Altman’s Worldcoin idea is out to reinvent the Aadhaar wheel
SummaryHis ‘vision’ has appeal but biometric identification of genuine humans for cash transfers isn’t new
After creating a chatbot that has blurred the difference between a human and a machine, Sam Altman seems keen to create a new Turing Test to differentiate between the two. Launched on 24 July, Worldcoin is a “new identity and financial network owned by everyone". It consists of a digital identity called World ID and a digital cryptocurrency, WLD, and you can get this “simply for being human." This new Turing Test, however, is not as simple as putting a machine in one room and a human in the other asking questions of it. ChatGPT and its ilk have made that test redundant—it is quite easy for a machine to convince you that it is human by giving very human sounding answers. This new test treads into biology: To certify that you are a genuine human being, you need to go to an Orb, which is a biometric verification device, and get your iris scanned. Currently, Orbs in 25 cities across 20 countries are scanning human eyes and giving them Worldcoin for their trouble. Reportedly, more than 2 million authentic human beings are now official citizens of World ID.