Samuel M. Smith
Creator of KERI
In 2015, Samuel Smith joined a startup whose goal was to solve the reputation problem on the internet. The intent was to leverage his background in automated reasoning and machine learning to provide user controlled algorithms to let users—rather than platforms—manage the reach of content.
The idea was to provide an open reputation system (AI) that qualified both the content and its creator. The reputation system would effectively modulate the flow of content between users. This reputation would be the basis for an individualized cloud sourced moderation and attention AI that enabled each user to control what content was presented to them.
The challenge was that an automated reputation AI (even one controlled by each user) needed authentic content so that it could not be spoofed or gamified or hacked. This meant a secure decentralized identity system needed to be developed first. Only with such as system could every user determine if all data ingested by the reputation system was authentic, i.e. securely attributable to its source.
A reputation is meaningless without an underlying identity and an identity is valueless without a credible reputation.
The original startup soon ran off the end of its runway without achieving its goal. But this started Samuel down the muti-year journey that eventually resulted in KERI.
Decentralized Identity & Reputation Systems
Automated Reasoning & Machine Learning
Open Standards Development
Samuel received a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1991. He spent 10 years at Florida Atlantic University, reaching full professor status before retiring to become an entrepreneur.
He has over 100 refereed publications in the areas of machine learning, autonomous vehicle systems, automated reasoning, and decentralized systems. He was principal investigator on numerous federally funded research projects.
Dr. Smith is a serial entrepreneur and an active participant in open standards development and governance.