Blockchain May Offer Answers for AI Challenges

Artificial intelligence is already having a big impact on society, but it also has the potential to harm. Blockchain technology may help create safer, more effective AI systems.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2023 at 6:47 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 5, 2023 at 1:48 p.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2023 at 6:47 p.m. UTCUpdated Jul 5, 2023 at 1:48 p.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2023 at 6:47 p.m. UTCUpdated Jul 5, 2023 at 1:48 p.m. UTC

ChatGPT is the fastest growing consumer application of all time, according to research by banking giant UBS. This growth underscores the profound impact that artificial intelligence (“AI”) and related technologies (i.e. large language models, machine learning, and natural language processing) have already had on society. But like any promising new technology, AI also has the potential to harm. Could blockchain help meet some of these challenges? Here are three key areas where blockchain and artificial intelligence intersect:

World of Statistics
World of Statistics


Source: World of Statistics

  1. Verification and identity: Generative AI significantly lowers the barrier to content creation but also instigates a flood of misinformation and deepfakes. Establishing consensus on the authenticity of information is at the core of blockchain technology. For instance, a unique digital signature could be created for each piece of digital content and recorded on a blockchain, allowing anyone to verify the content's authenticity.
  2. Data privacy and ownership: Companies like Google, Facebook, and 23andme derive significant income from monetizing various forms of user data. It’s feasible that powerful AI systems could follow suit as consumer applications increase in popularity. Projects like the Brave browser demonstrate how blockchain could combat this trend by enabling individuals to maintain sovereign ownership over their personal data in a privacy-preserving manner as well as decide how and when it is shared and monetized.
  3. Centralization risk: AI's capital-intensive nature and tendency toward network effects could centralize power among an oligopoly, limiting alternative options for users. Crypto can democratize AI development by offering decentralized data and computation marketplaces. By incentivizing user participation through tokens, crypto could counterbalance AI-induced centralization.

Progress: The Intersection of Crypto and AI Today

While the convergence of crypto and AI is in its infancy, it has already garnered significant investor interest. So far in 2023, venture capitalists have invested $422 million specifically in crypto applications related to AI, privacy and identity. Notable raises include Worldcoin, a verification and identity-based protocol that raised $115 million in a Series C round, and Auradine, an AI and privacy-focused web3 infrastructure solution that secured $81 million in Series A funding.

Co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Worldcoin’s blockchain-based "proof of humanity" system uses retinal scans to authenticate human users. The company's long-term vision is to combat the increasing presence of bots online and mitigate potential AI-related wealth inequality. So far, it has attracted 1.8 million sign-ups from dozens of countries.

Conclusion

Driven by technologies like ChatGPT, AI is influencing society at a mass scale. Since ChatGPT reached the landmark of 100 million sign-ups in January 2023, $5.4 billion has been invested in AI startups worldwide which may lead to additional advancements in the technology.

As AI systems develop, the accompanying challenges and solutions will also evolve, increasing the intersection and synergies between crypto and AI. Can blockchain technology harness AI’s potential to empower society, while also mitigating AI’s potential risks?

Edited by James Rubin.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.


Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

William Ogden Moore

William Ogden Moore is a Research Analyst at Grayscale Investments with a focus on how frontier technology is impacting society.