Let’s do a simple exercise, shall we?
Try to imagine a world where innovations in banking, finance, power, medical services and social media are the best they have ever been:
One where these industries and several others are powered entirely by unbreakable, uncrackable streams of data.
A world where this kind of superpowered data is run by powerful algorithms, and is capable of learning, updating and improving itself.
Do you think such a world is possible?
It might be closer than you think.
Over the last decade, AI and blockchain have proven themselves to be the future. One of them (blockchain technology) possesses the ability to produce the unbreakable chains of data.
On the other hand, artificial intelligence or AI is able to create self-updating algorithms that are capable of learning from the world around them.
But have you ever wondered what might happen if we found a way to put both of these bits of technology together?
Well, welcome to the future.
In this article, we’ll delve into why a convergence between AI and blockchain technology may be the backbone of the future, and why this “future” may even be here already.
Let’s embark on this journey of discovery together, and marvel at the wonders this “mixture” can usher into the world we live in.
Understanding The Building Block(chain)s
If any of these seem strange to you, we’ll go over some key concepts together, before we proceed.
What exactly does AI entail?
AI, in simple terms, refers to a combination of algorithms and data structures, that give machines (particularly computers), the ability to think, learn and solve problems
Maybe even better than a human being ever could. Believe it or not, you directly use some form of AI, every single day.
The music streaming apps you use, your flight booking apps, and even the traffic lights on roads. AI is everywhere.
Blockchain technology, on the other hand, is a decentralized, unbreakable, and transparent piece of technology that allows secure and tamper-proof transactions.
Blockchain technology has several use cases that we have barely even scratched the surface of. Things like supply chains, transparent voting, and asset tokenization are all under the umbrella of blockchain technology.
With blockchain technology, you can convert the ownership of your house into a token that you can transfer, sell or even split into several pieces.
The AI and Blockchain Revolution
Both of these technologies have proven themselves, several times over.
However, when AI and blockchain come together, they become an unstoppable force.
If AI is used properly, it can enhance the abilities of blockchain networks, allowing them to process data faster, make better decisions in hashing algorithms, and can even make smart contracts “smarter”.
Imagine smart contracts that have the ability to think.
At the same time, blockchain can return the favour to AI systems, boosting their trust and security, and ensuring that the data used to train AI models is tamper-proof and verifiable.
When AI and blockchain technology come together, here are some wonders they could give birth to:
1. Personalized Medicine:
At this point, almost everyone has tasted the power of AI tools like OpenAI’s Chat GPT, Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing Chat.
By now, you should be aware that AI can take in, analyze and process vast amounts of data, and make relevant information out of it.
AI can be used to analyze massive amounts of medical data, such as patient records, genetic information, and clinical trials. With this information, it can test out several drug combinations, simulate a person’s immune responses to them, and even suggest specific treatments for specific conditions.
When integrated with blockchain, patient data can be stored securely and will only be accessed by authorized parties. Storing vast amounts of patient data under bulletproof privacy can lead to more accurate diagnoses, tailored treatments, and faster drug discoveries.
2. Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
There are several problems with traditional financial systems like banks, brokers and lenders.
These problems are so bad that fraud, unfair interest rates and security are only the beginning.
With blockchain technology handling finances, there is no need for intermediaries and middlemen, contracts are open for everyone to see, and well-written smart contracts are uncheatable and unbendable.
When AI comes into the picture, its algorithms can analyze market data in split seconds, allowing anyone to make better and well-informed trading, banking and purchasing decisions.
3. Fraud Detection
Patterns are in everything, and it is possible to accurately predict several circumstances, ages before they happen.
When AI is integrated with the vast amounts of data that flow through blockchains per second, several of these patterns that indicate fraud can be identified, caught and prevented, a long time before they happen.
With these, scams, rug-pulls and outright theft can be identified a long time before they happen.
4. Product Tracking
Imagine a world where you can check the verified age of a bottle of wine, the age of a house, the expiry date of a can of sardines, or even the freshness of a crate of eggs, using blockchain technology.
You may already be living in that world.
A company called Provenance is already on to something like this.
Using blockchain and AI solutions, the company creates a digital record of products when they are manufactured, allowing users to track a product’s origin and the materials used in its production, using the Provenance blockchain.
The Challenges and Opportunities:
In this case, with great power comes a great potential for problems.
While bringing AI and blockchain together holds great promise, it is not without problems.
One of the biggest problems to tackle is scalability.
In the real world, both AI and blockchain processes require massive amounts of computational power.
However, AI can also be used to implement blockchain scalability solutions like sharding and off-chain computation. Another concern may be the issue of privacy.
A combination of AI and blockchain technology will require more instances of data sharing.
Data sharing in turn, raises issues about who owns data and how it should be used. Both technologies will have to strike a balance between data accessibility and individual rights.
At the same time, Blockchain technology and AI will require more skilled personnel with experience using AI algorithms and blockchain protocols.
Training and finding talent to join the workforce may prove to be a challenge and may be one of the crucial aspects for the success of this convergence.
Overall, the combination of AI and blockchain represents a massive paradigm shift in modern technology and presents plentiful opportunities for lives and industries to improve.
This combination of AI’s intelligence and blockchain technology’s trust will serve as the foundation of more innovative solutions than we have ever dreamed of.