It’s a well known fact that we live in the information era — with computing and communication and sensor and actuator networks that spread and collect more information than previous generations could have dreamed of.

It’s also a well known fact that knowledge is power — that with more knowledge, people can better choose actions to effectively achieve their goals, and better shape their goals based on a broad understanding of the world.

The tricky thing about connecting these two well known facts, however, is that information is not knowledge.

To turn information into knowledge requires understanding — which requires proper organization of information, organization that reflects the subtle connections between different kinds and items of information.

Of the many ways to represent and guide the organization of information — and thus transform information into actionable knowledge and practical wisdom — the simplest and most flexible is the knowledge graph.

It’s no exaggeration, therefore, to say that whoever controls the planet’s knowledge graphs, is positioned to play a highly significant role in driving humanity forward.

One more well known fact to add to the mix is the rise of AI, which by this point is essentially unstoppable. As the next years and decades pass, narrow AI systems will gradually give way to Artificial General Intelligences, which will take on more and more of the roles currently played by humans. In the best-case outcomes, this will free up humans to pursue increasingly rewarding activities based on their own passions and interests.

To train and educate AIs, however, requires data and processing power — often massive amounts of it. And increasingly, AI developers are seeking to minimize the data and processing requirements for their AI systems via augmenting the raw data they feed their algorithms with knowledge graphs that give the AI guidance in interpreting and working with the data.

For all these reasons and more, it is extraordinarily important that the increasingly large and sophisticated knowledge graphs that are bound to appear over the next years and decades should be developed and controlled in an open, transparent and participatory way.

We need massive, distributed knowledge graphs that are developed by the people for the people.

To make this happen, we need to create systems that incentivize collective creation of knowledge graphs covering all aspects of human knowledge, and also systems that enable AIs and humans to work together to make the knowledge graph creation process more efficient and effective.

Tokenomics provides a means for effective incentivization of knowledge graph creation. Deployment of knowledge graphs across modern blockchain networks provides an infrastructure on which easy-to-use knowledge creation tools can be built, and AI tools and systems can be interfaced. Blockchain-based ecological governance mechanisms allow broad-based participatory regulation of all these processes.

The stakes here are extraordinarily high. If we can succeed at this — collectively gathering the bulk of humanity’s data, wisdom and understanding into a massive decentralized knowledge graph and then disseminating this graph openly and feeding it to AI systems with huge computing power — we may catalyze the next stage of evolution of human civilization.

EpiK Protocol is the world’s first dencentralized storage protocol for AI data.