Q1: Origin and Vision: Shai, what inspired you to start Kalman’s Forge, and how does your background shape its mission in the Web3 space?
A1: My inspiration for founding Kalman’s Forge sprouted from my 28yr tenure in IT leading solution architecture and digital transformation initiatives for startups and fortune 100 enterprises, and a deep-seated desire to elevate the quality of product development within the Web3 space. The catalyst for this venture was a series of realizations and a drive to build the untapped potential of real-world use cases across the Web3 layers of blockchain, machine learning, and AI.
My background, particularly my tenure at Amazon building and leading the Web3 blockchain partner ecosystem, has been instrumental in my conviction for Kalman’s Forge. During my time at Amazon, I gained a unique perspective into the gaps and opportunities that underpin the journey from Web2 to Web3. This experience was pivotal in deepening my conviction of the intricate dynamics of the ecosystem and the emerging needs of both businesses and consumers.
A core aspect of my vision for Kalman’s Forge is to introduce a level of rigor and structure that is often missing in innovative foundational technologies, especially in the rapidly evolving domain of Web3. My approach has always been to prioritize the strategic alignment of technology with customer objectives, ensuring that every investment in technology is purposeful and working backwards from the end customer.
At Kalman’s Forge, we are committed to building Web3 technologies and startups that embody the rigor and structure of my professional journey but also focus intently on real customer needs. Our goal is to develop products that are technologically advanced and designed with specific market opportunities in mind. This means working backwards from customer use cases and personas to validate the opportunities we uncover.
Q2: Web3 Advancements: How does Kalman’s Forge contribute to the advancement of Web3 technologies, particularly in fostering innovation and transparency?
A2: Kalman’s Forge plays a pivotal role in advancing Web3 technologies, primarily by focusing on the integration and synergy of three core layers of the new internet: blockchain, machine learning, and AI, especially generative AI.
Firstly, we regard blockchain as the foundational data layer of Web3. Our work in this area is focused on leveraging blockchain’s inherent strengths—decentralization, transparency, and security—to build a robust and trustworthy base for Web3 applications. By using blockchain as a ledger for transactions and interactions, we ensure that data integrity and transparency are maintained, which is crucial for building trust in Web3 environments. We believe that blockchain is the key technology for enabling a distributed and decentralized future where users interact directly with the ecosystem and control every bit of data they create.
Secondly, our thesis states that machine learning serves as the interpretation layer. Here, we are exploring innovative ways to analyze and interpret the vast amounts of data generated and stored on blockchains. By combining Zero-Knowledge Proofs and federated machine learning with confidential compute, we aim to extract meaningful insights from this data while only extracting the minimal data needed to drive decision-making, improve processes, and personalize user experiences in Web3 applications. We believe combing the distributed technologies of blockchain with machine learning at the edge unlocks a new level of security and trust for our users, only available in the decentralized internet that is Web3.
The third layer, where we see a significant potential for innovation, is AI, particularly generative AI, which we define as the presentation layer. Generative AI transforms how information is presented and consumed in Web3 spaces. It enables us to create user driven, interactive, and intuitive interfaces and experiences, making technology more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.
We are developing technologies like StrainChain to prove the viability and effectiveness of these combined technologies. Our efforts are geared towards advancing the technical aspects of Web3 and ensuring that these advancements are aligned with transparency, security, and user empowerment.
Q3: Collaborative Ecosystem: Can you discuss the importance of collaboration in Kalman’s Forge’s approach to Web3 development and how it benefits the broader tech community?
A3: We emphasize cooperation and collaboration rather than competition in the Web3 space. This approach is crucial because Web3 is still an evolving field. Defining expertise, identifying high-quality products, and setting standards are ongoing processes that requires humility and a sense of collaborative exploration. In such an ever changing environment competing is counterproductive. By focusing on cooperation, Kalman’s Forge can better address diverse customer needs, which are still being understood and sometimes guessed at. This non-competitive stance drives a customer-centric approach, which is vital in a field where user requirements and expectations are constantly shifting and tested.
We believe in fostering collaboration by showing stewardship and sharing resources, data, and experiences. This transparency includes not just the successes but also the challenges and struggles encountered in building a startup. Our openness contributes significantly to the collective learning of the Web3 community. By sharing our pipeline and data, we set a precedent for other entities in the space to follow, creating a collaborative and transparent ecosystem.
Education plays a pivotal role in our community efforts. While we teach theoretical aspect we hone in and mentor on practical experiences, including the difficulties faced and innovative solutions discovered. This approach helps push the boundaries of what’s possible in Web3 by addressing real-world use cases, which in turn fosters further collaboration within the ecosystem.
We believe in leveraging partnerships to build and market our solutions. By incorporating a variety of partner solutions, we enhance our offerings but also contribute to a more integrated and cohesive technology stack. This strategy benefits Kalman’s Forge and creates opportunities for partners to test out new technologies and use cases in real world situations.
Our conviction on collaboration in Web3 development is multifaceted, involving cooperation over competition, resource and knowledge sharing, practical education, and strategic partnerships. These efforts are not only beneficial for Kalman’s Forge but also contribute positively to the broader tech community by fostering a more collaborative, innovative, and customer-focused ecosystem.
