Carus

Promoting benevolence and compassion through an AI/Cryptocurrency-enabled browser!

Inspiration

Carus was inspired by our love for social engineering. We understand and appreciate the causes that charities and non-profit organizations fight for, and as ethical developers, we would like to give back. However, with services such as Patreon and Kickstarter that take a percent fee of online donations, we feel this does not do justice for the groups that truly need the funding. We believe Carus can fix that.

What it does

Carus is an AI/Cryptocurrency-enabled adaption of Brave, an open-source browser. Carus does not only allow you to surf the web, but you can store all your Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies in the browser as well (including CONN, our in-house version of a potential ConUHacks Coin) and spend them online as you please. In addition, we have a dedicated BAT-payment platform powered by Brave that allows you to send BAT to non-profit organizations that you care for - with 99.9% of payments going to the organization and 0.01% going to the miner. If you do not know who to support, do not worry! With our IBM Watson API, we can track your online behavior to determine charities you may be inclined to support. What if you do not want to donate but like this idea? Once again, no worries. We also use our IBM Watson API to suggest potential investment opportunities based on your online behavior, allowing you to support who you want; when you want.

How we built it

To build Carus, we used Brave as a starting template. Then, we forged a smart contract in Ethereum Mist using Solidity to develop CONN, an example of a potential token that our browser can support. The smart contact was tested using Truffle. All Ethereum-based tokens can be stored on MetaMask, an extension for Carus, and can be transferred to other addresses without any unnecessary fees. We used IBM Watson's Personality Analytics AI API to quantify a user's personality through tracking a user's online behavior. Using advanced psychology concepts and Desjardins' financial analysis strategies, we have developed models that convert these metrics to suggest possible organizations users may want to donate to/invest in. Credentials for this API were accessed using IBM Bluemix. This information, alongside some "geeky" statistics, are displayed on Carus' dashboard, having been developed using Node.js and Javascript, with Git as a version control system being operated by Bash. Carus was profusely tested on many operating systems, including Windows 10, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Challenges we ran into

One of our biggest challenges was contributing to Brave's open-source code. With poor documentation and little flexibility, there was difficulty at first in designing an AI/Cryptocurrency-enabled browser; however, we circumvented this problem through proactive collaboration with our team members and mentors.

Another problem we ran into was understanding IBM Watson. Although it is a powerful AI tool, we had no experience using it, resulting in confusion when attempting to integrate it with Carus. Regardless, the documentation did help and with some trial and error, we managed to successfully integrate it with our desktop application.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of developing software that is useful for the community and that touches many of the API challenges, including those sponsored by IBM, Desjardins, Domain.com, and .TECH. We are delighted that four complete strangers have ended up becoming new friends because of our work on this project and we are grateful for being able to learn new technologies including the blockchain and AI.

What we learned

Collaboration | Organization | Project Management | IBM Watson | Blockchain | Open-Source Contribution

What's next for Carus

If we were to continue developing Carus, we'd plan to collaborate with Brave and implement new cryptocurrencies as forms of payment to non-profit organizations, including CONN.

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