- The browser Xayn will use the IOTA Tangle to validate the integrity and transparency of the search AI.
- Xayn was launched as a privacy oriented alternative to Google, offering the convenience of a personalized search experience.
Yesterday, the Berlin-based start-up Xain launched its search engine called Xayn, which will allow users to personalize their Internet search without having to sacrifice data protection. This will work by means of a search AI (artificial intelligence) developed by Xain and trained by each user himself. To combat misuse of the AI, Xayn integrates the IOTA Tangle as “trust anchor”.
Xayn – the privacy oriented alternative to Google
According to a blog post published yesterday, Xayn offers “a web search as it should be”. The new web browser is not only privacy oriented, but also offers a personalized search experience in the form of a personalized curation of content. Based on previous interactions, the AI makes suggestions, just like Google.
The AI, all data and the interaction history remain under full control of the user and are located on his device. With this solution, Xain wants to counteract the unethical hyper-personalization of web content and prevent future scandals like Cambridge Analytica. The basis for this is that the AI is controlled by the users and not the company behind the browser. The Berlin-based start-up writes about its solution:
How can we make sure that our AI is truly controlled by the people? The answer lies in radical transparency and user control, paired with decentralisation. All three aspects define our entire company DNA. Xayn’s AI gets feedback from you whenever you left swipe content as relevant or right swipe it as irrelevant.
The role of the IOTA Tangles in Xayn
In the fight against AI misuse, Xayn relies on the IOTA Tangle. The DLT is used to validate that only the user has full control over his AI model. It also removes the trust that users must have in the development company or any other contributor to the AI:
We firmly believe that the trustworthiness of the XayNet protocol and Xayn itself is further enhanced by its integration with DLT technology. Therefore, we are integrating The Tangle into XayNet to record the hash of the decrypted aggregated AI model that was computed in a round of federated learning. Xayn will decide whether to trust this aggregated model based on the familiar trust metrics that The Tangle offers. […] Thus, we wrap decentralisation, user control and AI transparency in The Tangle as an additional trust layer.
According to Xain, this is only the beginning of further IOTA integration possibilities for Xayn. As the blog post discusses, the XayNet protocol currently still has a “central federated learning coordinator”. “However, there are compelling reasons for a decentralization of this coordinator”, says Xain.
In fact, the reasons for such a major change are like those that led to the Coordicide of The Tangle for IOTA. We are in the process of extending our XayNet framework so that XayNet’s coordinator becomes decentralised while the spirit of the original protocol – which sees to its legal compliance, robustness, and resiliency – is being maintained.
As reported by CNF, IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener invested in Xain in 2019, after he had met the founder Leif Lundbaek in 2017. The two companies also worked previously together on the first prototype for IOTA Access.