• AI (Artifical Intelligence) and blockchain, seemingly perfect solutions for a majority of business, social, and economic problems, still have limitations that need to be overcome before expecting massive disruption. Combining AI and blockchain can be the way forward, as these technologies can potentially cancel out each other’s weaknesses.
The convergence of artificial intelligence (AI), a program capable of independently making decisions and solving problems, and blockchain, a network of interdependent computers that make decisions through consensus, may seem paradoxical and even counter productive. However, instead of viewing the two as technologies that serve competing purposes, technology and business leaders should realize that combining AI and blockchain can increase the potency of both the technologies multi fold for catalyzing innovation.
AI : total autonomy
Armed with the ability to think, learn, and respond like humans without requiring any human intervention, AI stands for total autonomy. Every new AI application that emerges extends the boundaries of what the technology can achieve, and with increasing independence. AI has become so capable today that not only can it logically engage in debate with humans, but can also read and understand human emotions! AI can not only identify patterns from vast amounts of unstructured data but can also make decisions based on its findings. Thus, the potential applications of AI are limitless. However, training AI to behave like humans can lead to them learning potential unethical behaviors, as is demonstrated by Facebook’s experiment that resulted in AI bots learning to lie. Thus there needs to be technology that can track AI’s decision-making process, while safely limiting its autonomy.
Blockchain : shared control
Blockchain essentially represents dissemination of control from a single party to all participants in a network. Blockchain is used to record a series of transactions in a secure, immutable, and highly transparent network. No action on the network, such as approving an action or validating a decision, can be performed without a clear consensus among the participating nodes. This is how the blockchain maintains its integrity. Any change made on the blockchain can be traced back in the right sequence, making easy to identify the provenance of any action. Due to these abilities, blockchain has found rapid adoption in financial institutions for enabling transactions, and is being considered for a wide range of applications in a number of different industries. However, the seemingly perfect technology has a few limitations that need to be overcome before mainstream adoption. These problems include high energy consumption, difficulty in scaling, and a high cost of maintenance and operation.
Combining AI and blockchain
Considering the individual problems with these technologies, combining AI and blockchain seems to be the perfect solution. A potential application for blockchain could be to keep track of the decisions made by AI systems, which can be difficult to track because of AI’s high-speed processing capability. This will help top prevent AI from developing devious behaviors.
As AI applications and bots become more ubiquitous and begin to interact with each other and perform automated transactions, blockchain can be used to keep track of all interactions and transactions without requiring humans to monitor the network. AI can make smart contracts smarter by using past transactional information to devise new contracts and introduce new clauses. AI can also solve the salability and energy consumption issue of blockchain by optimizing resource usage for maximum efficiency.
These are just a few of the many benefits that can be gained by combining AI and blockchain. Synergizing AI and blockchain can not only minimize the limitations of the individual technologies but can also increase the potency of the technologies multifold. Using these technologies in conjunction with other technologies will further enhance their capabilities and lead to truly innovative applications.