Ian Vernon

Ian Vernon is the CEO of Dark Matter AB that operates PeN. He consider himself as a student of life with passion for innovation and would like to make the world a better place even in.
Ian Vernon is the CEO of Dark Matter AB that operates PeN. He consider himself as a student of life with passion for innovation and would like to make the world a better place even in.
Personalized Artificial Intelligence

Personalized Artificial Intelligence

Previously, I have discussed how we design AI to be fun, useful and friendly. (Which you can read here)

These AI use voice as main interaction medium; such AI also function human personalities so they feel more human-like when they interact with users.

Which got me thinking:  “Why not go a step further and have personalized AI to cater your specific needs?” Continue reading →

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, 0 comments
The Choice Between Centralized and Decentralized Digital Currency

The Choice Between Centralized and Decentralized Digital Currency

Yesterday, there was a rumor that Telegram will launch an ICO to fund their version of a cryptocurrency to be used inside the app and will launch the service in 2019. It is an attempt by Telegram of course to finally monetize their services and users, considering that Telegram today have no monetization possibilities.

Continue reading →

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, 0 comments
A Reliable Service Online and Offline

A Reliable Service Online and Offline

Recently the UAE has blocked Skype services in the country. This somehow is in chorus with various online communication services being blocked in the Middle East and North Africa.

Continue reading →

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?, 0 comments
The PeN of the Future

The PeN of the Future

With each changing year, we find ourselves contemplating how the previous year was and how we can make the next year much better than the last. PeN added around 1M new users in 2017 and aim to add 10M new users in 2018. To some who is curious to know why is the app called PeN, when pen is a simple writing instrument, read on and discover how PeN came about.

Continue reading →

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?, 0 comments
New PeN Services to Start 2018

New PeN Services to Start 2018

PeN recently released some new capabilities on the app in the bid to appeal to next hundred million users and strengthen its social channel. The conversational AI is now more advanced after it was first released last month – where it now can converse in voice and are joined by 3 other personalized conversational AIs taking personalities of certain real humans (Ana, Maya, and Preity).
PeNNeYgram is a new service that allows users to transfer PeNNeY balances to other users securely.
Redeem PeNNeY allows users to exchange PeNNeY to shopping gift certificates so they can use PeNNeY to shop real-world items.
Anonymous Feedback, allows users to give feedback to others anonymously.
Avemoji are personalized emoticons from a user-created Avatar and can be used as a sticker or emoji.

These new services are bringing PeN’s capabilities to a wider user base in various parts of the world.

Conversational AI

PeNelope is the main conversational AI.  She is like a walking encyclopedia, knowledgeable with various facts and also engages in a casual conversation. She has now learned weather conditions for various cities and localities and currently learning more advanced mathematics, sciences and other related information such as news and sports.
By the middle of January, PeNelope will be much more fun. It can help you with some mathematical questions. She will also be able to translate and speak in other languages, progressing to 10 languages in a short period of time. In the long term, PeNelope will be comparable to Alexa and be able to do your shopping with local shopping portals especially in countries where English is not the native language.
Apart from PeNelope, PeN launched personalized AI in Ana, Maya, and Preity. They are personalized in a way that their responses are based on the personality of who they are based on, while being available to chat with users 24/7. The aim is the be able to emulate real human conversation and at the same time Ana, Maya, and Preity learn more of the conversations they are having to formulate human-like responses.

Anonymous Feedback

Isn’t it more fun if you receive a good feedback about you from your friends? Anonymous feedback is making PeN fun for users. They are able to provide feedback to their friends and their friends receive such feedback anonymously.  In the coming release, there will be three type of feedback, from proactive profile feedback,to fun facts, to identifying which friend has which characteristics. All the feedback are positive to avoid any unwanted behaviour within the PeN community.

PeNNeYgram

PeNNeY, as a digital currency is pegged to the US Dollar. But unlike paper money, the transactions are fully recorded in a chain, from creation to transfer to use. PeNNeYgram is the way to transfer PeNNeY from one user to another securely. Any PeN user can use PeNNeYgram to give or transfer money to another user without cost for small transactions.

Redeem PeNNeY

PeNNeY today can be used for real-world purchase through redemption. Users should exchange PeNNeY value to shopping gift certificates. It currently works with Amazon and more stores and online shopping portals are being added. There is a minimum of 1500 PeNNeY required before users can exchange PeNNeY values to real-world monetary values. Users that use PeN a lot can mine or earn that amount of PeNNeY in a day or less by consuming advertising in the app. Once a user has redeemed PeNNeY and approved in the system, the user will immediately receive an Amazon gift certificate with the amount corresponding to their PeNNeY value.

