A Block of Jim and a Block of Jane and we get a Block of Tim
„Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own“ — The Borg
AI today is just as much a buzzword as Blockchain is and just as with Blockchain, it´s not necessary to tokenize/digitalize everything haphazardly just because for the sake of it. It needs a use case that improves a process, solve a problem, increment an existing solution, or put simple: It should help this way or the other. Not before we clear all crucial points we can start to consider things like legal framework, intellectual property, market acceptance, or profit and transfer it into an operational and executable solution.
We are heading into a paradigm of fragmented and automatically distributed calculation power, storage space, energy supply, re-assembled by a cryptic algorythm, provided by faceless facilitators.
Scream for me, AIrgentina
I apologize for the pun. However, it´s indeed a scream of „Tokenize everything“ — dissolve it in small pieces and distribute them into a network of decentralized storage departments and feed them with all sources of big data available. And we need the right data for the right use case, if you want to sell a house but don´t know the sqm/sqf but just have the colours of the walls you maybe should reconsider your approach.
Everything is everywhere and omnipresent in its availability. Nurtured endlessly like a black hole, bottomless sucking in everything in it´s proximity. It´s developed this way, one by nature, the other by man.
And an ubiquitous system of Kraken-alike data collecting, analysing, processing and interpreting, eventually publishing can´t be just good. What happens when data falls into the wrong hands or gets misinterpretated?
You are married but went into a gay club? Now we know
You are working at a company for 25 years, but you secretly applied somewhere else? Now we know
You want trick yourself into additional health insurance, but you got a cancer diagnose a few days earlier? Now we know
You asked Alexa and Siri about where to buy handcuffs and ropes? Now we know
Man is biased in its interpretation of data, but how about an AI that learn that specific patterns and the given data lead to a specific behaviour, or even to a specific demographics? It´s almost like stereotyping, or if you want to overdramatize it, AI-racism.
Google Home or Alexa already know you better than you do
By applying and using the technology, will we be reduced to pawns on a chessgame of a few selected that control the AI or are we gods in the making? How much are we willing and able to give away for (almost) total public exposure to make our lifes, supposedly, easier? It´s a question we already face today, how much privacy am I willing to give up to increase my perception of security?
To reduced the drama, it´s important to don´t paint everything black and white. We need to feel our way forward, by learning the cause and effects of decentralized data usage, developed by machine learning and executed in an AI. This way we can steadily harvest the acquired feedback and transform it into a positive impact, or use it for commercial purposes as the above mentioned do.
It´s niche data which we should start which is easier to compute and put into perspective. A step by step process is of paramount importance.
And to put the emphasis one more time on the data. According to the 2018 Cyber Security Breaches Survey, 43 per cent of businesses in the UK reported cyber security breaches or attacks. Compromised data could be lethal for your business model and lethal when you operate in a business area with living entities.
Artificial Intelligence takes over natural intelligence
Always given is the fact that even though the technology is heading in the direction of self-empowerment, the final control must always remain in human hands. A code of conduct including moral and ethics is inevitable in its implementation. A question we need to address early is, who owns the data and who governs what´s happening with them. Who is responsible for its quality and who can adjust a mishandled input in such a system? How can we avoid forgery of data?
We definately need new ways to handle the sheer unmeasurable amount of data. We need a lean architecture and coding, maybe even totally new setup of data operating methods. The costs of this infrastructure need to be taken in consideration, as well as the costs of each transaction or each line of code (or token) that gets added to the blockchain/database. Another topic is the security costs, and the custody services of that tokens. What kind of trezor or ledger do we need? What happens at a hardfork?
It will take time to clear this questions and develop sustainable and hollistic solutions, not of an „Internet of things“, but an „Internet of Everything“.
That should make you think about what you really want to tell the world about you.
One person’s craziness is another person’s reality
Some use cases with a beneficial output could be, as an example:
A Bitcoin Lightning trust connection to our most used services
A Ethereum ERCxxx connection to social services, tax and fiduciary institutions
A healthcare blockchain, limited to transfer and store medical data
Whatever business you are in, whatever subculture you follow, there will be a use case this way or the other. The opportunities are just limited by our imagination.
But lets look at some in more detail:
The fart protocols — A healthcare use case
An advanced RFID Chip, injected between your index- and middle-finger, recognizes an increase of heart rate and blood-preasure in your body.
2 minutes later, your local medical practitioner calls you and asks about your state of health. He received an alarming rate of intestine pressure and slightly increased body heat from the chip.
Eventually it as just the Sauerkraut from lunch who take its toll in your digestion system and asks for a pressure release on the rear end that causes stress because a porcelain throne is out of reach. However, the doctor knows that your grandma died from a stroke, caused by an aneurysm in her brain and since you have a similar blood metrics when she was in your age….. You get the point.
Beside such technological misadventures, there could be far more dramatic issues like a data breach or a person gets a medication she is allergic too.
Of course it could be life-saving as well, e. g. when a person arrives in a critical condition in an emergency room and needs immediate help. A fast transaction of health data could be crucial for survival.
This could be even extended by biometrical tracking, think of the heat-sensors at airports. With a fast enough transaction of data, a suspicious person could by locked in quarantine and get immediate medical help. This way we could limit the outreach of epidemias.
