NPRO aims to greatly improve the quality of reputational information in high-trust service markets, to make them more meritocratic, fair, and efficient. Time was, centuries past, that when you needed to choose a service-seller, you could almost always ask someone you knew for a personal recommendation. Today, you’d have to be lucky. In our modern society, your social network is likely to be geographically spread-out, and unlikely to overlap with the type or catchment area of the service-seller you’re interested in.
With NPRO, we aim to model the ways in which recommendations work today, and how they worked in the past; to identify those elements which are important for trustworthy communication, but have been lost; and to re-instate them by incorporating them into a new system of reputation and opinion suitable for our modern, highly-networked society. The types of guarantee which blockchain can provide may be an excellent way to re-instate these elements. This we will be investigating with the guidance of the TruBlo consortium.
We also envisage other applications, including the substantialness and accessibility of opinions disseminated on social media; and the kind of informal, important information about product provenance which typically does not make its way up to supply chains, from producer to consumer.
Daniel Zackon: Daniel studied engineering at Cambridge University. He later worked in hearing research, as part of the SIFEM pan-European project modelling the mechanics of the inner ear, developing fluid-dynamic simulations at UCL in London. He has since studied the way that trust works in service markets, and developed NPRO’s approach to improve it.
Harrison Pim: Harrison studied physics at UCL, and is now a data scientist and machine learning engineer at the Wellcome Collection in London. He specialises in feature extraction, text and image classification, and building search, content discovery, and recommendation algorithms atop these techniques.
The team is familiar with blockchain features in terms of designing products, business models, and decentralised organisations. However, we are not experienced with blockchain technically. The team looks forward to guidance by the TruBlo consortium in aspects of technical implementation.