Hi, My Name is Tess Gadwa

I’ve been keeping this blog for something like five or six years. I write computer programs. I write science fiction. I develop statistical models drawing upon network theory and probability in my spare time. I am a girl. Should I say “woman”? I think cryptocurrency is really really cool. I wrote an article about Bitcoin for Hacker Noon. I wish I owned more of it.

My preferred tools are storytelling and interactive design. People give me a hard time about having too many hobbies. All I can say is that I tend to finish what I start.

For instance, here is Zappen, a working augmented reality app my last company built. We are the first, and to my knowledge, the only fully functional free software implementation of Visual Search.

Right now, I’m working on a music startup. Here are a few of my favorite bands:

If that seems like a really random list, you’re absolutely right. It is. Another day, I might come up with five entirely different bands. Check lotus.fm for updates.

Attention Based Currency and Universal Basic Income

Cryptocurrency could be the key to making Universal Basic Income fiscally achievable on a massive scale. Here’s how.

Talk presented by Tess Gadwa on July 8 at the BIEN 2016 Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

Here are the slides from the talk I gave at BIEN 2016 this week at Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea: “UBI + ABC: Envisioning a Post-Work Economy”

Here is the paper published in the journal of BIEN 2016 proceedings, co-authored with Scott Little, Ph.D. Listen to the full talk here.


Abstract: Attention Based Currency and Universal Basic Income

Cryptocurrencies from Ethereum to Bitcoin to UCoin have often been proposed as a decentralized, secure, and efficient way to deliver the benefits of Universal Basic Income (UBI) to a global community. Attention Based Currency (ABC) is a cryptocurrency generated by the interaction of Internet users with streaming media. Listening records are secure and encrypted, but the algorithm rewards listeners who seek out and share new content as “early adopters.” ABC is a market-based approach that can be used independently or in tandem with more traditional government-funded or philanthropic UBI programs.

Our economy is shifting from a model of extraction and industrial production to a post-capitalist system ordered by the weightless transfer of information. ABC’s application of blockchain distributed database technology to the consumption of content represents a new way to quantify this source of wealth in real time and reinvest it to achieve a more vibrant and dynamic global information culture.

Our paper presents analysis of the economic impact generated by two proposed pilot models:

■ ABC only
■ State-funded UBI only

We will then present a new hypothesis, ABC launched in partnership with a cryptocurrency-based UBI delivery system, that is driven by the results of this analysis as a viable option.

As jobs disappear and the price of online goods and services approaches zero, neither advertising revenue nor stock market speculation can sustain the global Internet economy indefinitely.  ABC protects users’ privacy, while providing direct rewards for their role in the information economy. Attention Based Currency, when deployed in combination with Universal Basic Income, holds the potential to create a sustainable, human-powered, information economy.



Tess Gadwa – CEO, Yes Exactly   |   Founder, Art Meets Code

Scott Little, Ph.D. – Theoretical Physicist, InSolves

ABC Online Demo:



Why We Should Fear Stupid AI’s, Not Smart Ones

I posted a parody screenshot of a new Google Mail feature last night:

"Google, You're Turning Us Into Ants!"

It got a few chuckles from my friends, along with the requisite HAL jokes…

Dave, What Are You Doing?

What people fail to realize is that AI’s like HAL 9000 — that is to say, AI’s which are self aware and capable of making independent decisions — will probably never be built by the government or the private sector. Nor will they “emerge” or “evolve” naturally — much as my favorite science fiction authors would like to predict otherwise.

Rather, the AIs we have are the ones that guide drones and smart bombs. They’re the ones that pick out faces out of photographs on social media and identify potential subversives. They’re the ones that sift through our email in search of data relevant to national security. And the ones that analyze, track, and stalk every shred of consumer behavior online, selling our lives to the highest bidder.

Oh yeah, and they are going to drive our cars too.

I am not scared of any AI I can have a conversation with. In fact, I think the world would probably be better off if they existed. I am afraid of the “dumb AI’s” — the ones that are designed to follow orders, like the “good Germans” of the 1930s. Designed by other people, who are also just following orders.