Report | 2 March 2020

Distributed Artificial Intelligence

Blockchain as an Operating Platform for AI

This research examines the intersection of AI and blockchain technologies.

Technologies are offering the transformational means for organizations to change how they work and deliver value to customers, at a much larger scale and greater depth than ever before. Artificial intelligence (AI) is diffusing, and its enterprise use is expanding, making it one of the broadest digital revolutions ever. While we argue that AI is the most impactful technology today, blockchain has the potential to be the most impactful technology of tomorrow. Together, these technologies can help us take the next step in enterprise capabilities.

In this research project, Don Tapscott of the Blockchain Research Institute and Anjan Vinod of ParaFi Capital examine the intersection of AI and blockchain technologies. Leading organizations are already using AI and other expert systems to capture and communicate what they’re learning as they manage large and complex initiatives. With blockchain platforms, they can share data securely, validate those data, automate some types of project transactions, and allow AI agents to adjust activity according to ongoing risk-based probability assessments.

Idea in brief

  • Artificial intelligence (AI), although heavily used as a buzzword, is emerging as one of the biggest technological revolutions ever. The ability for computing systems to absorb and interpret large data sets in a meaningful way evolved in the 20th century and has advanced rapidly for about the last 10 years. The biggest disruptions are yet to come.

  • With a market size projected to reach $70 billion by 2020, the opportunity to discern actionable insights from data using AI will transform a variety of industries from transportation to healthcare, finance, manufacturing, retail, and so many more.

  • As adept as the human mind is at finding opportunities, systems now have the ability to pore through thousands of times more data in a way that ultimately will augment our decision-making skills. Seventy-two percent of business leaders see AI as being fundamental for the future.

  • As powerful as AI is becoming, blockchain technology has the unique ability to push the AI revolution forward through a decentralized, trustless set of features. In this paper, we look at what AI is exactly, and what are some of its most powerful aspects.

  • We look at centralized AI solutions, the solutions blockchain technology could provide, and the issues posed by these emerging fields. We then analyze what the power of decentralized AI could unveil.
  • Blockchain has the potential to be the operating platform for AI, whether for existing centralized entities or for emerging uses of decentralized AI.