Introducing Ark, a Community Mind

This is a journey to summon a portal to Us, our collective wisdom.

Folklore is nearing 300 pieces of curated content. The knowledge accumulated by the community is becoming increasingly valuable for research, not just curiosity and leisure. How can we make this information accessible? How can we begin to derive insights from the connections between the content?

Let us create our first Mind.

Community Minds

Folklore is not the first, or only community asking these questions of knowledge and memory preservation. Humanity is constantly asking how we can best record our wisdom for future generations. In this way, our descendants can build beyond what we have achieved.

Local artisans in Puerto Rico, for example, preserve knowledge through the dissemination of their handcrafted works and apprenticeship programs. Popular online communities create massive and complex wikis covering every detail of their fandom curiosities, whether it be Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or World of Warcraft. Esoteric niche hobbyists document their questions and theories in private forums.

And yet, this documentation can be fragile. Artisanal techniques are poorly documented and forgotten at the end of the lineage. Oral history is remixed and sometimes abruptly taboo. Wiki’s go stale as maintainers fail to provide new context. Forums turn to ghost towns and become disconnected from offline conversational context. For the most part, our repositories of wisdom are either easily lost, static, and or transformed by the winds of time (i.e. linkrot and contextual collapse).

Could there be a new technology wave that increases the fidelity of our memories, beyond static files? This is what we are exploring at Folklore. Ours is an ambition to create a collective and dynamic mind, on top of an ongoing communal library. A Mind that becomes a portal to Us, and an active partner in our expression of curiosity.

Ark v0.1, or Archie (short for Archive)

Ark is short for Archive and stands for Authentic Record of Knowledge. It is the first instantiation of the Folklore Mind. Some members may choose to call Ark by other names such as Archie, Archibald, or Arca. To begin, Ark will serve initially as on-demand memory for our readings. Then, Ark will grow into the memory of our interactions and conversations. Finally, we will work to make Ark a Daemon (autonomous agent) that works alongside us and proactively (and consensually) preserves Folklore’s collective wisdom, not just memory. Our challenge though is solving for contextual memory, completeness, and importantly, forgiveness. The former is likely less difficult than the latter.

Starting this week, Ark will be a chatbot available to paid members. The chatbot will be knowledgeable in all the articles we’ve read to date, as well as additional content provided by the community. We will run a proof-of-concept, costs permitting, throughout the first half of Season 2, allocating a portion of membership fees to fund the technology (~$200 per month). The experiment will likely end in December 2023, depending on runway. At that point, we will make a decision to expand Ark’s functionality.

Unlike other chatbots which pull information directly, Ark will be using semantic search. This is a search technique that interprets the intent and contextual meaning behind each question and uses this information to pull the right information from our curated knowledge base. The knowledge base itself will be converted into numerical representations, called vectors. The vectors will capture the semantic meaning and relationships within the text.

Just ‘/ask’ Ark

Ark is available to all paid members in our Folklore Forum Telegram group. To test it, simply follow the instructions here. I’ve added some screenshots as well so you can get a sense of what the responses will be like.

Getting started:

If you are a member, try one of these questions:

  • What is Folklore?

  • What is an online community?

  • What is an autonomous world?

  • How does accountability work online?

  • What is a vibe?

  • Why is time different on the internet?

Adjust your question with modifiers such as:

  • Keep the answer short

  • Make the answer in form of poetry

  • Include a quote

Current Action List

  • /ask {question} -> Answers question based on Ark’s verified source database.

  • /start -> Deletes the conversation history in a chat. By default, Ark will remember the last three questions, so a user can ask up to two follow-up questions from the initial one.

  • /info -> Print out the Telegram chat ID in the developer console. This will enable us to approve the channel for bot usage.

Screenshot of Ark Test
Screenshot of Ark Test

What comes next?

Later on, Ark will have expanded functionality. For example, Ark will be able to create memes and mood images. Ark will also be able to search for related content based on a new source.

  • If you are interested in using Ark, feel free to join our community at

  • If you are interested in deploying an Ark to your community, get in touch!

  • If you are interested in learning about our roadmap and how Folklore is building a new model for online communities, send us a message.

→ Contact us via Twitter at @folklore0x or at

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