Diego, can you share where the idea for JADA came from?
The idea behind Jada originated after seeing very talented, honest and hardworking individuals, failing to grow, scale and innovate on their economic contributions, slowly being left behind or being marginalized out of the greater economy, or in other words, achieving their goals. In addition to that, the rise of cryptocurrencies brought about a movement of value independence, although we were still lacking in fair and just finance.
It’s something that I spent lots of time and thought towards, identifying the reasons behind these occurrences, why were some Individuals being left behind while others not? Why would some fail and others succeed? It came down to two things, a) the information that the Individual or Organization had at the moment, and b) their ability to use that information to make decisions that would bring a positive outcome.
What are the greatest challenges in building the team?
So far there have been 3, very heart-wrecking challenges, although completely necessary to overcome given the current context of our civilization. The first being finding team members that have a long-term vision, often times when talking with someone with the skill set necessary to contribute to the project, but lacking belief in future/deep tech and an entrepreneurial spirit, their answer is usually along the lines of.. “that technology doesn’t exist”, to which I always answer “that’s why we’re going to create it ourselves”.
The second problem is more on the economic side, when you are a startup with not much funding or “negotiating power”, sometimes you may not be able to meet the potential team member’s demands/requirements to participate, money being their main driver for involvement with no interest as to what is being created. This has acted as both a tumorous growth barrier and a filtering screen, enabling us to partner up with solid contributors that are in this for the long-run regardless of how “ugly” things may get and not people that will circle back just because they heard a big investment came in.
The third and most important challenge to overcome is maintaining Gender Parity. The Jada AI project is a global venture that will one day accelerate the development of life. It’s only fair that there is a balance in terms of the people working on the project, both geographically and in gender. The percentage of Females actively working in STEM fields is very, very low compared to the amount of Males, it is because of this that we strive for a 50/50 participation ratio, although I’d honestly welcome a Female dominated participation in Jada if the situation arises, anything to stimulate and inspire younger generations to adopt Female participation culture so this stops being a problem.
When do you consider the project successful?
I’ll consider the Jada project successful when every Jadx token holder is guided by our AI towards a better future. But how do you quantify a “better future”? As individuals, we all have a different vision for the future we want to create for ourselves, for some, it’s finding a way to land their dream job, for others, finding a way to build their own venture, others accomplishing X objective while others are working to achieve Y.
Overall, spending your time the way you want to, thriving while doing so, in a sustainable manner and without trampling over the rights of others, is the shared concept of a better future that I currently perceive from societies across our planet. I’ll consider the project a success when Jada AI has both the precise decision-making power and guidance capability to aid with execution, making all of this possible for everyone.
How it came to be..
The year was 2017 when we got invited to the Toronto International Film Festival to showcase one of our films, it was there that we had the clarity to think about life, and the role, regardless of how little it was, in the world we live in. A common question we asked ourselves was “Why us and not them?” Referring to our classmates from film school and other competing participants, the answers and conclusions we came to were varied to say the least.. Some had not made the submission deadline, others did not provide the materials required, many didn’t turn in a film that resonated with the values being celebrated and many thought that the festival would come asking them directly to bring in their films.. Many, many reasons.
Somehow, we had made it in, somehow.. we had “made the right decisions” or as others would call it “blessed with luck”. I knew that the so-called “luck” was actually the combination of variables inside our area of control, factors outside of our influence and powers that we were completely unaware of, all of which seemed to have aligned to generate the present opportunity. When not busy with film-related activities, I would set forth some processing time to quantify the so-called “luck” that was blessing us, thinking about every thought and step taken with the knowledge and experience owned at the time.
The idea of having hard-cash in my wallet was never appealing, so I’d always pay with my debit card, settling transactions in Canada would be difficult at times because the bank in my home country thought it was “suspicious activity”, even when I had called prior to my travel to notify I would be wandering around. The reasons that the bank would give for the failed transactions were never consistent, sometimes it was the “hours at which they were done”, others because of the “high amount of transactions”, or because they would routinely lock-up my account so I’d call to verify ownership.
None of the above ever made sense to me, I just never understood why I had to ask someone for permission to use something which I had worked to earn, it wasn’t like I had the account for free, they would deduct some- thing every month, a maintenance fee. Around that time I had discovered Cryptocurrencies, a Bitcoin ATM in Toronto’s Queen Street to be precise. As curious and hungry for knowledge as I am, the journey to research and learn everything I could about the technology and its current state began.
