Blockchain technology has come to the forefront in much the same way AI had, through a long development process full of trials, tribulations, ignorance and triumphs over skeptics and critics alike.
Society is now entering what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
But unlike the first three, which were based on the application of machinery for streamlining of the means of mass production through digital information accessibility, the new wave of technological progress promises to be a revolution of automation, rather than an involvement of masses of people needed for maintaining industrial processes.
The modern world produces a staggering amount of information that needs to be processed. Since the information being produced is of an endless variety of topics, there is physically no human workforce capable of analyzing such vast amounts of data. The AI can analyze large amounts of data and blockchain can serve as the immutable foundation for securely storing the records for use by various industries, since the Fourth Industrial Revolution is more of a breakthrough in data analysis.
And although the use of AI to collect personal information has become the most common way to use this technology, blockchain can help change the reputation of AI by storing the AI mechanisms that process data on a distributed registry. At the same time, using private and public keys, users themselves determine who should be given access to their personal data. And for those who want to further protect personal information from third parties, AI-powered blockchains may provide decentralized identification.
AI will enable organizations to go beyond real-time insight to predict and avert unplanned downtime or physical disasters before they happen. They’ll use these solutions to intelligently restore the most frequently accessed, cross-functional or critical data first — “triaging” data and proactively replicating it to the cloud before a downtime event occurs. Further, organizations will finally be able to wrap their arms around data and application proliferation with AI-powered solutions that will predict how much storage they’ll need based on current data growth.
Despite the unfamiliarity with, and hesitation to use blockchain, it does come with intriguing features and benefits. One of the more unique features of blockchain is that it can help guarantee that data isn’t being changed or manipulated by providing a snapshot of a transaction during a specific period of time. Due to this unique benefit, more companies will seek blockchain storage solutions so they always have an authentic record of their data use. However, the jury is still out on how IT teams plan to safeguard blockchain. According to our survey, nearly a quarter of IT decision makers believe blockchain is inherently secure and doesn’t need additional data protection, while 66% believe it needs to be safeguarded to protect against potential threats.
According to our research, the vast majority of IT decision makers are intrigued by data backup and recovery solutions that incorporate AI or machine learning, recognizing that AI-powered solutions have the potential to deliver capabilities beyond data protection, such as threat predictability strategies.
But while the majority of IT decision makers are likely to consider data protection solutions that incorporate AI, barriers still exist to using blockchain for a variety of reasons, ranging from the perceived difficulty of integration into existing infrastructures, a lack of internal resources to manage it, and unfamiliarity with the technology itself.
The benefits of incorporating these innovative solutions into BCDR strategies could outweigh overcoming the obstacles of implementing them. As “intelligent” data recovery solutions continue to evolve, we expect more IT decision makers to adopt AI solutions as part of their data protection plans. However, our research shows it will take more time for IT decision makers to fully understand and implement blockchain technologies.
Decisions taken by AI systems can be difficult for humans to comprehend, but blockchain can shed new light on this by helping us track the thinking process, and understand decisions.
Imagine you’re sat in a Maths lecture, and the professor is explaining an algorithm by outlining the process between premise and answer on the board. In so doing, though, the professor inadvertently misses out various key steps, which helped him or her arrive at a conclusion. Can you see why this would be confusing for some students in the room?
Being able to record AI’s decision-making process on a blockchain could be a greater step towards increased transparency. In this instance, blockchain would serve the same purpose as the board, with the exception that the information written on the latter can be modified or erased whereas on the blockchain it would be immutable and permanent.
Finally, although they are incredibly useful in our daily lives, computers are unable to carry out a task without receiving explicit instructions.
If you were to operate a blockchain, with all its encrypted data, on a computer you’d need large amounts of processing power. The hashing algorithms used to mine Bitcoin blocks, for example, take a “brute force” approach — which consists in systematically enumerating all possible candidates for the solution and checking whether each candidate satisfies the problem’s statement before verifying a transaction.
AI affords us the opportunity to move away from this and tackle tasks in a more intelligent and efficient way. Imagine a machine learning-based algorithm, which could practically hone its skills in ‘real-time’ if it were fed the appropriate training data.
Although blockchain and AI have great potential in their own right, one can’t help but wonder what they may achieve if their combined force were put to good use. Both technologies are mutually inclusive, and could potentially pave the way for a much more transparent, and efficient world.