Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Modulus Labs, which combines AI and cryptocurrency, has successfully secured $6.3 million in seed funding.
The project officially unveiled its debut on Wednesday, marking the achievement following a funding round led by prominent crypto investors. Modulus Labs garnered support from crypto venture funds Variant and 1kx, as well as participation from Bankless, Blockchain Builders Fund, and Inflection.
Angel investors also played a significant role in this funding round, with contributions from notable entities such as the Ethereum Foundation, Worldcoin, Polygon, Solana, and Microsoft, among others.
Combining ZK Proofs for AI Models
Modulus Labs leverages zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) to introduce scalability and security enhancements to AI models. As stated by the project’s co-founder, Daniel Shorr, the funding will be dedicated to the development of the Modulus product, which primarily targets smart contract developers or on-chain services seeking to integrate AI.
Shorr explained, “Our audience is basically smart contract devs or on-chain services who want to add AI. But up until now, to add AI into your smart contract means sacrificing the entire blockchain security.”
The company elaborated that when applied to AI, ZK cryptography enables the verification that an AI model was executed accurately. By validating this “proof of correctness” on-chain, they attain security equivalent to blockchain standards at a fraction of the cost.
Combining AI and Blockchain
The project serves as a bridge connecting artificial intelligence and blockchain, facilitating advanced decentralized protocols while minimizing human intervention.
Moreover, it can find application in the realm of NFTs, providing real-time and precise NFT prices through a platform called Upshot. This results in an NFT price feed that combines the capabilities of AI with the security of blockchain, a unique marriage made possible through Modulus’ specialized zero-knowledge proving.
Modulus has also disclosed some upcoming developments, including Ethereum (ETH)-based AI applications through partnerships with Worldcoin and Upshot. Additionally, the company has introduced a ZK prover designed specifically for AI, named ‘Remainder.’