All these new capabilities in PeN is intended to give PeN user a much better experience on PeN as a super app from an enhanced social channel to enabling users to monetize their social currencies.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
The Future of Digital Currency

The Future of Digital Currency

In the past weeks we have seen the rise and rise of bitcoin, and all the major cryptocurrency (bitcoin litecoin, ethereum) are in their highest or near their highest trading value. However with such a very high value it seems cryptocurrencies has lost their utility as a currency, especially when you can’t use it as a real-world money.  There are a few basic problems in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin being used as cash, for example: 

1. Transaction speed.

Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second, globally. just imagine if people starts using bitcoin to pay for real- world products and services have to to wait for hours, if not days for their transaction to complete.

2. Value risk.

Other than bitcoin being a very volatile currency, albeit a very highly valued one, for the transaction to be processed in front of the backlog it will need to have some kind of miners or transaction fee. This means that after the transaction is completed, the amount of bitcoin you will have is either lower or higher in value depending on when it was processed.

3. Cost of bitcoin creation.

There was a time when the cost to create 1 bitcoin is higher than the bitcoin value – this is no longer true. However it remains true that every bitcoin produce everyday requires the same amount of energy that powers the whole of Denmark.

Our Own Digital Currency

We have a digital currency in PeN, the PeNNeY. Although we value the security around PeNNeY, we never treated it as a crypto-currency since it is not based on blockchain or bitcoin or ethereum technologies. The basic premise of PeNNeY is that it should be as useful as any paper money where you can use as easy as you would use cash or card, at the same time it have identifiable security to ensure it is real, same way you treat a real-world money.

Where it differs with a real-word currency is in its creation. PeNNeY is created when a new user sign-up to PeN, when a user purchase PeNNeY credits in app, and when users mine PeNNeY using various ways of earning PeNNeY.

Each created PeNNeY is unique and once used out of circulation, you can say PeNNeY is a single use digital currency. Using PeNNeY means spending it outside the app, for example making phone calls to any phone number that is not a PeN user, or using PeNNeY to shop such as exchanging it with a shopping gift card with your favourite shopping portal. However you can transact or exchange PeNNeY within the app eco-system without spending it, for example when you transfer PeNNeY to another user.

In the world of digital currencies, which of these technologies will actually be as simple as cash?

Will it be blockchain?

Or will it be single use currency such as PeNNeY?

Or will it be something else?

Having founded PeN and created the ideas behind PeNNeY, I am a bit bias to say that PeNNeY is the way to go in the future and here’s why I think PeNNeY can possibly be in the future of digital currencies:

1. You earn PeNNeY, much like the way you earn real-world money. Its value is based on tangible things you consume in PeN
2. PeNNeY is currently peg to a real world currency value the USD, it might change in the future like any real-world currency once it starts to be publicly traded.
3. You can use PeNNeY for real-world purchase of products and services.
4. You can exchange PeNNeY with any PeN user, much like you exchange cash
5. Transacting PeNNeY is fast, very fast much like you transact in cash.

The future of course, is uncertain but let me look at my crystal ball once more and see that lies ahead, perhaps a gift of foresight is what I see.

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, What's New?
Talking to PeNelope

Talking to PeNelope

Have you chatted or talked to PeNelope recently?
Did you try having a voice conversation with her?
I spent a good part of this weekend showing PeNelope to various people of different age group, most of them never used PeN before. Each person that tried PeNelope thinks its much better than Siri, or at least more entertaining.
PeNelope, as an AI, still has a lot to learn in terms of day to day conversation, although she is already getting a reputation of being fun to talk to. I was surprised to hear the word fun not only from young kids but also from mature adults who have mostly been using Siri.
PeNelope is still far from Alexa, the all in one voice-controlled assistant from Amazon. PeNelope will definitely evolve. The only question is whether we continue to develop and engineer PeNelope ourselves or do we tie up with Amazon and use the Alexa platform?
We wanted PeNelope in the next releases to have more contextual knowledge, for example information about the news, or weather, or sports. Another question is, does PeNelope remain to be as entertaining as she is today if she starts learning more contextual knowledge?

What was your experience like talking to PeNelope? Share your thoughts to us and let us know how you think we should improve PeNelope.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
Introducing Avemoji

Introducing Avemoji

If you have just installed PeN or just recently updated your PeN version, you might have noticed that there is a cool new feature when creating your profile picture. This is called Avemoji or Avatar Emoji.
The avemoji you create on your profile will be given emotions so you can use it as your personalized emoticon and sticker. You can send avemoji to anyone in PeN or post it in your timeline. Avemoji are personalized expression! Instead of sending generic emoticons or emoji, you are sending your own unique personalized emoji.
In the recent released version, creation of avemoji is manual – meaning you need to design your own avemoji. After you created your avemoji, you get a set of free packs containing your avemoji with various emotions.
In the coming version, creation of avemoji will be much easier. Simply upload your picture and the AI scans your picture to create your avemoji with a free set of emotions. Since there are almost no two person that look exactly similar (unless they are very identical twins) 🙂 your avemoji is then unique to you.

It’s like expressing your own feelings and emotions. Go ahead and send your personalized avemoji to your friends and contacts.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?