Bored Apes

be in charge

of AI?

Larry Muller
ON_Discourse Co-Founder, COO of Code & Theory
Dan Gardner
Co-Founder & Exec Chair, Code and Theory
Co-Founder, ON_Discourse

Do you believe in free markets? I do. I know a lot of people do. Competition drives innovation and fairness to the consumer. Regulation is stifling. It slows growth and free enterprise and prevents innovation.


Or maybe not.

Who do you trust? Bored Apes? Bankman Fried? Kevin Rose? Facebook? TikTok? Should they all have an opportunity to participate in AI? Have they earned it? There are thousands of others I could put on the list. Not necessarily “bad” enterprises or “bad” people (some are). Just companies and people who have not earned our trust. Imagine the mess they would all create.

Two companies that have earned our trust are Apple and Microsoft. Over the past 30 – 40 years they have performed through internet bubbles, financial crises, pandemics, recession, and inflation. They have satisfied the consumer in many ways and have not been accused of stealing (Maybe from each other). You may not agree with the 30% vig on the Apple App Store, but it’s far from stealing. It has created safety and standards which have provided trust at scale for consumers.

These are two trusted vendors to the world. Many startups became rich doing business with both. As we complain about their control and the unfairness of their system they have helped change and enrich the world. Why wouldn’t we want them to be the stewards of the AI revolution? Can you think of better companies to safely lead us? 

They are like the better version of cable companies from 30 years ago when there was no competition, but everything was priced fairly, and pretty much everything worked. Yes, everyone “hates” the cable company, but the value exchange overall worked. Their service could always improve (which has been over the years), of course. Nothing is perfect. People complained about the rising costs, but it beats the cord-cutting world we have now where we subscribe to multiple streaming services. Most people’s costs are higher now, with a lack of any unified bill or understanding. 


Or another example was the phone companies of the 60s and 70s or the utilities. Boring and regulated and licensed. One choice, no confusion of clear value, no scammy deals, no discounts rolling off, and being billed 3x. Choice is not always better.

There is a lot of talk about AI regulation. You even have Sam Altman going to Congress and acknowledging the need. Some have argued, he has openly asked Congress for it because he knows the government has no ability to do it under the current spectrum of thinking. AI speed of innovation is almost too fast for a governmental agency to stay relevant with all the top paying jobs going to the private sector. Government typically is inefficient in its approach and is mired with challenges that the private sector doesn’t have. So what is the balance of government control and regulation and the freedom of the capital market that has spawned such innovation? A license to big tech. Similar to the cable, phone and utility companies mentioned above. It’s not perfect, but it has worked.

or Oligopoly

Why not sell them a license to run the AI infrastructure and close the door behind them? Build the moat. Charge them each $500,000,000,000 (That’s 500 Billion) for 10 years and let them go to work. Still, Regulate the shit out of them. Let Apple make its 30%, but they can police the AI models and keep us safe. They have proven the scale with the Apple App Store. Really – who else are you going to trust? They earned it, let them have it. And let them pay for it. And let them hopefully make money off of it. It’s a system that works. 

We hear it’s not fair to other entrepreneurs. Tough shit. Let them make the killer apps. Let’s put the grown ups in charge. Really, just imagine for a second if the free-for-all we experienced with Bored Apes and Moonbirds and Binance happened in AI. The risks we would all be taking putting that trust into the hands of greedy amateurs. Someone will win – let’s predetermine that it is someone we can trust.

Clearly more details need to be worked out. That is welcome, even the disagreement. But we’ve yet to see an actual solution better than this, because history has shown us that private market with regulation is the superior way to allow innovation while providing control, while actually generating revenue (through licensing) to the governemnt instead of using tax payers to accomplish a far more inferior solution.

Do you agree with this?
Do you disagree or have a completely different perspective?
We’d love to know