By: Siddharth Sharma, RIG Inc Intern Researcher
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain are two developing technologies that are at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Both technologies will, as expected, add trillions of dollars to the world economy, ushering rapid changes into every part of our lives.
For those who are unfamiliar with these terms AI makes a computer do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment, while blockchain refers to a public, immutable, decentralized database that is used to store encrypted data. Blockchain can securely store extremely sensitive data and in certain ways automate trust between numerous parties, while AI can mimic the human intelligence and make decisions based on derived reasoning.
The following areas are some of the ways in which AI and blockchain can assist us:
Data is the new ‘gold’, and its privacy is an increasing worry, especially in light of the infamous controversy of 2018, in which Cambridge Analytica, a third-party political agency, targeted 50 million users’ profile data without their consent, and in turn was exploited on Facebook by a political party during Presidential elections in 2017 for advertising reasons. This issue can be addressed by combining blockchain and artificial intelligence.
In a diskless environment, blockchain is known for storing sensitive and personal data. The information kept on a blockchain is extremely safe, it can do so by enabling security through “public key infrastructure” that protects against malicious attempts to alter data. The larger and more distributed the network, the more secure it is believed to be. The database contains digitally signed data, which implies that only users’ “private keys” would be protected, allowing AI algorithms to run on safe data from blockchain and ensuring more trustworthy and reliable outputs.
One of the most significant challenges AI developers face is that people always doubt how and when AI-based applications will use their data. Also, no one can access data without the user’s permission in blockchain-enabled AI applications. Users can license their data to the AI application or the provider using a blockchain ledger based on their terms and conditions.
When it comes to a users’ personal data, centralized data storage becomes extremely delicate in terms of privacy and security. Large-scale data collecting reveals the centralized infrastructure’s scaling and capacity difficulties when work involves processing large datasets. In traditional applications with a client-server architecture, data is collected from clients and stored in a centralized server.
Decentralized storage using blockchain will help secure data storage across participating networks. With Blockchain technology embedded into AI applications, we could assure data availability for the required purpose, by storing publicly encrypted copy of the whole database across all the nodes. Now this data could be accessed by each user at any time.
Business transactions involving numerous partners such as users, business entities and agencies are inefficient because of the requirement of multiparty authorization.
While AI can provide real-time analysis of enormous amounts of data, an AI system coupled with blockchain technology can provide a transparent data model for rapid validation amongst multiple stakeholders through various applications of blockchain like smart contracts and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations).
Security, scalability, and efficiency are major concerns with blockchain, whereas trustworthiness, explainability, and privacy are issues with AI. The combination of AI and blockchain may just be the perfect match; they could revolutionize the next digital generation by complementing each other. AI will benefit from blockchain’s trust, privacy, and transparency. In exchange, AI can assist in the development of a machine learning system on the blockchain that is more secure, scalable, and efficient to fulfill the required purpose.