Artificial intelligence is on the mind of the world’s most influential people, including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Is it a tool for the betterment of mankind or the fast lane to human obsolescence? It depends on who is talking, but more perhaps more importantly, on what use-case is being discussed.
Similarly, blockchain technology is viewed under the same microscope. To the uninitiated, it represents a tool that enables the untamed world of cryptocurrency. To those with a better understanding though, blockchain represents a key tool for securing information transfer and personal privacy.
So, what happens when you combine blockchain and AI? In the words of Howard Carter, “Wonderful things.”
Blockchain and AI
One of the oft-cited concerns with AI is that a small company or consortium gains control over its creation, or more to the point, designs and patents a specific way in which it would function. In such a scenario, a small group of actors would control access to data worldwide, dictating usage costs and means of transfer, granting them unchecked market leverage.
Blockchain technology could be used to temper this scenario. As a system of data collection and generation, wherein the content is open and available for access and tracking, yet inherently secure; blockchain seems to be a perfect partner for AI. With data being created, collected, and verified from a wide array of sources, data access could no longer be reined in and constricted by a small group. Access and openness of data would be largely democratic and unfettered.
As such, while the role of AI grows in the management of information systems, blockchain increasingly represents a solution for truly decentralized artificial intelligence.
Blockchain Machine Learning in the Real World
Considering more immediate applications, let’s look at how blockchain and AI could provide great benefits in the real world on a much smaller and relevant scale. Check out this article’s conceptualization of how a company like Uber could use driverless cars to acquire, and feed traffic and potential customer location data in real-time, while ferrying paying customers around.
This type of data collection makes perfect sense, but it would become even more powerful when melded with blockchain machine learning. Such an AI driven data system would not only collect data but could coalesce and analyze it for better performance.
For instance, what times do movies end at a theater and what is the usual number of patrons who call for a lift afterward? This information is not conventionally available as it is ever changing. It needs to be collected and analyzed for maximal gain, and this must be done continuously and distributed in real-time. And this is would be just one of hundreds or thousands of subtle data points that could be engaged in this way.
Only distributed ledgers for AI could handle, translate and disseminate this information promptly and securely, so that it maximizes the business potential. This goes far beyond “smart city” integration, as the data being acted upon is not standardized or normalized. It must be engaged broadly and “intelligently.”