The Intersection of AI and Blockchain
Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain have captured the public's attention, but can these emerging technologies be combined in a way that benefits humanity? According to experts, there are reasons to be optimistic. Both the crypto economics and AI safety communities have recognized that they are trying to solve similar problems of regulating complex and smart systems with unpredictable emergent properties.
Addressing AI's "Black Box" Problem
One of the concerns surrounding AI is its lack of transparency and control. The emergence of generative AI tools like ChatGPT has raised worries about AI spinning out of control. This is where blockchain technology comes into play. By incorporating blockchain and smart contracts, there is hope that AI models can be kept in check and prevent them from going off course.
Hybrid Blockchains for Scaling
But how can blockchain technology solve AI's "black box" problem if it can't scale? According to experts, the solution lies in hybrid blockchains. By using both permissioned (private) and public (non-permissioned) blockchains, the scalability issue can be addressed. The hybrid model allows for immutability when needed from the public chain, while also providing the flexibility to manage infrastructure independently.
The Benefits of Blockchain in AI
Blockchain technology offers several advantages when it comes to AI. Firstly, it provides transparency by making the internal workings of AI systems visible to users. Secondly, blockchains offer a way to roll back the tape, enabling AI models to be reverted to a previous iteration if any issues arise. Additionally, blockchain can serve as an audit trail, ensuring data integrity and transparency in the training of AI models.
Debating the Effectiveness of Blockchain
While some believe that blockchain technology can address AI's "black box" problem, others are skeptical. Critics argue that blockchain's transparency does not necessarily make AI's inner workings more understandable. Instead, they view it as a version control system that tracks an AI model's development and deployment. However, blockchain can indirectly address the issue by providing an audit trail that ensures data integrity and transparency in the training process.
Blockchain as a Kill Switch for AI
Looking ahead, blockchain technology could play a crucial role in regulating artificial general intelligence (AGI). By providing a decentralized kill switch, blockchain can prevent nightmare scenarios where AGI models overturn elections or engage in wars. This kill switch would be controlled by human validators through a decentralized blockchain, ensuring that AI models only receive power when deemed appropriate.
Overcoming Potential Hindrances
Despite the potential benefits, there are obstacles to integrating AI and blockchain. The AI community still harbors suspicions about cryptocurrencies and blockchain due to past scams and unsavory behavior. However, experts believe that both communities can learn from each other, with the crypto industry's expertise in network security being extended to machine learning models.
China's Positive Outlook
Interestingly, China has shown a particularly favorable view of integrating AI and blockchain technology. In a survey, 68% of China's IT respondents believed that this integration has the potential to revolutionize the industry. China's positive stance towards blockchain technology, coupled with its use in certification and tracking mechanisms, may explain its optimism.
Blockchain's Killer App
While blockchain's fusion with AI could be one of its killer applications, experts also point to its track-and-trace governance protocols in supply chain and financial technology sectors. However, the innovation potential in AI governance is greater due to the absence of an incumbent system. This makes the integration of AI and blockchain a promising avenue for future development.
In conclusion, the integration of AI and blockchain holds promise for addressing the challenges and concerns associated with AI models. By leveraging the transparency and immutability of blockchain technology, it is possible to create a more accountable and controllable AI ecosystem that benefits humanity.
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