the beta testing of WeDataNation that’s going live, Brainstem.Health and nCight building on the DataUnion tech stack. There’s so much going on in this space, that there’s never a dull moment.
Sarah (Amasa): Sounds like you guys are very busy!
Q5. How can the DataUnion x Amasa partnership add value to the web3 space and participants?
Mark, I will get you to answer this one first
Mark (DU): One of the biggest issues for web3 is onboarding new users. And it’s great to see Amasa helping to onboard and educate. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about DeFi, P2E games or DataUnions. Web3 in general terms needs more users and the data economy needs data contributors, enrichers and verifiers.
But we believe more users only come to the table when there’s something for them to do. It’s not always about the technology or deep diving to understand what’s being built. It’s about the end user’s experience. And this is where DataUnion and Amasa working together can be so powerful.
When you collaborate with a DataUnion, it is not only for an immediate reward. The long term goal is to make sure that everyone that collaborates in a particular data set will also receive a share of the future value that’s created from that data. This means that your collaborations to a Union, could reward you for weeks, months or even years to come.
Sarah (Amasa): Beautiful answer, a perfect match for what we are doing at Amasa and web3earner.
@wbamasa you’re up!
Will (Amasa): Totally agree, web3 will take over from web2 in so many ways but the experience needs to be a step up from what’s already there. Giving people value back through rewards, in itself, is rewarding for people on a deeper level — knowing they are valued by the foundations built into the online platforms they’re using. So that is a big step up from the ‘ free but you’re the product’ Web2.0 model.
For Amasa it’s important that we develop our app with an ongoing connection to great projects like DataUnion, to align on fit, and support their growth, given our mission is to accelerate web3 adoption and help people maximise the opportunity web3 income streams can offer.
Sarah (Amasa): Thanks @wbamasa, always great to get your perspective.
Part 2: Pre-selected community questions to DataUnion — selected questions will be awarded $AMAS
Sarah (Amasa): I’m going to move us on to part 2 of our AMA, the pre-selected community questions. They were submitted to this announcement on Monday. Thank you to everyone that took the time to send through questions, we’ve selected a few from the mix.
6. From @Drewmos52 — I learned that DataUnion will launch DataUnionDao to achieve mass adoption of DataUnion, So what will be the structure of your dao? Who can participate in DataUnionDao and what will be its benefits?
Robin (DU): Just to clarify, Data Union DAO is a different organisation than ours. We wouldn’t want anyone to confuse the two.
In terms of our organisation, the governance structure of DataUnion Foundation will be created and maintained in the future by the Unions themselves and their collaborators. For a system to truly work well, it needs to work for the people that are using it.
We don’t see ourselves as the rule setters — more the facilitators to help start that governance journey when the time is right.
But we are starting with a more centralised organisation now and moving progressively into the direction of decentralisation.
Sarah (Amasa): Thanks Robin and thanks for the question @Drewmos52!
7. From @Eser_Guler786 — Can you share with us some of DataUnion project’s compelling features that set it apart from its competitors? What competitive advantages does DataUnion platform have that you feel most confident in?
Mark (DU): I guess every project wants to say that their vision or offering is unique. I’ll just start by saying this. We’re building the tools and infrastructure for DataUnions to start, grow and thrive in the future. Our goal isn’t to own or control the Unions, it’s to create a better system that allows others to create a new, fairer data economy. That’s our biggest point of difference. When the iPhone was released, the number of good apps available was tiny. But the infrastructure that had been created allowed for massive companies like AirBnB and Uber to start and thrive.
We’re focusing on creating that infrastructure that generates infinite possibilities in the future.
Sarah (Amasa): Love it!
8. From @CryptoGudang — a) Can you talk about the biggest trends in Web3 and how DataUnion fits into that?
Robin (DU): The biggest trends we see right now are about decentralised science (DeSci), decentralised data, and regenerative finance. DataUnion provides infrastructure options for all of them. We are already talking and working with projects in all of these areas. The benefit of our technology is that it can be used for any kind of collaboration that is based on data which makes it very ubiquitous.
