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Next Steps In The Integration Of Artificial Intelligence And The Blockchain Posted on Oct 09 - 2018

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Having worked in the cryptography space for over two decades, and having been an active participant in the cryptocurrency evolution since its inception, I take a deep interest in the subject. In particular, I believe that the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain is an exciting but challenging new development.

Matt Turck recently discussed why the topic matters and highlighted interesting projects in the space, referring to AI (big data, data science, machine learning) and blockchain (decentralized infrastructure) as the defining technologies of the next decade. Evidently, the time is already ripe for these new concepts, despite them being novel and still underdeveloped.

Intriguingly, AI and blockchain are philosophically different in various ways:

  1. AI is driven by more centralized infrastructures as opposed to blockchain's decentralized, distributed nature.
  2. While a lot of AI technologies are owned and operated by centralized providers, a majority of the blockchain players in the market publish all of their codebases as open-source code that is freely available for anyone to inspect at any point in time.
  3. AI is more of a black-box solution for now, while the blockchain tends to be more transparent in all the transactions processed.
  4. AI is based on probabilistic formulas, while blockchain is more deterministic in nature.

Currently, AI startups are being overwhelmingly acquired by companies such as IBM, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Intel and Alibaba, among others. These organizations rely on unprecedented amounts of data to train their AI agents, which offers them an immense competitive advantage. At the same time, their data and capabilities are closed from the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, centralized AI introduces room for abuse, such as massive surveillance of people using face recognition and computer-vision-powered technology. At the same time, creating solutions on top of a centralized environment requires enterprises to give up privacy and control of their data to other third parties.

Merging AI And Blockchain

This is where blockchain comes in, as it can be used to overcome many of AI's shortcomings. I've seen it firsthand in our business, where we leverage a lot of AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities in order to better identify and authenticate users' blockchain identities.

Currently, experts in this space are exploring ways through which blockchain can be deployed to create a decentralized marketplace to enhance AI. This course by MIT is just one indicator of the movement in this space. This will allow people to comfortably share their personally identifiable information (PII) with the assurance that it will remain secure and private through decentralization and secure computing offered by the blockchain. In effect, users can easily share their sensitive details, such as health and financial data, and the system would ensure that only the intended service provider would have the ability to decipher and decrypt users' PII with explicit consent by the user. With time, I believe the space will have an accumulation of massive data maintained by big organizations using AI algorithms to stay competitive. View More

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