Conference Highlights: AI Decentralized — Blockchain and AI Summit Toronto — May 22, 2018

BlockX Labs was honoured to attend AI Decentralized — Blockchain and AI Summit at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This event featured a melding of the AI and Blockchain communities and explored the possibilities at the intersection of these two technologies, with featured talks and panels with some of the world’s top experts moving these technologies forward.

Check out the highlights from our Twitter below.

1. Opening Remarks: Toufii Saliba opened the event by stating that “Every new technology is an AI, until someone figures it out”

2. Todd Gebhart,TODA Group “Security first is essential for blockchain”

“It’s hard for me timagine all of the applications and systems that are going to be applied to blockchain technology and AI…It seems like the use of AI is limited by the use of our imagination” — Todd Gebhart

3. Digital Transformation and our Future with Won Ki Mon of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy & SUNY Korea Professor

“When you look at these technologies, AI, IOTA, Blockchain — the important thing is they are not separate, they are together.”
“Yes, we don’t know if we can reach technological singularity, things are moving very fast but we can make differences. To me, the key critical point is collaboration between all parties: civil societies, governments, scientists, technologists” — Won Ki Min

4. AI: Block by Block with Lior Messika and Noam Levenson of Eden Block

“We’re not here to disparage blockchain…but we believe blockchain and DLT can’t scratch the surface of AI’s possibilities…With IoT, the availability of things available to develop AI will explode…AI is the brick, mortar, and sand that will allow us to construct AI. Blockchain can provide the trust platform because they trust the immutability that blockchain brings” — Lior Messika

5. Maximizing the Chances of Global Prosperity with Irakli Beridze, UNICRI

“We’ve created a centre on AI and robotics which was finalized last year in September, now located in the Hague,” — Irakli Beridze, UNICRI

6. Panel: Unity, Blockchain and AI: A Match Made Perfect with Paul Lee Mind Ai, Susan Oh UN Blockchain for Impact, Dawood Khan Red Mobile Consul, Farnoud Kazemzadeh Euclid Labs, NasserRahal, fazeZERO, moderated by Ameer Rosic Blockgeeks

This panel discussed the 3 following points:

  1. Cryptocurrencies are the democratization of Value
  2. Blockchain is not a place to store data
  3. If computers can pass the Turing Test, then it can also mislead the human so humans cannot tell they are being misled

7. Alternative Blockchain Developed from First Principles Enjoying Decentralized Government with Silvio Micali, Professor at MIT

“Pure proof of stake is not a delegated proof of stake. A system like this is 20 people in charge centralized from the start and very dangerous…I believe the permissionless ledger is going to be as a useful infrastructure for humanity, let’s build it together and let’s build it right” — Silvio Micali

8. An End to Boom & Bust Economic Cycles with Autonomous Decentralized Governance with Hassan Khan CEO of Quantius Inc

“Benefits, rights and profits are being disconnected from their associated responsibilities, obligations, and costs. The ability to delay paying a bill or shift that bill to someone else is the underlying thing that is allowing a bubble to happen” — Hassan Khan
“All of the centralized governance mechanisms we’ve created to stop this boom & bust cycle, have failed…I think it would be a great opportunity to use those techs to create solutions that can change the story” — Hassan Khan

9. Creating Beneficial Democratic Artificial General Intelligence with Ben Goertzel SingularityNET

“If you create an ecosystem of decentralized networks where anyone can put AIs, it can achieve a greater level of intelligence…If these AIs are interacting with humans, they will gain a general intelligence that is understands human culture.” — Ben Goertzel

10. Panel: What is the Role in Good Governance in a Decentralized AI Ecosystem? Josh Hong Mind.Ai,, Vincent Tang, Samsung NEXT, Andreas Veneris Prof of UofT, Michelle Hanlon For All Moonkind, Marc Lijour ColliderX, Sergey Gorbunov Prof, UWaterloo

“On the moon, on the colony on Mars, can we move away from sovereignty? Can we look at creating a separate governance regime in space using AI and decentralization?” — Michelle Hanlon, For All Moonkind
“Blockchain is creating a system without systemic barriers and ensuring that value is returned” — Marc Lijour, ColliderX

11. A Means to an End: The AI and Blockchain Business Case with Yaron Vorona, Deep Defence

“With AI and Blockchain you have to think about the security side. What you have in AI an blockchain are computers interacting with the physical world interacting with each other…Cybersecurity starts and ends at a people problem and we need to properly align incentives. With Deep Defence we are redesigning the cybersecurity technology in the mobile space and will expand everywhere” — Yaron Vorona, Deep Defence

12. Alan Wunsche, Chair of Blockchain Canada

“The future is here but it isn’t quite decentralized yet…We have an internet that many of us think is broken. We’re in a decentralized phase in Web 3.0. We have super exciting projects in the tokenization of projects. This proves the fact that you can have a decentralized investment mechanism.”

