Innovative companies are rushing to create real-world business applications that combine artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology.
For example, JD.Com, the largest retailer in China, recently launched a new accelerator, AI Catapult, to build new businesses and applications using AI and blockchain technology. Separately, Porsche is introducing various blockchain and AI solutions into its smart cars.
The Benefits of Combining AI and Blockchain
Academia and the business world are focusing on the fantastic benefits that can result from combining AI and blockchain technology.
In this regard, Bernard Marr published an article on Bloomberg, exalting three of the major benefits that would result combining these two powerful technologies.
First, “AI and encryption work very well together,” says Marr. Data residing in the blockchain is highly secure. Additionally, blockchain technology is trustless. That is, Blockchain can provide authenticity without the intervention of any trusted intermediaries. Data in the blockchain remains encrypted. In this regard, AI can enhance security. Marr explains:
An emerging field of AI is concerned with building algorithms which are capable of working with (processing, or operating with) data while it is still in an encrypted state. As any part of a data process which involves exposing unencrypted data represents a security risk, reducing these incidents could help to make things much safer.
Second, “Blockchain can help us track, understand and explain decisions made by AI.” According to Marr, decisions made by AIs can sometimes be incomprehensible to humans. This is because AI systems can assess a large number of variables independently of each other and “learning” which ones are important to the accomplish the objectives of the overall task they are programmed to achieve.
Third “AI can manage blockchains more efficiently than humans (or ‘stupid’ conventional computers).” Marr explains that although computers are very fast, they are very “stupid”. Therefore, to operate with blockchain data, which is encrypted, computers require large amounts of processing power. For example, says Marr, computers take a “brute force” approach to mine blocks on Bitcoin’s blockchain. In this regard, Mar proposes:
AI is an attempt to move away from this brute force approach, and manage tasks in a more intelligent, thoughtful manner.