Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) Could Enable Faster Decision Making Tools For Leaders
As technology progresses, is it time for leaders to leverage automation & autonomous tools?
We live in a world where technology is moving forward faster than ever. Blockchain, AI, DAOs, and Soft robotics, are some examples of disruptive technologies becoming adopted slowly by society to make their lives easier. People can argue in favor or against it about its ethical problem of taking away jobs. One thing is certain, it is a little late to stop it, you can only take advantage of it.
History has shown that entities playing in favor of technology, have had tremendous results. Singapore, South Korea, Israel, and Estonia are some examples of countries that were innovative and technological friendly in the beginning and have been world tech producers to countries playing catch up.
Now those countries dealt with software solutions, E-commerce, cybersecurity, and other applications that could be handled by their inventors. Today and for future generations, we are witnessing an explosion of technology never seen before, that can be considered immutable and autonomous. Malta, Gibraltar, and the Marshall Islands are introducing regulatory frameworks facilitating the entrance for Distributed Ledgers and blockchain technology, but that’s one of the many tech mega-trends we should be focusing on.
With so many technologies to deal with, my questions are:
Do we have the intellectual capacity to deal with these issues? Are algorithmic decision-makers something to consider? Does algorithm decision making, plays a better role than human intuition to make decisions on technologies very few people understand?
Before introducing a method of an organization I believe can handle such decisions, I want you to watch a video of how Congress in the United States has handled with technology firms such as Google.
I’m not taking any credit away from Congress, they do a tremendous job to protect its citizens. The problem is videos like this shows how little understanding these individuals have of technology that has existed and used for the past ten years. Imagine when they have to deal with disruptive technologies way more complex than Google such as machine learning and blockchain? Do we want our future leaders to decide based on poor facts, high egos, and low understanding? Can technology help them make better decisions? Education plays a key role in this, but let’s leave it for another discussion.
I want to introduce a method of an organization being explored nowadays that would sustain with such fast pace technological advancements. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) can be the answer to the computer vs computer “fight”.
DAOs are algorithmic powered smart contracts that can execute decisions based on information provided without hierarchical management. They are decentralized in the sense that politically, no one controls them thus there is no infrastructural central point of failure. (Please take a look at Vitalik Buterin definition of decentralization). They are autonomous in the sense that the computer itself can make a decision, combine this with decentralization and you minimize the chances of manipulation, fault tolerance, corruption, and add a secure layer of trust, data security, transparency, and auditability. With so much data available, DAOs can decide which data is accurate with a consensus mechanism, to make logical decisions.
Traditional organizational structure
Every organization has some sort of hierarchical structure. There are leaders, advisors, managers, associates, and other positions to make decisions for businesses, governments, or organizations. Leaders make decisions based on human inputs, understanding of approach, available resources, research, experience, and organization-first benefits. That’s why CEOs, congressman, and judges have a high paying salary. They have to be very knowledgeable, accountable, secure about their decisions, and experienced in certain adversities to move forward.
The problem with this approach is the sole purpose that as humans, we can make mistakes. Corruption, preferences, biases, current emotional state of mind, motivation, and the fact that we are expected to understand everything are some flaws in the system. In order to push society forward, we have to find the best approach to benefit us.
- Community-based decision makers instead of relying on one person.
- Transparent as every decision is recorded on a public ledger.
- Once a standard set of rules are in place, most decisions can be automated.
- “The DAO” an Ethereum powered DAO has been one of the biggest failures for this model, especially early on. There was a vulnerability in the code that let hackers take a back door and duplicate funds.
- Little understanding and use cases of this technology.
- There is no legal classification for DAOs as of yet.
Current use cases for DAOs
- MakerDAO- Functions as a decentralized credit system for the Dai stablecoin were users can lend/borrow DAI which is pegged to the US dollar. Members of the DAO can vote and administer by holding MKR tokens and are incentivized based on the growth and maturity of the token.
- MolochDAO- Allows members to vote on which projects to finance with its fund (think of it as a decentralized VC fund). Moloch supports the Ethereum ecosystem, by providing grants to developers building Dapps on the blockchain. Ethereum founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin each contributed 1000 Ethers (~$250,000) to the MolochDAO.
- Aragon- Acts as a “digital jurisdiction” that aims to make it possible for organizations, entrepreneurs, and investors to do business without a legal nexus (Messari). They plan to roll out Vitaliks vision of DAOICOs where members fund certain ICOs and projects automatically and autonomously.
DAOs can make instant and transparent decisions based on logic and facts to our favor as a society. They allow expert members to make a decision as a community. Instead of allowing people who are skilled in one area (law), why not let a variety of people with different expertise be part of the decision making?
Now, there are many decisions where DAOs are not ready to make. One step at a time will help us get there. Let's go beyond the commentary phase and allow community-based decision makers!
I am in favor of technology taking over some of our workloads to increase efficiency, but we need to educate society on how to take advantage of technology and make sure no one is left behind. If 60% of the jobs of 2030 don’t exist yet, it’s our duty to prepare the population for such a future.
By Menajem Benchimol.