Q4: Empowering Technologies: What key technologies and initiatives are you focusing on at Kalman’s Forge to drive the growth of decentralized internet?
A4: At Kalman’s Forge, we believe the user experience in real world applications is key to drive the growth and adoption of a decentralized internet. This involves addressing one of the most significant challenges in the Web3 and blockchain space: the usability of applications. Given the inherent complexities of the underlying technology, it’s crucial to simplify user interaction to ensure wider adoption.
To tackle this, we are concentrating on two main fronts: technology simplification and humanizing the language used in blockchain and AI interfaces.
We’re deeply committed to making the foundational layers of blockchain technology more accessible and easier to adopt, both for users and builders. We optimize these foundational layers by providing real-world examples that in turn inspire developers to create obfuscation layers and tooling to simplify the build experience for the next developer. This flywheel of innovation brings new developers into the fold, making it simpler for them to build on technologies of Web3.
We aim is to continually drive the simplification of this technology. The easier it is to adopt and use, the more widespread its adoption will become. We are at the forefront of this effort, serving as pioneers at the edge of technology, experimenting with and implementing the newest technological advances in practical, real-world use cases. This approach allows us to hide the complexities from the end-user, delivering interactions that align with their Web2 expectations and making blockchain more in the background and less intimidating.
For example, in StrainChain, we’re revolutionizing the way AI communicates with users. Instead of typical one shot chatbot interactions our AI chatbot behaves like a pharmacist or a doctor, offering an AI experience that resonates as personal and human. This approach extends to our grower onboarding process, where terms like ‘non-participating network’ are used instead of ‘private blockchain’, making the technology more approachable.
Another example is how we handle NFTs. When a grower imports their lab results, we refer to it as “importing your certificate” rather than using the term NFT. This subtle shift in language makes a significant difference in user perception and acceptance.
Through these strategies, we’re not only simplifying the technology but also changing the narrative around it. By making the language more familiar we’re lowering the barriers to entry for the next users of the decentralized internet. Our goal as an industry is to reach a point where customers use decentralized internet services without awareness of its underlying complexities.
Q5: Future Roadmap: Looking ahead, what are the long-term goals and upcoming projects at Kalman’s Forge that the community should be excited about?
A5: At Kalman’s Forge, our long-term vision is anviled in advancing the Web3 ecosystem through innovative and practical startups. There are several key projects and goals that the community should be excited about.
One of the most groundbreaking projects we’re currently developing is “Strain Chain.” It’s being built to revolutionize the medical cannabis industry with a tokenization platform and enhancing supply chain track and trace capabilities to the pharmaceutical levels needed for global adoption. The unique challenge in this sector is navigating a rapidly changing technical and industry regulatory landscape, and our solution is designed to address this head-on. Through Strain Chain, we aim to significantly improve customer usability and streamline operational processes from Seed to Consumption.
Another exciting aspect of Strain Chain is the integration of our advanced AR conversational bots. This technology represents a pivotal leap forward from current AI chatbots, which often struggle in maintaining long-form conversations or conducting in-depth interviews. Our goal with Strain Chain is to demonstrate the capability of AI chatbots to handle extended interactions effectively, which could have far-reaching implications across various industries.
We are planning to expand on the technology behind these AR conversational bots through our upcoming project, “Interview Machine.” This initiative is a testament to our commitment to enhancing AI communication technologies. Central to this project is the development of AR conversational bots capable of conducting detailed and prolonged interviews, tailored to the user’s preferences. The versatility and adaptability of these bots are what sets them apart, offering a personalized interaction experience that goes beyond the capabilities of current AI chatbots.
Moreover, the potential applications of Interview Machine are vast and diverse. For instance, we are currently exploring collaborations with real estate developers to leverage AI Avatars for conducting real-world home building interviews. Our foundational interview technology will significantly streamline communication, making them more efficient and user-friendly. This is just one example of how Interview Machine can transform traditional practices across various sectors, offering innovative solutions to longstanding challenges.
Furthermore, we are excited about the potential of Interview Machine in the mental health sector. We envision a future where AI technology can offer in-the-moment, real-time guided assistance to individuals seeking mental health support. This could revolutionize the way support is provided, making it more accessible and immediate for those in need.
Overall, Interview Machine is not just a product; it’s a foundational technology that will enable developers to create a multitude of incredible use cases. As a leader at Kalman’s Forge, my role is to ensure that our innovations like Interview Machine not only push the boundaries of technology but also offer practical, real-world applications. Our goal is to drive the growth and adoption of these technologies, ensuring they serve as a catalyst for the startups within our community and the Web3 ecosystem at large.
In leading these initiatives at Kalman’s Forge, my role involves not only steering the strategic direction but also ensuring that our innovations accelerate the growth and adoption of the startups that came before them. My focus is on bridging the gap between cutting-edge technology and real-world applications, ensuring that our contributions to the Web3 landscape are technologically advanced, accessible, and accelerant for our community.