Artificial intelligence (AI) took centre stage at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, with this year’s discussions placing greater emphasis on concrete measures. CEOs are being urged to develop a strategic approach for integrating AI across their organisations in order to increase productivity and allow them to expand into new areas. Unsurprisingly, blockchain technology has emerged as a significant aspect of the discussions.
Blockchain technology, initially synonymous with the arrival of Bitcoin in 2009, has evolved into a versatile tool with applications far beyond cryptocurrency. One of the most groundbreaking use cases emerging in recent times is its integration with AI. The fusion of AI and blockchain is proving to be a game-changer, particularly in the financial sector, as blockchain could be used for regulating AI. It can indeed play a pivotal role in mitigating biases in AI models, presenting a revolutionary use case that has the potential to reshape the financial landscape.
AI, the driving force behind applications like ChatGPT, has witnessed remarkable advancements, but it is not without its challenges. One pressing concern is the inherent bias that can creep into the data used to train these intelligent systems. Biased training data can lead to skewed results, perpetuating inaccuracies, and misinformation in the AI’s responses. Recognising this challenge, innovators are turning to blockchain as a safeguard against bias, paving the way for a harmonious constructive interaction between AI and distributed ledger technology.
The core strength of blockchain lies in its immutable and tamper-proof nature. Applied to AI, this technology can serve as a verifiable ledger for the training data used in AI models. Casper Labs, a leading blockchain firm with a business focus, recently joined forces with IBM to develop a system that stores AI training data on the blockchain. Medha Parlika, CTO and co-founder of Casper Labs, explained, “The datasets are checkpointed and stored on the blockchain, so you have proof of how the AI is trained.” This innovative approach enables developers to monitor and track the evolution of AI models over time.
Imagine an AI system, integrated with a blockchain-based ledger, providing a transparent record of its training data. This use case was discussed during a panel at the World Economic Forum, where Casper Labs and IBM showcased their collaborative effort. Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, emphasised the significance of this blockchain-backed AI training data ledger. She stated, “The verification of an AI and the checks and balances within an AI system are going to be blockchain-driven and blockchain-backed.”
Casper Labs’ system allows the datasets to be checkpointed and stored on the blockchain, providing a proof of how the AI is trained. This not only ensures transparency but also introduces a unique capability – the ability to roll back the AI in case of undesirable outcomes. Parlika explained, “If the AI is learning and you find that the AI is starting to hallucinate, you can actually roll back the AI. You can undo some of the learning and go back to a previous version of the AI.”
The term “hallucination” in the context of AI refers to instances where the system provides false information. With blockchain integration, the ability to roll back the AI to a previous version introduces a powerful mechanism for correction. This not only safeguards against biased or inaccurate information but also provides a framework for continuous improvement and learning.
As we stand at the intersection of AI and blockchain, the synergy between these technologies emerges as a transformative force in the financial world. The use case presented by Casper Labs and IBM demonstrates how blockchain can serve as a guardian against biases in AI training data, providing transparency and accountability. The ability to roll back AI models in the event of misinformation showcases the practical impact of this synergy. Hence, the AI-Blockchain partnership is not merely a concept but a tangible solution with the potential to redefine the future of finance and beyond.
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