Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) grew exponentially over the last year. A massive year for these relatively new technologies. The venture capital funding doubled to $12 billion in the previous year for AI. At the same time, the blockchain has been laying the foundation for a new decentralized internet. Last year, the total amount of capital that blockchain startups raised was a little over $5.6 billion.
Throwing “AI” and “blockchain” together boils down to basically nothing. There should be no discussion on whether AI needs blockchain or does not need blockchain. A decentralized infrastructure is what we are all moving towards in the next five to ten years. However, in order to make this world a reality, a ton of protocol layers and fundamental infrastructure needs to be built.
The never-ending challenge for everyone has been having enough data to train AI/ML models. The perfect fit for getting more datasets into the hands of the AI community is decentralization. Since only companies with a ton of users have access to large datasets.
Recently, a company called Ocean Protocol is planning to build a decentralized data exchange. It aims to use the world’s data to train its AI systems. If everything goes according to plan, it will be the go-to protocol for both; data providers and consumers. Everything will depend on the industry the customer works in and how specific the data they train with needs to be, for example, provides structured data about companies, investors, and industry news.
Numerai also uses artificial intelligence, but to maintain a hedge fund. As covered by BTCManager, Numerai wants to connect machine intelligence to the stock market and introduced its own altcoin, Numeraire, for this purpose. Founder Richard Craib explains:
“The goal for Numerai was to be an API that any artificial intelligence could use to control capital in the economy. The API would pass datasets to the AIs to train on and the AIs would submit predictions back to Numerai. And the AIs would get paid in the only currency they can use and understand: cryptocurrency.”
Understanding research papers and implementing them to run on blockchains isn’t a trivial task. Data is the key in training AI/ML models; one needs to develop algorithms that run in a decentralized and distributed manner. Certain companies, like Singularity NET, allow AI systems to communicate with each other, allowing administrators to monetize and create data content.
Cortex Virtual Machine is Cortex’s in-house virtual machine. Similar to Ethereum, it provides a secure, trusted, and safe environment for Artificial Intelligence-based smart contracts to be executed. Running of algorithms off-chain is an ability that’s been provided by Cortex. In order to make collaboration between the AI community easy, the company connects computing power providers and algorithm providers. Thus, making collaboration between the entire AI community easy.
A number of teams worldwide are working towards getting training data and research algorithms possible to operate on the blockchain. Levering the world’s unused computing power to run AI and Machine Learning systems is the final piece in this puzzle.
Companies like Golem, the world’s first decentralized computing power marketplace, seem like a good option to partner with for Cortex, which aims to bridge the gap between AI projects and computational power.
Looking to the Future
Technologies such as AI and the blockchain are synergistic, and IBM believes that we are at an ‘inflection point’ for businesses. The company believes we will see ‘exponential innovation’ from these areas, suggesting that there will be no shortage of projects that seek to combine AI and the blockchain in innovative ways.
AI advisor Francesco Corea reckons that AI could even end up addressing the talent shortage in the blockchain world, by creating ledgers themselves, although he does admit it is a “leap of faith.”