13. Special Announcement: Toufii Saliba and Ben Goertzel Announce AIDA Alliance

“AIDA Alliance bridges folks driven by greed, need, fear to the altruistic mission of AI. It’s an industry organization bringing different AI meets Blockchain projects. AIDA can help provide funding for projects” — Toufii Saliba
“When we give a lot of control in the hands of a few or the hands of one…the results are never good…the devil is in each inside of you, the cooperation, we want to ensure that the future is based on decentralized governance” — Toufii Saliba

14. One Giant Leap for Blockchain (and the Sustainable Exploration of Space) with Michelle Hanlon, For All Mankind

“Clearly the moon holds a bounty of cultural heritage on it. In all, there are more than 80 sites containing human material on the moon. since these are important artifacts they should be well cataloged. But there isn’t.” — Michelle Hanlon
“For All Moonkind seeks to change that and protect all of the sites and cultural artifacts. We want to register and document cultural sites and artifacts and bring blockchain’s immutability to our human history” — Michelle Hanlon

15. An Introduction to Distributed/Decentralized Machine Learning with Vincent Tang Samsung NEXT

“Reduce latency, regulation, privacy, offline, power, censors”- Vincent Tang on his 6 reasons why he likes Decentralized ML

16. Data Sovereignty: The Crux of Human-centric AI with Susan Oh Blockchain for Good, United Nations General Assembly

“There are labs all around the world that are fully funded that allow creators to create bots without human or consumer consideration. Are we serving solutions to help people?” — Susan Oh

17. The Yin and Yang of Blockchain and AI with Nasser Rahal, FazeZERO

18. The Third Wave of AI with Paul Lee Mind.AI

“The Third Wave of AI will reason like human beings…the core thing is that we have a reasoning structure which allows the AI to process and reason itself.” — Paul Lee

19. Infrastructure-less, Secure Data Transmission to Enable Decentralized AI with Jason Ernst

“The idea is to package something into an IoT phone/device. It gives you a consistent identity and to sign the data…You can have the data flowing through them and make decisions in a network that may or may not be connected to the internet…The AI itself can be manipulated: as soon as people find out how to make algorithms do what they want, being able to prevent those kinds of things is super important” — Jason Ernst

20. Panel: The Future of AI: Privacy, Security, Transparency with Suhail Shergill @scotiabank, James Bergstra @kindredai, Nancy Salay @queensu, Roel Vertegaal, moderated by Dann Toliver

21. AI: The Governance Question with Neil Sahota, IBMWatson

“AI is a tool, something that we can use to build or destroy. It is also a platform. We’ve entered to the 3rd generation of computing: where machines have more capabilities to take advantage of”
“We have a problem: where should control live? If we have machines making recommendations, decisions, where does that control live? with corporations, governments? Is it a concern? He who controls the training controls the universe” Neil Sahota

Neil did not shy away from the hard questions:

“This is the big challenge: how do we bridge this gap? There is no simple solution but an area where blockchain could help AI. Can we used blockchain to give us more confidence and trust in how AI is trained?”

He ended his presentation with an uplifting challenge: “I challenge you to think about what you can do with AI and blockchain to make a better world” — Neil Sahota

22. Josh Hong, Co-founder of MindAI

“I weaved through many different sections and picked up a few lessons, making me humble for something bigger than myself. I call it spirituality, something that my mind can’t explain”
“You as a board of directors when you vote, your share price has to go up…Almost all top corporations stop innovation and turn their entire operation into a finance scheme, heavily influenced by their stocks”
“We created a super efficient system using technology as a tool to increase productivity and increase wealth, essentially driven by greed, and we can’t stop. When you think of humanity or technology without ethics, we may enter a state of insanity”

23. Closing Remarks

The event concluded with requests to stay engaged as a community and to actively work towards building tangible solutions to real world problems using AI and Blockchain.

BlockX Labs would like to thank all of the volunteers, event co-ordinators and a special thank-you to Toufii Saliba for an incredible day! We can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!

Are you interested in having us provide live coverage of your blockchain event? Please contact Laura Cullell at for more information!