Artificial Intelligence is intelligence exhibited by machines. It is a technology that continues to act as a disruptive force in the present world today, especially with the various technologies emerging from it. These technologies include autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, as well as blockchain technology. These technologies are just a few of the ones pioneered by, and continue to work hand in hand with artificial intelligence. The focus, however, is the specific impact it has on blockchain technology. Due to the nature of blockchain, artificial intelligence is embedded in order for it to work. For a digital ledger to succeed, there needs to be an active partner that processes and authenticates users and transactions simultaneously and because AI continuously learns, it is the ideal technology necessary to supplement blockchain.
Corporations such as IBM are increasingly recognizing the importance of both blockchain and AI working simultaneously in order to achieve a more powerful optimized system. They have created ‘Industry platforms’ which are teams specialized to work on bridging the gap between the two, joining financial services and Watson artificial intelligence program to bring about a ‘blockchain powered internet of things’. “We found that there’s this interesting convergence between IBM Watson capability and the Internet of Things Foundation and we decided it would be even better if we combined the two.”- Tim Hahn, IBMs chief internet architect. Blockchain is a disruption to industries on its own but when combined with AI the impact and financial magnitude is huge. The expected revenue that could be generated from the disruption of the market and combination of both AI and blockchain was expected to be $135bn by the end of 2015. With this, the connection of devices as a result is predicted to reach as high as 20.8bn by the year 2020. Hahn also suggests that an artificially intelligent blockchain can help companies who have joint interest in a device.
There are a number of ways that blockchain can further utilize AI. Firstly, blockchain can use AI to determine and filter identities of those creating and carrying out transactions, whether private or public chains. This ID confirmation will eliminate the requirement for traditional intermediaries to be present to secure value transfers between parties, again reducing centralized control which can be prone to manipulation and hacking. On the flip-side, it would seem blockchain can also improve AI, creating a more secure way for AI applications and their administration. Safer cloud computing through the use of blockchain can lead to more optimized autonomous vehicles and other robotics. Featuring a system of checks and balances that cannot be manipulated forces ‘good players’ and a more transparent ledger on which to operate on. The existing problem with Artificial intelligence is the worry of a potentially dangerous future, narrowed down to the basis that it’s centralized and prone to outside regulation. The fear of who gets to control these machines, robots and other forms of intelligence and what happens when it falls into the wrong hands will be eliminated by Blockchain. As an independent third party mechanism mines, reviewing and recording transactions with blockchain, only valid transactions from ‘good players’ are able to be confirmed and then recorded. The combination of the two makes for ‘friendlier’ AI and certainly a safer future.
The two disruptive forces work hand in hand to allow a decentralized digital ledger that re-imagines hence reconstructing the centralized structures currently in use today.
In the video above, Patrick Schwerdtfeger explains how the two essential technologies, artificial intelligence and blockchain, interact. In fact, he uses a practical Tesla example to show how both technologies work hand in hand. In essence, he says that artificial intelligence allows the individual vehicle to learn how to take the corner as time moves on, but it is blockchain that allows the whole fleet of cars to know how to maneuver the bend.
In addition to what corporations are innovating to allow blockchain and AI to work hand in hand, the future of AI and blockchain is also present in Ethereum technology. The exploding technology is constructing an internet 2.0 with the fact that it will allow the blockchain network to create computation disruption. It allows a platform for smart contracts, decentralized applications, and decentralized autonomous organizations. As mentioned earlier, AI is embedded in blockchain to ensure an active partner in authorizing and processing data and Ethereum is no exception. Due to the fact that Ethereum allows for a custom built blockchain, it is able to engineer applications that run efficiently without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference via smart contracts. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has taken a gamble on Ethereum by using it as an aid to their flagship blockchain innovation Quorum, a distributed crypto-ledger. This only proves further that innovation in AI and blockchain continues to grow as a key partnership that mainstream companies have recognized and begun to implement.
It is obvious to see how the merging of both AI and blockchain will prove to be a major disruption and key innovation in optimizing systems and markets, not only in the financial industry but also in robotics and other influential areas of study and practice.