Blockchain's rising prominence is attributed to its secure and decentralized resource-sharing approach. Nevertheless, operational maintenance, smart contract quality assurance, and malicious behavior identification in blockchain data remain challenging for existing systems. Fortunately, recent breakthroughs in AI, particularly in natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and data analysis, offer potential solutions to tackle these problems. Integrating AI with blockchain opens up opportunities to enhance and optimize current blockchain functionalities.



The Mutual Benefits of AI and Blockchain

AI and blockchain technology, though distinct in their features and applications, share a complementary relationship that yields mutual benefits:

AI, often associated with the development of intelligent machines, utilizes technologies like machine learning, artificial neural networks, and deep learning to perform tasks that resemble human intelligence.

  • When integrated with blockchain systems, AI can enhance efficiency through automation and scalability through rapid decision-making (1).
  • It has the potential to detect and prevent fraudulent activities, reinforcing the security and integrity of the entire ecosystem (2).
  • Additionally, AI can improve the intelligence of business networks and offer a competitive advantage by swiftly analyzing and linking data (3).
  • By incorporating AI models into smart contracts, these contracts can achieve dynamic adjustments, enabling them to adapt to changing conditions and assimilate new information as it arises. Smart contracts are designed to automatically execute when predetermined conditions are met, and the integration of AI further enhances their ability to respond to real-time data and make informed decisions accordingly (2).

The blockchain serves as a revolutionary filing system for digital information, providing encrypted, tamper-proof, and distributed ledgers.

  • When integrated with AI, it grants the model access to various data sources and brings transparency and trust to AI's decision-making process because (3).
  • By spreading AI's computational load across multiple machines, blockchain optimizes AI's performance (3).
  • By leveraging blockchain's capabilities, AI can achieve explainable algorithms, data security, data augmentation, automation, and enhanced computing power. This integration creates a more trustworthy, transparent, and efficient data market while ensuring the security of the transaction process (3).

Figure 1. The Synergy between AI and Blockchain Source: Yield App (4)

These are not mere theories; several crypto projects have successfully integrated AI into their systems. Some notable examples include:


SingularityNET
(AGI)

SingularityNET is a decentralized AI marketplace that aims to facilitate the creation, sharing, and monetization of AI services. It allows AI developers to showcase their algorithms and allows users to access a wide range of AI capabilities through a single network.


Fetch.ai
(FET)

Fetch.ai is a decentralized machine-learning platform that enables smart agents to communicate, interact, and perform complex tasks autonomously on the blockchain. It focuses on providing AI-driven solutions for various industries, including finance, supply chain, and healthcare.


Ocean Protoco
l (OCEAN)

Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange protocol that allows data and services universally available for AI applications.


NEAR Blockchain
(NEAR)

In an AMA between MetaWeb Ventures and NEAR Protocol, NEAR revealed that they are developing an operating system for the post-AI world.



The Future Potential of AI & Blockchain

Apart from mutual support, blockchain and AI have the potential to collaborate in various industries.


Financial Services

One notable use case is in the financial sector. With large volumes of data to handle, AI and blockchain combined can enhance data management efficiency. By automating processes and analyzing data on the blockchain, financial institutions can enhance risk management and compliance procedures. For instance, AI algorithms can analyze financial data on the blockchain to detect possible fraud and money laundering activities while blockchain technology ensures data security, preventing unauthorized alterations (5).


Healthcare

In addition to the financial industry, AI and blockchain hold significant potential in sectors like healthcare. AI can revolutionize telemedicine by analyzing medical data, detecting patterns, and identifying anomalies, leading to more accurate diagnoses and treatments. Utilizing blockchain for storing patient data ensures privacy and security, enabling collaboration among medical practitioners across organizations to enhance healthcare outcomes. With on-chain data being public and easily accessible, it can also expedite the discovery and treatment of new diseases (4).


Supply Chain Management

In supply chain management, smart contracts empower AI to perform tasks such as identifying inventory shortages and initiating supply replenishment when specific conditions are met. The integration of AI and blockchain enhances transparency, reduces fraud risks, digitizes paperwork, and enables real-time tracking of goods from production to delivery. Moreover, AI-driven analytics combined with blockchain-supported supply chain tracking can offer businesses valuable insights into demand trends, streamline inventory management, and facilitate data-informed decisions to minimize costs (4).



Challenges
Privacy and Security

Blockchains are designed to be immutable and transparent, which means that all data stored on the blockchain is visible to all participants. However, AI algorithms may require access to sensitive data, and exposing such data on the blockchain can compromise privacy and security (6).


Oracles and Data Sources

AI algorithms need external data, and oracles act as intermediaries to securely connect the blockchain with the outside world. However, relying on oracles adds complexity and security risks, making their trustworthiness crucial for overall smart contract security (6).


Scalability

Blockchains are often characterized by limited scalability due to their consensus mechanisms and the need to replicate data across all nodes in the network. Integrating AI algorithms that demand significant computational resources could exacerbate scalability issues (6).


Bridging On-Chain and Off-Chain Data Storage Systems

Combining blockchain technology with conventional information systems is necessary to enhance performance, but ensuring data accuracy and consistency between on-chain and off-chain data is critical. Blockchain's introduction opens up new avenues for solving data-related challenges in AI, such as data quality, monopolization, and abuse (6).



Conclusion

The integration of AI and blockchain presents immense potential for growth, offering enhanced security, improved efficiency, increased transparency, and a more decentralized digital world. Despite challenges, such as AI's opaque decision-making and the need for regulatory frameworks, the benefits outweigh the obstacles. As these technologies continue to grow and innovate, we can anticipate their integral role in various sectors, from healthcare to financial services. The powerful synergy between AI and blockchain is just the beginning, and we are on the verge of unlocking their full transformative potential.



Reference

  1. IBM, Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI)
  2. Brad Spannbauer on Coin Telegraph, AI meets blockchain: Revolutionizing smart contracts and cryptocurrency, May 01, 2023
  3. Crypto.com, Blockchain and AI: How They Can Work Together, March 06, 2023
  4. Yield App, AI meets blockchain: An in-depth exploration of the future of technology
  5. Jerald Murphy on TechTarget, Use cases show the combined potential of AI and blockchain, May 17, 2023
  6. Hamed Taherdoost on MDPI, Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence Together: A Critical Review on Applications, December 16, 2022







M3TA Analytics
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Established in 2022, M3TA is an AI-enabled data analytics platform dedicated to Web3 & emerging blockchains. Our team, composed of experts from Stanford, MIT, and Fortune 300 companies and seasoned in Defi, NFT, Metaverse & Gaming and Web3, distills over 10TB of data, covering 500+ projects and 5K+ tokens to produce clear insights for all audience levels. Boasting a robust presence in Korea, Vietnam, and South-East Asia, and spanning an evolving partner network, most currently with Google Cloud and FactBlock, M3TA is your trusted partner in unraveling blockchain complexities.

Writer & Reviewer: Research Analysts & Content Writers at M3TA Analytics

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August 07, 2023 — Korea Blockchain Week