Both AI and Blockchain technologies have emerged as independent technologies seemingly charting independent parts but like two streams that meet to form a river, it seems the marriage of AI and blockchain technologies is inevitable. One true and tested way to predict a successful marriage is to look for the existence of complimentary and co-dependent abilities in the two entities trying to get married. I argue here that both AI and Blockcahin seem to have these attributes and hence, I can safely predict a marriage between both technologies will be extremely successful. Three of these inherent symbiotic relationships between AI and Blockchain will be explored in this article, centering on the organization of data, transparency and personification.
AI needs data and blockchain organizes data
Anyone who has looked into the current state of AI realizes quickly that without data, there will be no AI. In fact most AI algorithms require tons and tons of data to be successful. Storing and allowing access to this data has spawned several successful cloud businesses such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft's Azure's platform and Google's cloud platform (GCP). However, if you think deeply about this, you realize that at some point, either these successful cloud companies create standardized protocols that seamlessly allow inter platform communication or one of them becomes large enough to buy out the other two. This is because, it is impractical to expect only few business reasons that will require this level of dependence.
For example, consider the scenario where company A uses AWS for its business but decides to buy company B that uses the GCP for its business. Can you imagine how complicated such a merger or acquisition will be without inter-cloud service communication? Blockchain solves this problem by completely circumventing the need for such protocols. This makes it significantly easier for AI algorithms to scale across organizations and platforms.
AI needs the transparency and trust of blockchain to eliminate bias
One of the thorniest issues affecting AI today is the bias it inherits from available data biased by their collection procedures. For example, it is hard to imagine an AI algorithm trying to predict individual credit worthiness, not to be biased - almost any data collection mechanism you can imagine will be wrought with bias. Now, imagine relying only on a blockchain that records credit transactions of any form for the same individuals and you realize immediately that such bias can be eliminated. Suddenly, the female fruit trader in a remote African village can have the same credit score as a male bank CEO in North America - all enabled and made possible by the blockchain technology.
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay - An African female fruit trader having the same credit score as a male American CEO might be as unbelievable as the mystical Pegasus but miracles can happen within the blockchain technology ecosystem
AI seeks personification, blockchain provides its DNA
If you study recent attempts to regulate AI such as the GDPR and the Toronto declaration, it becomes clear that humanity is opening up to the idea of holding AI responsible for its actions. This is a remarkable turning point in our history with AI and technology in general, a topic I explored in a recent post on AI predictions for this decade. The challenge is that without historical, immutable data that clearly separates the evolution of an AI program from its initial programming, it will be almost impossible to figure out if the program or the programmer should be blamed for a given AI's trespass. However, if such programs are developed and allowed to evolve on a blockchain (albeit with some degree of encryption to protect intellectual property rights), immutability becomes fairly assured, significantly increasing the success rate of any technical or legal audit.
This article summarizes 3 attributes that make the merging of AI and Blockchain technologies imminent and indispensable in the near future. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.