Blockchain and AI are two of the hottest technology trends of the last decade, two emerging technologies that are already impacting various aspects of our everyday lives in profound ways. More importantly, given the immense potential for synergies, the technologies will certainly play a huge role in shaping our future. The combination of blockchain and AI can enable a new generation of products that have the power to truly transform our lives.
In this article, we’ll examine what makes these two technologies so complementary with one another and what new developments they could inspire.
Blockchain and AI – a perfect match
Both blockchain and AI are cutting-edge emerging technologies that fall into the broader field of computer science.
On these pages, we’ve already talked extensively about blockchain technology. It’s distributed ledger technology that leverages cryptography, computer network architecture and economic incentives to store and distribute data in a safe and secure way. We often cite the considerable strengths of the technology – its immutability, trustlessness and decentralized nature – to illustrate why it’s incredibly useful even at this early stage of its development. However, what makes blockchain a future-proof technology exists on a much deeper level – it’s the fact that it deals with data and data distribution. And as our needs for data continue to grow, the role of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT) is all but guaranteed to increase as well.
Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, taps into our growing reliance on automation, machine assistance and computers in general. The amount of research and development in areas like machine learning and neural networks is a strong evidence of the growing allure of AI.
What’s particularly interesting about the two technologies is that they share several points of convergence. For example, AI models need large amounts of quality data to learn and improve and, as we already know, blockchain systems are specifically designed to store and distribute large quantities of trustworthy data. There’s also the fact that artificial intelligence can massively improve the processing and analyzing of the data stored in blockchain and DLT-based systems.
Another big area of convergence is automation. Blockchain technology already supports some level of automation thanks to smart contracts. A stronger integration of AI will dramatically increase blockchain automation.
The fact that blockchain and AI complement one another so well can be utilized to a great effect in a number of industries. Here’s some possible applications of the two technologies.
Automation is increasingly employed in manufacturing, with robots taking care of operations that require greater precision and efficiency than what humans are capable of. By employing blockchain and AI, an even greater level of automation can be achieved. AI systems are great at performing menial, repetitive tasks as precisely and efficiently as possible, while blockchain technology can power reliable and abundant sources of actionable data.
The combination of blockchain and AI can really transform the agriculture industry. Gathering and analyzing data can help optimize essential resources for farming, monitor environment conditions and maximize output. It can also enhance our predictive capabilities, allowing us to better recognize weather patterns and prepare for weather catastrophes such as floods or extreme droughts. For a more detailed look at how blockchain, in particular, can benefit agriculture, we recommend checking out the relevant industry use case here on our website.
Supply chain management
It would not be an exaggeration to describe the supply chain industry as the linchpin for the global economy. There’s a myriad of sectors that rely on supply chains to function, which is why having efficient supply chain management is a must. Yet, the sector still faces significant challenges.
With the help of blockchain and AI, many of these challenges can be easily addressed. The adoption of distributed ledger technologies can speed up the digitization of the sector and eliminate most of the paperwork that it currently generates, while providing the means to store and track supply chain data that is tamper-proof and easily verifiable. The processing of the data can be bolstered by artificial intelligence, further reducing the risk of human error.
Healthcare and pharma
The pharmaceutical industry and the broader healthcare sector offer numerous opportunities for blockchain and AI applications. Both sectors can benefit from having more efficient ways to store, analyze and process large quantities of data. Medical records, pharmaceutical R&D, clinical trials, drug provenance verification, pharma supply chain management – these are just some of the areas that could be completely transformed by the blockchain and AI combo.
We’ve already seen how blockchain technology can impact the financial sector. The combination of an immutable ledger, public consensus and smart contract-powered automation has enabled a new wave of financial products. In just over two years, decentralized finance (DeFi) has managed to introduce many people to alternative forms of investing, lending and borrowing, trading and more. By adding AI into the mix, we can create even more accessible, secure and trustless services. The additional level of automation enabled by artificial intelligence will speed up transaction processing and can help inspire the next generation of DeFi products.
Just the beginning
Those were just a few of the possible applications for the two technologies and there certainly is a lot more that could be achieved, especially if blockchain and AI join forces. This potential to power impactful, disruptive products places blockchain and artificial intelligence firmly in the category of emerging technologies that are likely to play a significant role in shaping our future.