FIND.COM and the Future
Humanity is at a crossroads. In fact, in the history of our species, we are moving into uncharted territory with technology. Recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) are ground-breaking, and the impacts from these technologies worldwide will be unprecedented. In fact, the impacts will be much larger than the launch of the world wide web to the public in the early 1990’s (and this is an incredible and true statement). As leading experts have recently pointed out, how we address the use of AI and AGI, and whether we do this responsibly, will be critical to the future.
In early 2021, I founded FIND with a simple vision: Build a single app/platform for search and social media with features of Google, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. I had several reasons for doing this: Edward Snowden blew the whistle in 2013 that big tech platforms were spying on users (i.e. collecting all of your data, monetizing it, and selling to the highest bidder including governments around the world). Facebook whistleblower Francis Haugen confirmed that big social media platforms are feeding content to users that keep them hyped up/engaged to increase ad revenues vs. showing users content that is popular or going viral (what social media did in the early days). Dr. Robert Epstein (Harvard PhD) proved through extensive unimpeachable research and data that Google (the undisputed leader in search with a stunning 92.47% market share) is altering public opinion around key issues and even affecting election outcomes around the world through manipulation of their search results. This should not be acceptable to anyone regardless of politics. Additionally, in recent years, numerous whistleblowers from prominent search and social media platforms have come forward to tell us users are being subjectively censored when their postings and content do not align with corporate or government values. Documents from Twitter prove the government has been pressuring tech companies to censor users and content, also. Translation: In the early days the internet gave humanity incredible ways to connect, communicate and prosper that were unprecedented in the history of the world, but had now become highly manipulated tools of government and private industry. This frustrated me, so I began the challenging journey I am on now to give humanity something better. Internet platforms should be free and open, give equal opportunities to all, and should be non-political.
The original plan heading into early 2022 was to build and launch the social media parts of the FIND platform, then offer a “direct to public” IPO (this is how Google went public), and then complete development and launch our very innovative search engine. This was a good path initially that would have led to success, but the situation changed throughout 2022. First, software development for FIND was being done on limited resources and took too long. In the interim, Facebook lost 75% of its value last year, and although it has recovered somewhat, it is still way down. Additionally, Elon Musk spent 44 billion to purchase Twitter, and has been opening up the platform (i.e. removing censoring of legitimate users and content). This stole a bit of our thunder and excitement around social media. Ultimately, we as we headed into 2023 we reached the conclusion that a course correction was required to succeed. We have explained this in more detail below, and although we realize some of this is very technical, it is important we communicate it to you. The public needs to understand these issues.
Towards the end of 2022, several key things changed in our thinking. First, we now know social media needs to be decentralized, and running on blockchain technology. What does this mean? There is a new programming framework called NOSTR that accomplishes this, and we plan to take the front end user interfaces (UI) for social media we have already developed for FIND for our Facebook, Youtube and Twitter features, and replace the back end with NOSTR. NOSTR is a programming framework like HTML (HTML is the foundation of the web). I remember when HTML was new in the early 1990s, and this is where we are today with NOSTR. What are the benefits to the public? First, users can no longer be censored because their content is transactional, and their social feeds will now be hosted simultaneously on many servers around the world. This is the exact same way transactions are protected today with blockchain technology for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Secondly, this fundamentally changes how social media operates because for the very first time, users will own their social media content, and will be able to decide which social media platforms they will allow to display it. In the case of FIND, our users will have a digital wallet, and receive a portion of the ad revenues generated by other users engaging and viewing their postings and content on our platform. Today, Silicon Valley platforms receive all of the revenue generated by you.