Coming from a family deep in the technology sector and with (at the time) 10+ years of experience in computer sciences, the task of navigating through the concepts and technicalities of Cryptography, Blockchain and Distributed Computing was made much easier. I made the decision to put all my money into Crypto (mostly Ethereum) I knew the technology was still pretty experimental and required much more development, I welcomed the risk of the spot price “going to zero”, to me it was better than having my fiat frozen up in the bank, which was pretty much the same as not having money in the first place.
We came back to our home country with renewed energy and new perspectives, continuing our career in film and the arts. From time to time my Cryptocurrency trackers would notify me that the value of my portfolio was growing by positive percentages, although it was blissful to see said growth, something just didn’t make sense, I was no financial or economic expert but, the rate at which Cryptocurrency was growing didn’t seem natural or sustainable to me (compared to the traditional instruments I knew about at the time) so curious me began doing further research.
Having invested some of my hard-earned Ether into several Initial Coin Offerings, projects that sought out to create solutions to problems in our world via the gifts of Cryptography and Blockchain, had me routinely monitoring the development of the initiatives, not out of entitlement or a notion that I owned the team’s time and effort, but instead out of sincere curiosity regarding the work involved in creating something to better the conditions of our communities, watching quietly from afar, learning what I could, contributing where I could.
Problems started to arise in these initiatives, from technical difficulties, unrealistic deadlines, regulatory roadblocks to just straight-out fraud, I could see how many of these ventures would not end well. The Cryptocurrency markets were mostly green until early 2018, that’s when the Great Crypto Crash happened, the Initial Coin Offering Bubble bursting.. Many projects giving up on delivering the solution they had promised mixed with an overall negative view on cryptocurrencies on a global scale led to the fall of the emerging asset class.
Shortly after the Great Crypto Crash, we saw ourselves flying to Seoul for another film festival, on our way reflecting on all that had happened in the Crypto Industry, as well as in the fact that it was our last period before graduating from film school. The aforementioned final period in our studies came with more free time away from school. I remember having more time to work on personal projects in addition to “participating more in the economy”, meaning that we would be approached by several Artists and Clients wanting to work with us.
It was at that moment that I started writing a series of value points, process maps and strategic considerations that helped me keep track of the knowledge and experience gained through the various situations we saw ourselves wrapped up in. I started to see the faults and breaking points in other people’s activities, being able to identify when their efforts would not result in fruition and predict how bad of a negative impact would be generated against the community as a result. This series of thought processes and the aforementioned “quantification of luck” is what would later form the basis for Jada’s Cognitive Architecture, more on that later..
Our own ventures were not exempt from such fate, as there were moments that we simply did not have the time, resources or knowledge necessary to successfully traverse certain events, in other words, following up with all of the steps necessary to ensure “success”. However, knowing beforehand that you have a high probability of failure (not reaching the result you were aiming for) was no deterrent to keep us from trying, we always ended up learning something in the end, which was victory enough. It all came back to a thought from not so long ago, regarding how “lucky” we were.
In 2019 we continued to be invited to film festivals, with the blessing of growing our careers and the joy of bringing value to communities, although not everything was pretty.. Yes, we got to learn about different industries (film will do that to you) although we also got to see many businesses struggling to become sustainable, severe cases of fraud and an economy ready to tear itself apart, for many it was coming down to “who was going to take what from who”, in other words, growing at the cost of others, not to mention the poor environmental and geo-political state of our planet.
My bank accounts would get frozen for months, I’d be summoned to testify regarding the nature of my work, being asked who my clients were, how I got the contracts.. I remember the looks the bankers would give me, the comments they would make “why don’t you try getting a normal job? Would make our work much easier” while they’d brag on how a new client came in with deep pockets, making plans to loan the money out to other clients and not pay back any interest because it was “just a debit account, not savings or investments”.
Some of my friends in the government would tell me about all the tax money they had collected, proudly showing-off their forged invoices for community development spending, over-inflated budgets, or their off-shore bank accounts filled with diverted tax funds. The people really didn’t have a choice as to how their tax money would be “spent to better the community”, the illusion of democracy was enough to distract from the truth, the fact that little to no resources were being dedicated to the execution of the solution, and even said “solution” wasn’t the one the people really needed.
2020 saw the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, completely changing the “rules of the game”, adapting to this shift of power across time and space was no easy task for most while the disease took its toll across everycorner of the planet. We all saw governments failing to keep their people safe, businesses collapsing, families losing their sources of income and individuals being forced to limit the way they live or being completely marginalized from opportunities that would allow them to recover and better their conditions.
What does all of this have in common?
That it is all the result of human decisions.
Decisions which, may or may not, be “right” or “wrong”.
Decisions that affect the people, either positively or negatively, depending on the objective.