Exploring the Synergy between AI and Blockchain Technologies, and Potential Applications

Local Chapter Barcelona, Spain Blockchain Chapter

Coordinated bySpain ,

Status: Completed

Project Duration: 09 Jul 2023 - 05 Aug 2023

Open Source resources available from this project

Project background.

AI and blockchain are two technologies currently changing the world. AI is already impacting the crypto world by, say, helping to detect fraud, or creating art for NFTs.

However, blockchain technologies encompass far more than buying coins or NFT’s. They provide the backbone for secure decentralized immutable data infrastructures (which current (cloud) databases cannot provide, and, more importantly, never will) that users can trust to build end-to-end solutions such as supply chain management, to track everything, from the purchase of raw materials to the delivery of the final products. At the moment, this is an impossible task for traditional technologies due to the variety of actors, languages, and regulations at every level.

As participants will discover, there is a deep synergy (a true ‘fusion’) between both technologies that can achieve things that are more than the sum of both parts. Things that were considered science-fiction up until recently. For instance, uploading brain waves to create a person’s online avatar (like in the movie “The Matrix”). But that, again, requires a totally secure and open data environment that only blockchain technologies can provide, as ‘permissionless’ (i.e. anyone can participate) blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum have proven.

In other words, both worlds need each other to go beyond what they are capable of individually because they solve each other’s issues. But we need to properly understand this first, and then look for new, groundbreaking applications.

We created a preparation resources folder for this project, you may find it here https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1UWJoS-J5h4Z1cGS7_5Apmfl8wkBsac5t?usp=sharing

The problem.

AI is becoming more and more powerful as anyone who’s been paying attention to LLM’s and Stable Diffusion knows.  However, AI is heavily dependent on data, not only the amount of data but the quality of data.  We know that AI models’ outcome can be altered in various ways by simply manipulating the data, maliciously or unintentionally, resulting in a general lack of trust in anything AI.  

Also, so far, only big tech has access to enough processing power and data to train Large Language Models.  Blockchain technologies provide secure decentralized immutable data platforms that can level the playing field by letting users share their private data (that not even big tech has access to), and be compensated for it.  Projects to decentralize GPU processing power already exist.  

Blockchain can greatly benefit from AI technologies.  For instance, one of the big problems currently is the reliability of the ‘decentralized applications’ (also called ‘web3’ or ‘smart contracts’), which are nonetheless used to implement, say, financial transactions, trades, and even how virtual organizations work (Decentralized Anonymous Organizations – DAO, based on automated decisions).  LLM’s have become smart enough to not only write code, even in less common languages such as Solidity (used for Ethereum smart contracts), or test code. 

Being able to generate test code to increase the reliability of smart contracts will impact all possible applications of smart contracts, ie basically all horizontal and vertical markets apps, from financial transactions, to reliably tracking supply chains.  But can we trust LLM’s totally? Are there methods to do that? 

Synergies truly go both ways.  Another example: IPFS is a decentralized storage system that is now capable of everything that cloud-based centralized solutions such as AWS offer: high data throughput, S3 interfaces, real-time content delivery, 100% secure, immutable, and a lot cheaper.  

Project goals.

This project is an exploratory project, i.e. we will examine all aspects of AI and blockchain strengths and weaknesses, and determine a list of future ‘fusion’ projects worth working on.  In particular, we will be looking at: - How AI technologies can benefit the blockchain world (not only financial applications but also vertical and horizontal markets) - How blockchain technologies can benefit AI applications - Identifying a list of projects to work on in the future that can enhance current and future businesses - Studying existing ‘futuristic’ synergies between AI and blockchain to determine if we can already benefit from or contribute to them.

Project plan.

  • Week 1

    Understanding AI technologies and how they can help blockchain apps, but also their weaknesses

  • Week 2

    Understanding most common blockchain technologies and how they can help AI, but also what their weaknesses are.

  • Week 3

    Coming up with ‘fusion’ project ideas: how can AI and blockchain help each other, and the synergies between both techs.

  • Week 4

    Finalizing the list of fusion projects with concrete use cases. Determine which libraries to use.

Learning outcomes.

Participants will:
– Learn the state of the art of both AI and blockchain technologies (as deeply as they can or want to)
– Use their creativity to come up with innovative applications and ideas
– Get the chance to develop them in future projects since the purpose of this project is to find interesting fusion projects to develop later.
– Explore various aspects of a fusion application: data extraction from a Twitter feed or a blockchain database; fine-tuning an AI model for the crypto world; how to integrate AI algorithms with smart contracts; how decentralized data architectures can be used by AI algorithms; how AI can improve current vertical and horizontal markets etc.
– Familiarize themselves with the open-source libraries for AI and blockchain.

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