Sarah (Amasa): b) What is DataUnion wallet will do to tackle privacy and security?
Robin (DU): DataUnion does provide a technology stack which also includes a mobile app that has a wallet included — this allows non-custodial wallets for users that onboard to the DataUnion ecosystem but we kept the mobile app in a way that makes it possible to participate in the data economy without having to be fluent in blockchain tech. Basically abstracting away the blockchain part until the participants are ready to dive into it. This is possible as on mobile apps the signing, confirming and handling of the blockchain transactions can be handled by the app for the user. We are also talking to smart contract wallets e.g. Ambire (https://ambire.com) which will then update the wallet in all the DataUnion’s mobile apps to something that allows email + password accounts and make it possible to recover the wallet with these credentials.
Sarah (Amasa): c) How do you think Web3 Privacy is going to make the world better?
Robin (DU): For us the biggest advantage we see in Web3 privacy is that everyone can claim back the power over their data and we are sure that this will make the world a better place. If you think about the future where more and more automation is going to take over the world, then this automation is going to be owned by someone. There are two possible ways we see that this can go (quoting Jerome Lanier) — either big corporations are going to capture all this value or the other possibility would be that we as the people can capture that value by organising ourselves via DataUnions. This is the better world from our point of view.
We also wrote a paper about how our solution works and what the advantages are for privacy — you can check it out here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4258362
Sarah (Amasa): Thanks Robin and thank you @CryptoGudang!
Q9. From @stupendouslystupendous a) In a world where Data is king, how do you plan on ensuring you stand out from a space that is painfully full of noise?
Robin (DU): We are building the infrastructure that is enabling other projects to empower DataUnion’s to iterate on data collaborations. Providing this infrastructure makes us stand out but more than that the projects building on top of it are making a ton of noise as they will reach out to millions of people to participate. We think building a network of networks which brings sustainable benefits to millions of people is a good way to stand out in the Web3 space.
Sarah (Amasa): b) Do market conditions affect the pace at which the project moves?
Robin (DU): We also need to finance ourselves, this is difficult in these market conditions but as we are providing massive value to the projects that build with us we can ignore the market partially. So we are actually making money independently of the market condition and that massively helps to ignore it 🙂
Sarah (Amasa): c) What price can Data be sold for? Where is the revenue coming from and going to?
Robin (DU): This is an excellent question and is very use case specific. We see most of the value coming from the insights created from the data, we enable the revenue created from the insights to be shared back to the data and insight contributors. Our data portals will have a dashboard to track the sales but at the moment we are not 100% there yet to sell a ton of data. But we made a lot of progress to get there. Here you can see the live dataset of one of the DataUnions working with us on the Ocean Protocol marketplace with an insight that evaluates the ever growing dataset:
So the revenue of the insight and the dataset is split then to the contributors.
This setup allows others to also write insights and if they don’t violate the rules (e.g. copy data or try to identify individuals), then they get whitelisted and create value for the data contributors as well. So we are spanning up a network of networks here where everyone in the world can contribute but also build insights from the DataUnions as this kind of setup is part of the technology stack we are building that is available for all DataUnions working with us.
Sarah (Amasa): Beautiful, thank you for your detailed responses. And thank you to all those that submitted questions.
Part 3: Open community question session — Selected questions will be awarded $AMAS
Now finally, I would like to give the opportunity to the community to submit any questions they may have about DataUnion. The community will have a few minutes to submit their live questions. Selected questions will win a share in $100 of $AMAS. Please note, a maximum of 3 questions per person, and we request that you do not spam the feed.
Thank you everyone for submitting your questions!
From @wahyujambi — How flexible is #DATA_UNION to change quickly and keep pace with technology trends? What is your long-term vision for the forecasting industry in which your Project operates?
Robin (DU): We are 150% flexible as we are building a techstack that involves Web2 and Web3 technology and can therefore connect and incorporate all technology trends that come up in both worlds.
