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'We want to create an alternative to big corporate AI' says Fetch.ai boss after $7.5bn crypto merger unveiled

[object Object] (Fetch.ai)
[object Object] (Fetch.ai)

The boss of tech firm Fetch.AI as unveiled plans to merge three crypto tokens into one in a deal which could value the combined token at as much as $7.5 billion.

SingularityNET, FET operator Fetch.ai and Ocean Protocol today reached the agreement which is aimed at helping them build a decentralized AI platform.

Under the terms of the deal, the three entities would continue to act as standalone businesses while the combined token, to be known as ‘ASI’, would allow greater interoperability between different services. The three firms have undertaken to cooperate under a ‘Superintelligence Collective’ umbrella run by SingularityNET founder Ben Goertzel, with Fetch.ai CEO Humayun Sheikh, who led the deal, serving as chairman.

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In an interview with the Standard Sheikh said: “The intention is to create this alternative to big corporate AI.

“In big corporates like OpenAI you focus on one thing such as foundational large language models (LLMs) but to actually deploy a solution you need the whole stack, just building an LLM as a service is not enough.

“We’re coming to a stage where you can look around and see the amount of investment going into the AI space and it becomes more difficult for the smaller companies to compete. We felt a merger would enable us to overcome this problems — we have three world class teams that together can become much more cohesive.”

The proposed deal is the latest shift in Fetch’s reorganisation after the Standard revealed earlier this year that the company had shut its UK business ahead of an operational shift to Dubai following a million-dollar court case.

According to an explainer by the company, Fetch.ai users spend FET to “consume services within the platform…for example, instead of searching for and booking a flight via a price comparison website, you’d use Fetch.ai to automate the task.”

Users also stake their own FET for the opportunity to have a say in the governance and direction of the Fetch.ai platform, according to the explainer. Users who stake their FET earn interest at a variable interest rate of 10% annually.

According to a statement, Fetch.ai said FET users would be offered the chance to vote on the terms of the proposed deal in April.

Founder Humayun Sheikh is a Cambridge-based entrepreneur and a founding investor in DeepMind, which is now owned by Google.

The price of FET rose as much as 8% following news of the announcement. The coin has more than tripled in value since the start of the year amid a renewed investor interested in cryptocurrencies which saw the Bitcoin price hit a new record earlier this month.