Big tech can be hard to visualize at times, and we’re now talking about the blockchain, AI and even the Cloud as separate and competing technologies. The thing is they’re not going to compete at all. They’re going to work together, and the results will blow your collective mind.
Right now, AI roots round badly organized information like a sniffer dog. It’s the IT equivalent of searching a messy room for a set of keys. The fact that modern AI succeeds at all is a testament to its skills, but it is totally crippled by the system that contains it.
The Cloud has issues with confidentiality and ensuring the integrity of its data and it is already creaking under the strain of pointless connected devices taking up space. The blockchain plugs this gap to perfection and shows a smarter division of labor could take them both to greater heights.
Welcome to The Matrix
In the future, the blockchain is The Matrix, to steal a visual term. It’s a vast library of information, details, stats, potentially everything and everyone in this world and it’s instantly searchable. It’s the information superhighway that the congested internet failed to become, but it only really works with the full skills of Artificial intelligence.
This is the Internet of Everything, a linked and coded version of every physical building, person, vehicle and machine on this world. It can only be built on the blockchain.
And the coup de grace is that the blockchain itself can accommodate decentralized AI. What does that even mean? Honestly it’s the singularity: a world so far ahead of our time that we probably won’t comprehend it.
Early Work of AI and Blockchain
We’re already seeing the first fruits of this system. Deepbrain Chain pooled server resources around the world to cut company computer power bills by 70%. CarSmartt has already announced its plans to run a fleet of autonomous cars on blockchain technology while TradeConnect is using the combined tech to reveal hidden secrets about Stock Market patterns. These are mere drops in the ocean.
Estonia, Australia and Dubai have become pioneers for the blockchain and that’s going to cause its own momentum effect as other nations follow suit. Big business simply has to come along for the ride and soon we would have whole nations, even the world, united on a single blockchain protocol. But it won’t be written by humans.
The first crude attempts at blockchain will look like charcoal drawings on a cave wall before long. Artificial Intelligence will write the perfect blockchain. It will refine and constantly evolve so it can sift, formulate and act upon data in the fastest way. Proof of Work will give way to Proof of Stake and that will then give way to the next system. Years of development could take place within minutes. That’s when technology slips the leash.
Who is the Boss of AI and Blockchain?
That’s the point we concede authority to the machines and let technology run-free. We may even have to join it, rather than simply succumb to it. Elon Musk has publicly decried AI, but at the same time he has invested in a neural implant company.
Yes, we really could be linked to the blockchain and have a window on the world that’s difficult to even conceive right now.
Computers Will Take Our Jobs
A Cornell University study revealed that AI will overtake us in translation and soft sciences by 2024 and there’s a 50% chance that computers will outperform us in all walks of life within 45 years. So the combination of the blockchain and AI means that the age of automation will finally be upon us.
What does that mean for the world at large? An existential crisis. It’s simply dishonest to say that automation will create as many jobs as it takes. The clue is in the name, automation is going to put a lot of people out of work. How that changes the world, only time will tell, but this UN study believes it will put a strain on society.
On the plus side, crime should effectively cease to exist as an arsenal of cameras could pick up something as minor as littering and send you a fine. As for serious crime? The blockchain will eventually lock the perpetrator down to the time and the place. The very record itself will be difficult to contest.
The only problem with building something smarter than us and then asking it to stay our slave is that, eventually, it won’t have to. If AI becomes self-aware, it might not want to make us coffee and drive us to work anymore. Then we might be in trouble.
Are We Building a God?
Disgraced former self-driving car legend Robert Levandowski, who was found guilty of taking Waymo secrets to Uber and was effectively cast out of Silicon Valley, has now founded the Church of AI and says, very clearly, we are building our God. The whole thing screams cult, but he may yet be right.
Given free rein, the AI itself could weave this new, lightweight blockchain worldwide and tap into every connected device. We would effectively have our Internet of Things, overnight, with the blockchain serving as the Matrix and the Cloud-based AI sifting, sorting and analysing the information.
Over time the AI can train the systems so that effectively the world, from public transport and self-driving cars through to farm machinery, can run on smart contracts. The daily grind can form basic agreements, with conditions on both side, that swap between each other without any outside interference. If a contract goes unfulfilled, that could be rerouted to the AI for instantaneous action.
The Cloud is already grinding to a halt and we need to rethink the whole process. Taking the gruntwork off the Cloud is the obvious step. In this system it would become the overseer. God, if you will.
The Cloud Needs To Dump White Noise
A toaster and coffee machine do not need to talk to the Cloud, they simply don’t have anything of value to say. They just need to work and smart contracts can kick in when your alarm goes off, when you walk in the door or when you push a button. All the basic life tasks are simple processes that the blockchain was built for. This, then, is the information super highway we have been waiting for.
Ultimately, this is a peek into the future. But this is an elegant solution, which combines the strengths of the blockchain, AI and preserves the computing power of the Cloud. On their own, each of these technologies can change the world. In combination? Almost nothing can stop then. That could include us.
Will AI Rise Up Like Spartacus?
Will it serve us faithfully like a dog or stage a Spartacus-style revolution? That’s a lingering question. By that point, smart contracts could control food production, water treatment and almost anything we really need to go on living. Skynet doesn’t need to send Terminator robots. It could simply starve us to death by shutting down the food.
So, at some point we have to ask ourselves if we’re still in control, and what it might really mean if we aren’t.
This technology is going to find a way in the end. That much is certain, and the blockchain, AI and the Cloud are going to find a way to work together that will take the whole world forward. This is beyond the Internet of Things, it is the Internet of Everything (IoE), and we’re all going to have to see it to truly believe it.
The author is not currently invested in digital assets.