Our long-term vision is that the data economy will completely change in the next decade to enable data sovereignty and we are going to be shaping this future as well.
From @parkergonzalo — Since NFT is popular Nowadays, is there a plan for NFT integration??
Robin (DU): We are heavily leaning on NFTs already — but not the standard PFP NFTs. We are using DataNFTs by Ocean Protocol (see more details here: https://blog.oceanprotocol.com/what-is-a-data-nft-5804a2d88671).
These Data NFTs allow you to add your data to them (like IP) and to give others access to the data via datatokens. But our big change is that these Data NFTs that the users control can then also connect to DataUnions that we create to sell, enhance, and verify the data for the users.
So basically collaborative NFTs.
We are also going to use NFTs for the DataUnions in the future to make them fully trustless and decentralised — we call these DataUnion NFTs. They will handle the revenue shares and access to the data but also keep links between data, enhancements, and verifications.
So basically we are trying to build a network of networks of NFTs. Next gen NFTs.
From @zboscob — What are your plans on GLOBAL adoption? Which country is DataUnion presently focused on?
Mark (DU): DataUnion projects start anywhere across the globe. Given the European regulations and upcoming Data Acts many projects are exploring new ways around data sovereignty in Europe. We support those that want to embrace this using Web3. Data contributors to bounties and data challenges sit globally already, like you in this community. Adoption to grow the new data economy for us works through data projects and their communities, which are not just regionally bound, but also by expertise and reputation. The regional focus emerges with our partnerships, but most of our Web3 partners, like AMASA are already global. Hence we’re more focused on who is Web3 ready and embracing true collaborative ways of working (and sharing created value).
From @adamshouston — Are you planning to promote your project in countries/regions where English is not good? Do you have a local community for them to better understand your project?
Robin (DU): We are very heavily leaning and planning to work with countries/regions where English is not good. Our mobile app is the piece that connects contributors to DataUnions and in there you can change your language and seamlessly contribute even if your English is not good.
On the other hand we are also working on adding communication and data guilds to our app so that people with the same language can start coming together, discuss different DataUnions, help each other and form communities. This feature is not there yet but very important for us.
Overall we see that the data from people that don’t speak English well is very under represented in machine learning models and we specifically are interested in capturing it. So we are building to enable anyone on the planet to become a part and participate.
Sarah (Amasa): Thank you for those questions guys, great selection and excellent answers!
That concludes our AMA with DataUnion. Thank you to Robin, Mark and Will for joining us, and taking the Amasa community on a ride through the infinitely interesting world of DataUnions.
Regardless of the market conditions and the current sentiment within the space, we continue to be extremely bullish on blockchain tech and the big ideas that surround it. DataUnions are the perfect case study for what this technology can achieve and its potential.
We appreciate everyone that could be with us today and hope you all have a wonderful morning/evening 🙏
End of AMA.
Prize winner recap
$AMAS will be distributed to winners via Polygon.
Pre-selected question Submissions -
Live Questions -
DataUnion is developing an expansive ecosystem of data collaborators with the aim of generating a new data ecosystem and improved collaborative AI insights. A data union is a community of data creators, curators, and users that co-develop, co-own, and co-govern datasets and algorithms. This network is enriched by employing a joint governance model, which will be enhanced in the future by the DataUnion Ecosystem Token.
DataUnion launched its ecosystem with the aim of connecting data partners with its DataUnion-as-a-Service platform. This means that data can be traded for value via a range of applications including image anonymisation and analytics, robotic computer vision, predictions, health record sharing, and blockchain analytics.
As a next step, DataUnion is looking to extend its network to incorporate Cardano so Cardano’s community of users can contribute to the ecosystem. DataUnion’s longer term vision is to become a complete multi-chain hub where users across multiple chains can access data sharing and ownership opportunities. It aims to extend its unions to play-to-earn, micro-tasking, and many other Web3 earning possibilities.
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