Curl is a deep tech startup based out of Bangalore, India, working with various emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and internet of things. From their perspective, the power of combining AI & blockchain could unlock value chains that are hitherto unexplored.
For SNI’s Winter 2022 Hackathon Challenge, the Sattva team focused on non-human economics. The challenge was as follows: “Develop ideas that enable representation of non-human life, establish governance models and empower ecosystems to act in their own interests and produce and capture value in their own right.”
The team decided to develop a platform to help capture the value generated by a park and harness that value. Going a few steps further, they envision a future where a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) could make a park “self-sovereign.” The team’s current aim is to demonstrate how parks can generate income and optimize themselves to attract more crowds.
Their platform is called “Sattva” Nurture Nature. “Sattva” is a Sanskrit word that means good essence. It is often used to refer to nature.
The Sattva platform was built to automatically take images created or owned by the park, and convert them into art using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). The team rendered the images unique using region-specific metadata and additional parameters that were seeded into the GANs. This ensures that no two images are the same. These artworks are then converted into Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and posted for sale on platforms on behalf of the park.
The team devised mechanisms to have the images delivered to the platform. In doing so, they considered three options:
- First, the park would hire professional photographers to capture quality pictures and upload them to Sattva.
- Second, local community members and people visiting the park could take pictures and post them on social media (Twitter) with the hashtag #SattvaNFT.
- Third, by using AI-powered cameras installed at fixed locations in the park.
The second and third solutions required data to be filtered to ensure images were not violating legal and copyright requirements. In the case of AI cameras, the team had to ensure that the photos did not infringe on people’s privacy. During the hackathon, the team decided to take a more autonomous route and build deep learning models (Sattva Moment Capture Model) that could detect humans and discard those images.
Once the images are cleared, they are converted into artwork using GAN models. These art images were then minted into NFTs and were put on sale on marketplaces like OpenSea, Ocean, etc. Currently, Sattva is also exploring ways to extend their work to Unique Network.
The team hopes to prove that their model for revenue generation and intelligent utilization of the revenue can scale in the future. Parks are already using Sattva to generate and sell unique artwork. Sattva currently provides parks with suggestions for tree planting for revenue utilization, considering resource availability, aesthetics, biodiversity, and the planting cost. They are working toward including additional essential criteria for decision making, such as weather, market demand, and soil compatibility, in addition to providing information as to when and where these plants should be planted for optimum yield. The team has further plans to introduce maintenance as an aspect of revenue utilization so that the park can decide on its well-being.
Improving data acquisition processes going forward
In today’s world, data acquisition has become almost a tougher process than working with the data itself. Sattva is aiming to improve this process by selling the park data its AI camera collects, in addition to other data collected on various natural resources located within a park.
For example, stewards at De Ceuvel are collecting large sums of data regarding the park’s soil content, i.e., percentage of heavy metals, seasonal moisture content, presence of organic matter, etc. This valuable data can be sold and distributed to various academics or researchers working on like-minded phytoremediation projects. Making better use of this data solves the widespread problem of a lack of credible data. Empowered through the stewards' collections and Sattva’s platform, researchers can then focus more on their work, rather than trying to obtain the data necessary to do the work.
As Sattva’s developments come to fruition, the team looks forward to implementing their solution in more parks to test the platform and continue moving towards helping nature become sovereign. According to the team, when observing the raging climate crisis, it becomes clear that there is a need to enable nature to govern itself – for its sustainability as well as for humans.
The Sattva team possesses diverse and complementary skill sets to turn their vision into reality. Prakhar Awasthi and Ishita Gupta hold expertise in Web Development. Dharini Raghavan and Pavithraa Satchithanantham focus on AI & Machine Learning. Ayush Kesari and Harshavardhan G, work on Blockchain, and Preetham Reddy is responsible for developing the AI Camera. To learn more about Sattva’s platform, watch this YouTube video and find their Github page here. Additionally, make sure to follow Curl on LinkedIn and Twitter for more updates.