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Aptos Labs Partners Microsoft: Using AI to Assist Web3 Onboarding

Aptos Labs hopes to remove some of the barriers to Web3 adoption by partnering with Microsoft to provide a natural language AI assistant to answer user questions regarding the transition from Web2.0

Aptos Labs, creator of what its website describes as “The World’s Most Production-Ready Blockchain,” has teamed up with Microsoft in a bid to accelerate global Web3 adoption, according to an August 9 press release.

The partnership will see the launch of Aptos Assistant, using Microsoft Azure OpenAI technology to answer all kinds of natural language questions about the Aptos ecosystem. It is hoped that this will not only provide a friendly interface to ease users in their transition to Web3, but also guide developers in creating smart contracts and decentralized apps (DApps).

Aptos and Microsoft believe that many potential users of Web3 may both not fully understand the benefits that the technology can bring, and feel that learning the new skills to unlock these benefits is complicated and time-consuming. Steps such as creating wallets and converting fiat into crypto can seem overwhelming for the beginner.

With the AI Assistant, the two companies hope to overcome this reticence from the general public, and encourage the next wave of adopters to onboard onto the Aptos blockchain. Microsoft’s General Manager of AI & Emerging Technologies, Rashmi Misra, explained:

“The intersection of AI and blockchain is one of the most interesting combinations of emerging technologies and can generate transformational use cases. By fusing Aptos Labs' technology with the Microsoft Azure Open AI Service capabilities, we aim to democratize the use of blockchain enabling users to seamlessly onboard to Web3 and innovators to develop new exciting decentralized applications using AI.”

While this is a noble and worthwhile aim, we must hope that Microsoft has learnt some lessons from its earlier forays into intelligent assistants. Who can forget the almost universally hated Clippy, the annoying paperclip introduced in Microsoft Office 97, and retired just 10 years later… although 10 years too many for most users.

“It looks like you are opening a wallet. Do you need help?” is not going to cut it.

Aside from the Aptos Assistant, the partnership aims to explore solutions such as asset tokenization, payments and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to further advance Web3 adoption from financial services enterprises, and Aptos validator nodes will be run on Azure to increase the security of the blockchain.

The Aptos blockchain rose from the ashes of (and two of the core developers of) Facebook’s ill-fated Libra/Diem cryptocurrency experiment. As we Observed last October, it received significant funding from a wealth of big-name backers, then failed to deliver on launch, when its promised 130,000 transactions per second, ended up being just four.

It has continued to attract major investors and collaborators, and presumably has overcome those technical teething problems, but still has to persuade users that it has more to offer than the more established blockchains.

Whether this latest hookup with Microsoft and AI achieves this remains to be Observed.