How Cortex brings AI on the Blockchain – Hacker Noon

What Is Cortex solving?

AI monopoly

To date, Artificial Intelligence has become ubiquitous and our reliance on Artificial Intelligence increases day by day. For examples, Amazon’s recommendation system that offers users personalized recommendations based on previous purchases or activity; Uber’s AI model to determine arrival times, pick-up locations, and fare price; and PayPal that uses machine learning algorithms to detect and combat fraud.


Having a few companies to dominate the AI industry may not be wise. AI models trained by the big corporations often put their own interests before costumers’ privacy or needs. Blockchain technology can change the status quo by decentralizing and open-sourcing AI algorithms to ensure that people could choose from multiple AI providers and are free from the danger of big corporations.

The Cortex blockchain can democratize AI by creating a tokenomic model that incentivizes AI developers to share their models with the world: every time a model is called, the owner of that model will get paid in CTXC. This will encourage more developers to post better AI models on-chain. With more and better models being submitted on the chain, Smart contract and DApp developers will have access to more functional AI tool to include in their development. This creates a new and healthy eco-cycle for the AI industry.

Limited Smart Contract Capability

Smart Contract is one of the best inventions of the century. The idea is that contracts can be translated into code, which is then distributed to multiple nodes for verification in a blockchain. Yet, the current smart contracts are not actually “smart” but more like digital contracts. Without enhancing the capability of the smart contract it is hard to implement real-world decentralized applications on the blockchain. A real smart contract should have AI functionalities.

With the current smart contact technology, developers could only create applications like CryptoKitties that offers users static cat pictures with no interaction or Fomo3D that uses Mathematical calculations to provide a scam-like experience. With Cortex, developers could create more complex applications such as a KYC application that uses a face recognition model to provide a more secure process and prevent fraudulent actions.


At present, smart contracts are executed on CPUs; however, due to the complexity of AI algorithms, there is no public blockchain that has enough computational power to effectively execute AI algorithms. The Cortex public blockchain is built from the ground up, using GPU/FPGA on full nodes to support AI inference. The Cortex Virtual Machine will use GPU/FPGA to execute the AI smart contract.

How does Cortex do that?

AI Smart Contract and DApp

Allow smart contracts to include AI functions, creating truly intelligent smart contracts and enhanced DApps with more diverse use cases.

AI Inference

Rebuild CVM to run on GPUs and FPGAs to support AI inference on the blockchain and reach consensus using Cuckoo Cycle.

AI Model Platform

An AI platform on blockchain where AI providers can store their most advanced AI models to be accessed by individual developers who pay them in CTXC.

Cortex Virtual Machine

The CVM is fully compatible with EVM which allows developers to migrate their Ethereum smart contracts to the Cortex blockchain and add AI functionalities.

Cortex MRT

An open and flexible standard that enables deep learning frameworks and tools to be interoperable.

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