My Outrageous Prediction
If (big IF) steemit survives as a company, in 5 years or maybe 10, steemit's ecosystem will have better AI than Google or Facebook or any other closed company.
It's The Cathedral and The Bazaar again. Facebook and Google used to be bazaars, but now they're cathedrals. New bazaars must arise. Why will steemit be one of them?
- Selective pressure from flagging .
- Constantly growing and freely available training data on the block chain, and in live posts and comments. (Note: this blockchain is also available for harvesting by advertisers.)
- Large incentives from author and curation rewards.
- A planet-full of steemit bot developers will be more productive than the staffs that Google, facebook, or anyone else can afford to hire.
- Unexpected and surprisingly useful emergent behaviors will arise from complex bot interactions.
Taking away flagging to reduce the selective pressure might slow things down, but I don't think it would change the overall direction.
What does it mean?
1.) Bots are creating a future that will make people happy.
Many people don't like the idea of autonomous agents creating and curating content, but in the end, they're pursuing money that comes from people. Just like Google's Page Rank algorithm, they are going to tailor steemit for human tastes. The ones that don't will be flagged and starved into extinction by the ones that do.
2.) Hold on to your steem power.
As @williambanks noted in a recent comment, bots are force multipliers for people. The better the bot, the more productive the people, the higher the value of STEEM. Historically, automation has always made communities wealthier - in aggregate. It will be the same here.
3.) Like it or not, if you want to profit as a steemit user in half a decade, you're going to need to make use of bots.
Trying to compete with bot-augmented humans on steemit is going to be like trying to race a horse against an automobile in 1940. Maybe some hobbyists will still do it manually, like some artisans today, but to really profit, you'll need automation.
4.) A new market is going to develop for creation and distribution of bots.
5.) There will be a perpetual bot arms race, including alliances and adversarial relationships. The award distribution will continue to follow something like the Pareto principle (80/20 rule).
Suprisingly, then, the blockchain hasn't really created decentralization. It is just changing the chokepoints from the database to the analytics.