Artificial Intelligence (AI) includes important components that are responsible for data analysis and processing: Deep Learning, Neural Networks, and Machine Learning, while Blockchain provides security to the storage and transmission of information. These two innovations may not seem to be in conflict, but today AI helps focus confidential information in the hands of large centralized corporations. Blockchain, for its part, seeks to transfer control to users, which affects the conflict between these two areas.
How Blockchain and AI Can Help Each Other
Blockchain has many shortcomings when it comes to security, scalability, and efficiency. As for Artificial Intelligence, many people do not trust such systems and treat them with caution. Merging these two technologies seems inevitable: they could complement each other to create a fundamentally new generation of digital systems. Blockchain will relieve Artificial Intelligence from user mistrust, ensure transparency and confidentiality of data; as for artificial intelligence, it will allow the creation of Machine Learning systems based on blockchain technologies, featuring enhanced security, scalability, and more effective personalization and management capabilities.
Decentralized AI: What are the Benefits?
Recently, Blockchain-based decentralized networks for artificial intelligence are gaining popularity.
According to forecasts, the artificial intelligence market will grow to $15 trillion by 2030, making it the largest global industry. In the future, AI will cover all areas of human activity, from simple mechanical work to areas strongly relying on human intellectual resources.
Potentially, artificial intelligence deals with the following challenges:
- Data processing. AI-based applications use large amounts of data, finding relationships between them. The main task is to find patterns and structure bits of information with a little connection between them; similar tasks when using a human resource require a lot of time and money.
- Deviation from standard situations. For example, an AI-based application is used to solving standard tasks. However, since artificial intelligence is constantly improving on its own, it analyzes extraneous information, external factors and finds causal characteristics in them. Such opportunities allow you to increase the amount of work performed.
- Reducing computing costs is achieved by the fact that developing and launching of AI algorithms are carried out in a decentralized network. It is necessary to process a large amount of data to train the algorithm, so modern systems offer distributed user resources.
Companies at the junction of AI and Blockchain
Blockchain’s ability to guarantee the correctness of the information contained makes its use relevant for data input and output in many AI-based applications. For example, startup CognitiveScale supported by IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and USAA, uses Blockchain to store application results. They are used to follow regulatory requirements in financial markets, a deeply regulated industry, so applications like this will help market participants to meet the reporting requirements in a quality manner.
IBM is implementing its development in the field of AI (Watson AI) and blockchain (a platform based on Hyperledger Fabric) for many industries. One project built on top of the Everledger repository uses blockchain to track the origin of luxury goods, including diamonds. Everledger stores IBM-protected individual features for over a million diamonds. Watson, another company project, applies knowledge of thousands of UN requirements for properties and characteristics, preventing the circulation of inappropriate stones.
BigchainDB is currently developing a database that combines the speed and performance of NoSQL technology and the benefits of Blockchain in guaranteeing the accuracy and authenticity of the data. The company is already working on introducing a base in corporations such as Capgemini, Daimler, Porsche, and Toyota. Moreover, the company is introducing its technology to support the Interplanetary Database (IPDB), in which the company sees the potential of becoming a database for a “decentralized world computer,” like a platform created by the Ethereum community.
What problems could AI and Blockchain solve?
Using AI to collect personal information has become the most common way to use this technology. Blockchain can help change the reputation of AI for better if artificial intelligence mechanisms process the data that is securely stored on a distributed registry, not controlled by the centralized enterprises.
At the same time, while using private and public keys, the user himself determines who will get access to personal data; for those who want to further protect personal information from third parties, an AI-based Blockchain will provide a decentralized identification.
In addition to the use of personal data by corporations, another significant vulnerability of centralized information storage is the threat of database hacks. Blockchain itself provides a high level of security, as demonstrated, for example, by decentralized exchanges: the blockchain network of exchanges is located on several servers at once, and the hacker has to gain access not to one, but to several access points at once, which significantly complicates the attack.
AI also contributes to increased security. Machine Learning algorithms can be trained to create highly personalized user models, helping to detect deviations from the familiar model and identifying them as potential hacking attempts in real-time. These algorithms, based on AI-generated models and using other data (including biometric or transactional), can self-learn and adapt to user behavior, increasing the security barrier. Moreover, AI technologies strive to create algorithms that can analyze data even in its encrypted state, which significantly increases security.
The Future of AI and Blockchain
Despite the rapid progress of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, both still have a long way to go. Among the latest developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Google Duplex can be noted: a system automatically making phone calls on your behalf. However, it still provides only three possibilities: booking tables in restaurants, making beauty salons appointments and finding out the working hours of shops.
Despite the colossal breakthrough in the field of algorithms and artificial intelligence data, it’s still far from the complexity of the human mind. As for the Blockchain, recent security incidents with Ethereum, ZCash, Bitcoin Gols and many other cryptocurrencies suggest that it will take a lot of time before protected, scalable blockchains for real applications appear. Nevertheless, in the future, a “blockchain – artificial intelligence” duo, of course, will be able to provide society with a lot of new opportunities.