Whether you know it or not but you are interacting with AI systems day in and day out. When you search on your favourite search engine or when you shop online from your favourite e-commerce website. The suggestions that you see are based on artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence and
Blockchain have been referred to as the major disruptors of the coming decade by many of the industry experts. In this lecture let us examine how an interplay of these two technologies can be an irresistible proposition for the stakeholders.
The first major advantage of using Blockchain with artificial intelligence will be the rise of better data models.
AI requires data and not just data it requires a massive amount of data. In the current scenario, business models created by AI depend on the data produced by these businesses and their partners. The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word data sharing is privacy. So quite naturally when it comes to data sharing by these businesses, for AI system to work, there is always a risk of data breach, abuse and misuse of the organizational data.
But for AI, the more data you feed the more reliable insights and predictions it produces. Therefore the requirement for an AI system to work in a business setting is an unlimited, barrier-free access to information from the complete business ecosystem. For granting this uninterrupted data access to the AI system, the required data security assurance can be provided by the blockchain to these businesses. The stakeholders would be more comfortable to share the relevant data since it will reside in a decentralized network with no single entity being its owner. Data from all the relevant stakeholders and departments can be integrated with a common data mining platform and then relevant insights can be extracted by the AI analytical tool.
Further smart contracts would be implemented to define the way of usage of the shared data. Hence mitigating any chances of data losing its credibility or its value. Once AI systems gets access to this uninterrupted, decentralized pool of data, it can deliver smart insights based on the studied patterns, behaviors and other relevant aspects of the data. This large pool of data will ensure that the insights are more closer to the reality thus delivering real business value to all the stakeholders involved.
Second key advantage will be better data insights and secure personal data.
Blockchain is a safe haven for storing personal and private data of individuals which when smartly processed by AI systems can provide really great insights, for instance insights from a smart AI healthcare system can provide an exact diagnosis of an issue based on the medical scans and medical records or the movie recommendations by Netflix or Amazon based on your history.
In these scenarios, the data fed into the AI systems of these service providers is very personal and should remain secured in all possible scenarios. These service providers spend a huge sum of money to secure the customer’s private data as any breach of this data could wreck havoc for them legally as well as financially. But with Blockchain the data is stored in an encrypted state. And to secure this data only private keys need to be kept safe. Thus leading to a better security management of consumers data by these service providers along with better consumer insights.
One of the very critical advantage of using Blockchain with AI will be better understanding of the decisions made by AI systems.
AI can assess a huge volume of data with a large set of independent variables, based on their relevance to achieve the desired desires. And because of the huge complexity involved, many a times, we humans are unable to understand the logic used by these AI systems to reach a specific result or insight. But with blockchain, decisions made by AI will be recorded on the shared ledger on a datapoint by data point basis.
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This will make it much easier for us humans to audit the decision of AI systems by looking at the decision trail. This transparency in the decision making process of a robot will increase the level of trust in them and their decisions.
Another advantage will be smarter and transparent predictions. AI helps businesses to predict the outcome of various planned and unplanned events before they actualize. Though, many a times these predictions may be incorrect due to faulty data generated by the systems or sometimes due to defective analytical models used by AI systems.
But with the implementation of blockchain technology, it would be easier to authenticate the data generated and the working of the analytical methods as the relevant parameters could be regularly monitored on a decentralized system. This increased probability of the availability of error free data sets will lead to better predictions by the AI systems.
For example in case of e commerce and physical retail outlets, AI has enriched the shopping experience for shoppers and monetization for retailers. The smart prediction systems and analytics platform is being implemented by many of these retailers. Retailers can predict the best suited product for the customer even before the customer walks in the store or visits online portal. But there are many gray areas where these AI prediction systems have to work on unauthenticated or unverified source of data to give these predictions. Many a times data on the supplier’s product quality can’t be verified in the current scheme of things. Imagine a scenario where AI system predicts a product from one of these suppliers as best suited for a particular customer or set of customers and the product quality is not up to the mark. This could lead to a poor customer experience and a bad brand reputation for the retailer.
But with the implementation of blockchain, claims about the quality and specs of a product can be easily verified as the complete information about the sourcing, transportation and its production would be available on the shared ledger.
This makes the supplier more accountable, which results in only the best quality products available for sale by these retailing companies. Next advantage of marrying Blockchain with AI, will be the birth of Data marketplaces. The rise of blockchain will give rise to personal data marketplaces. As the data stored on blockchain is secured users will start storing their personal data and preferences on the blockchain.
So quite naturally the adoption of blockchain would first create a cleaner and better organized personal data. The natural progression to this event would be selling of this organized data on data marketplaces to be consumed by various companies specialising in AI modelling and insight generation. This easy availability of diverse dataset will lead to a rise of many small players and will neutralise the competitive advantage of tech giants who currently have monopoly over the users’ data.
Last but not the least the interplay of Blockchain and AI will lead to an Increased Trust on Autonomous Virtual Agents. Sometime in the future AI powered autonomous virtual agents will be able to perform tasks without the human intervention. You must have seen many sci-fi movies where machines take over the world of humans. Though that is the extreme end of the spectrum but still a plausible one. To avoid any such catastrophic event, a set of rules, directives, instructions that are secure, tamper proof and not owned by a single entity will need to be defined. Blockchain along with smart contracts have the perfect solution for this.
With implementation of smart contracts, predetermined conditions will be defined for these AI systems to operate. This will reduce the probability of any faulty operational outcome by these Autonomous Virtual agents as the whole system would be governed by smart contracts residing on decentralized and immutable ledger. In such a transparent,secure and controlled system, the probability of things going haywire at any point of time are minimal even without any human intervention. Therefore we can safely assume that implementation of blockchain with AI can create a future where instead of imagining those dreadful sci fi movie scenes we can imagine a much better and secure human machine collaboration.
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