Britannica defines Artificial intelligence as ‘the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience’.
What this essentially means is, AI is the ability of a machine or program to process information and behave like a human being. There are tasks that computers perform quite well, this has mostly to do with their capacity to handle a vast amount of data and manipulate and process it very fast, thus giving accurate calculations. Then there are some tasks which computers had earlier failed abysmally at such as translating or responding in natural language, but because of the advances in AI, these tasks are being performed by computers and programs in an increasingly efficient manner.
Next, coming to the blockchain, as defined by Investopedia, ‘A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping’. So blockchain is essentially a record of all the transactions of cryptocurrency.
Before we discuss the need for combining AI and blockchain, let us consider their individual benefits.
What are the main benefits of blockchain?
Some of the main benefits of blockchain are:
- Supply chain management: The blockchain technology provides the benefits of traceability and cost-effectiveness in the supply chain management.
- Quality assurance: The detection of an irregularity is very easy and efficient thus ensuring that business can carry out effective investigations and perform the necessary actions leading to a better quality assurance.
- Accounting: There is no scope of human error being involved in the process of recording transactions through blockchain. Moreover, it leaves behind a traceable audit trail.
- Smart contracts: Using blockchain would enable one to utilize the concept of smart contracts, whereby agreements can be automatically validated, signed and enforced through a blockchain construct.
What are the main benefits of AI?
Some of the main benefits of AI are:
- Error Reduction: Artificial intelligence would reduce error and make it possible to meet higher accuracy with a greater degree of precision. It is being applied in various studies ranging in various levels, an example is the exploration of space.
- Difficult Exploration: Artificial intelligence and robotics can be used for the purposes of mining and other fuel exploration processes. An advantage is that, based on programming, robots would be more laborious and hard-working.
- Repetitive Jobs: With the help of artificial intelligence machines can perform the tasks which are repetitive and monotonous in nature.
- No Breaks: Machines do not need breaks for rejuvenation the way humans need it. They can work for long hours without there being any need to take a break, they won't be distracted, bored or tired.
Why should AI and blockchain be integrated?
AI and Blockchain, both of these technologies would address the weaknesses of each other thus making a better ‘combined system’. Blockchain gives us the ability to exchange value embedded data without any friction and on the other hand, AI enables us to put data into action. AI can thus be used as the governing factor in a blockchain network which would create one of the world’s most secure systems for data exchange.
What are things that the combined system can do which AI and blockchain individually can’t?
How would AI affect blockchain?
- Energy consumption: Mining requires a lot of energy. AI is very efficient in optimizing energy consumption.
- Scalability: Currently blockchain is growing at a steady pace of 1MB every 10 minutes but AI would introduce new decentralized learning systems which would be more efficient.
- Security: Blockchain, on its own is very secure but its further layers and applications are not so secure. Integrating AI would vastly improve security.
How would blockchain affect AI?
- Clear audit trail: A clear trail would improve the trustworthiness of the data and it will also offer a trace back to the machine decision process.
- Increase effectiveness: More secure data would mean more sharing which would ultimately lead to better models, thus improved learning which would result in better actions, better results. Thus, the effectiveness of AI will increase.
- Lower market barriers to entry: Blockchain would secure data and thus would facilitate the creation of clean and more organized personal data which will allow the emergence of new marketplaces
Thus, using a combined system of AI and blockchain will result in energy and performance efficient, easily scalable, secure, cost-effective system that would transform the world of data sharing and processing.