The second key change in our thinking is regarding internet search. First, we now know that to succeed, we cannot wait until after FIND’s IPO to complete and launch our search engine. This needs to launch with the social media parts of our platform. Secondly, in early December of last year, a company openAI released something called chatGPT. chatGPT is AI that can understand complex questions from a user through natural language translation (NLT), and give the user a highly intelligent answer instantly. The original launch of chatGPT (based on openAI’s engine called GPT-3) was stunning and took the world by storm. Additionally, openAI recently launched a new version of chatGPT based on their GPT-4 AI engine. This new version is so highly intelligent they do not fully understand yet what is going on under the hood, and industry experts believe they may have developed the world’s first AGI (AI that can reason and make decisions like a human). Microsoft, a 49% partner/investor in openAI, just announced that they are already using GPT-4 in their Bing search engine. This technology is already very proficient even though it makes mistakes (as do humans), but imagine how powerful this will be a year from now, five years from now, etc. Here is the worry: If the public becomes reliant on getting all of their answers from AI (will be as easy as asking Siri or Alexa the weather forecast today), and one company dominates this space with high market share the way Google has done with search, that company becomes a very powerful tool to manipulate the public. We already have plenty of examples of how this type of power has already been abused by existing search and social media giants. Secondly, if humanity becomes completely dependent on AI answering every question to the extent people no longer need to learn anything, and users no longer search for information posted by other humans on the internet and social media, it has the potential to dumb down society at large, and completely stop human interaction and progress. This is one of the reasons key leaders in AI technology issued a letter this week we need a 6-month moratorium on AI development until we understand what is going on with GPT-4 and other AI engines, and have a plan to mitigate the bad impacts on humanity from the use of AI/AGI. Do we think development will stop? No. Bill Gates wrote an article last week they are plowing ahead at Microsoft, and numerous companies around the world (including multi-billion dollar tech giants in China like Alibaba and Baidu) are investing heavily. There is an AI technology race going on… the prize is trillions in revenue. Personally, I think so many companies are working on this now, that AI might become ubiquitous in the future possibly without one dominant player. Only time will tell. For FIND, we know we must rise to the challenge, and implement responsible and safe AI for the public not being manipulated by corporate or political goals.
Because of these two key issues: the need for decentralized blockchain based social media technology, and the need for internet search that is a blend of innovative technology that replaces existing search of human content from the internet/social media, and is then combined with good responsible AI that is not being manipulated, we had to change course for FIND. So, as additional investment and donations/support comes in, we will sharply focus on these areas, and rapidly move towards a launch of the FIND platform incorporating these elements. This is a major fundamental shift in the direction for FIND and will require additional resources and funding, but it is the correct path and necessary for success.
The journey for FIND has not been easy. We never believed it would be. Anyone who knows will tell you the path for startups is never a straight line, requires 110% of your focus and energy, and there are multiple unexpected course corrections along the way. One of the key challenges for FIND has been funding. We have been unwilling to accept it from large corporations or Wall Street. Why? It is widely known many of them are activist investors, and whoever holds your stock and debt has enormous power to manipulate your company. We do not want to end up like the existing platforms. So, for FIND to remain independent, we have been completely reliant on public donations and small individual angel investors to move the company forward and get us to where we are now (in fact, we turned down a 200 million investment from a prominent Wall Street firm last year). Unfortunately, limited resources slows things down and increases the timelines for software development to get FIND to a product launch. This can be frustrating, but is also acceptable… the ultimate goal is for FIND is to be a superior search and social media platform for the 8 billion people of the world that is not being manipulated. To us, it is more important to get this right vs. done quickly.
If we want better search and social media platforms, it us up to us to support efforts like FIND that have the vision and plan to succeed and be a true competitor to companies like Google and Facebook. We have to understand the importance of the issues involved, and care about this enough to donate and invest what is needed to get this to the finish line. It is one of the most important issues of our generation (and possibly the most important issue). We are going up against a powerful establishment. When FIND started, we raised over a million in crowd funding that got the ball rolling, and since then a few small angel investors have carried the ball for us. Especially with the course corrections we are now making, we need additional support to complete FIND’s development and get to a product launch. Today we are announcing a new crowdfunding campaign. Click here to donate
As noted above, from here forward we will focus on completing our search engine technology combined with responsible AI, and convert all of our social media software over to decentralized blockchain technology using frameworks like NOSTR. The end result will be the launch of a powerful and innovative FIND platform that can lead us to a successful IPO that gives us the same level of resources of companies like Google or Facebook. We have carefully structured our company to be ready for this with solid and trusted SEC attorneys. They researched how these companies were put together, and what made them special so when they went public, it created incredible financial resources and acquisition capital. We are ready. This point is, if you help us get to the finish line to complete building and launching the FIND platform, we then have a clear path to an IPO that if successful will give FIND a multi-billion dollar stock and financial resources. This will give us what we need to compete head to head with Silicon Valley.
We are very thankful for the incredible support from the public for FIND from day one. Because of you, we are where we are today. We are at a critical time in our company history, and need your help to continue moving forward. If you are able, please go to the link below and donate to this new crowdfunding campaign. There are also opportunities for accredited investors, and if you are interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, please spread the word to family, friends and business associates. There is strength in numbers, and I know with your help we can make a difference and accomplish great things that build a better future.
Founder & CEO