From A to B to „R“ — A supply chain use case
You buy something on Alibaba, produced in China and let it ship to you. This triggers a chain reaction, a block-chain-reaction to be more precise.
First you get an Alibaba token that tracks your buying habits, as well as the time you spend on each article you watched, the mouse movements and much more (your personal Alibaba website heatmap).
The next block starts the supply and delivery chain, the automated warehousing. A delivery company that brings your item to a truck, the truck to a ship. Of course everything is traced and followed. Than your goods start their journey over the sea, getting a Maersk Token (shipping company), including data of a Hyundai shipyard token (where the vessel got manufactured) to track the technical behaviour of the ship under varying levels of load.
We assume the good needs to get shipped to a random European country, so you get more tokens from where the ship passes through like the Malaka strait, the Suez canal or the Gibraltar strait eventually a Hamburg harbour token. And all of them interact and talk to each other, learning about the best route, the weather on the way and can in conclusion „think“ the best way to safe fuel for future shippings, take alternative routes, use alternative harbours and so on.
And all this is not even scratching the surface! The more global an action is, the more parties are involved, the more complex it gets, the harder is it to conduct the procederes and keep the flow of interacting blocks alive.
A total new way of Human trafficking — A transportation use case
Self driving cars in restricted areas are old news, but autonomous vehicles on public streets, interacting with human behaviour and road rage is still in its embryonic phase. It needs to be 100% (not 99,99%) safe, to secure all participants from lethal accidents due to malfunctioning software or misadjusted hardware.
A conjunction of many components is necessary, starting from GPS-enabled vehicle operational data processes, the data from scanners of the vehicles surroundings, the moving velocity and braking length and many more. Not to forget the amount of historic data in behaviourism and phsychology.
Fleet operators use some of the above mentioned to figure out more efficient driving routes. Again, this needs a boatload of data, including but not limited to game theory, human behaviour and demographics like density of population or times of rush hours.
A more mundane example:
You enter a bus, the system detects you, you exit the bus, the system detects you. You haven´t exit the bus at this station yesterday? Yesterday you visited a sex shop online and a subsidiary of that shop is close to this station —
1 + 1 = 2
Are you still faithful to your spouse? Do you follow the mandatory code of modesty? When you bang your mistress, how should you be a role-model (that follows the rules) for your kids? It´s high likely that it won´t regard as a trustworthy behaviour.
In 2014 China piloted a „Social Credit System“, observing pretty much everything and giving all citizens and companies a personalized score. A behaviour as described above could trigger the system already or at least bring you on the watchlist. In case you think this is just a local, short-time dystopian idea, it´s not. The system is planed to be rolled out nationwide by 2020…. Your travelling inside and outside the country can be affected with ease as well, already shown in various cases where the governmental penaltys blocked the borders for unruly civilians.
A correspondence with your bank account — A finance use case
Quote: If computing power and data generation keep growing at the current rate, then machine learning could be involved in 99 percent of investment management in 25 years,” Man Group Plc’s Luke Ellis. His company devotes about $13 billion to several hedge funds using machine learning in 2017. (Bloomberg)
The russian entrepreneur Boris Akimov tokenized his time in 2018 and sold it online. It´s a remarkable odd thing that Akimov sounds similar to (Isaac) Asimov. It´s questionable but maybe a role model fur future applications, or is it just the ultimate form of vanity and a smart marketing trick?
A recently released report from Deloitte showed that Fintech is the business field with the most use cases of all. A „delicate“ topic as money needs more persuation power that other areas, sicne the archaic mindset and the yearn for security is solidly moored into the mindset of „old-school“ bankers.
However, the past success of BlackRock and their Aladdin computer to calculate and forecast price movements already operates with an insane amount of data. The step-by-step process of implementing new technologies is already in motion.
Fintech is everywhere and the App market is exploding bringing the Wallstreet to your mobile phone. Topics like micro lending, secure payment, distribution of ownership rights (eg. REITs), collaterals which would work for retail and for wholesale investors. The main question is, how the developers secure the data-flow and provide enough info on the small phone screen for to make sustainable and profitable decisions. A buy- or sell-order is easily placed, but would you make the same decision when you would had the chance to check the movement of the chart on a 17“ screen, maybe with a closer look on higher time frames? We should put an critical eye on making things too easy when it could have a negative effect on peoples bank accounts.
Black Swans on the mountains of madness
A black swan is an event that happens extremly seldom, but you should never underestimate the madness (Curiousity, innovation, imagination) of man.
We are demiurges, creating worlds and destroying them, using our curiosity to find innovative ways to solve old problems and change the world in the process. It was a long way from the horse-carriage to the public acceptance of the electric-car. It was a long way from the first computer to todays desktops/tablets/phones. The inventors of those things were called crazy and ridculed and called mad…
So what´s to expect for the future. Learning a language in school, not a human language, a program language could be compulsory and so may we ask ourselves in 20 years: We are now totally tokenized. Whats next?
An AI that learns our behaviour, but an event happens nobody put into calculation, a Black Swan event? A human mind always need to be involved to secure that such events don´t have a malignant impact on society.
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm and sense for exploring areas of the mind which nobody dared before. And just as children, we need to hone our curiousity. You can´t calculate innovation or imagination, neither can it be transfered into an algorythm. We don´t want to end like the „Lawnmower Man“ as in the Stephen King movie adaption from 1992 or as a biotech absurdity like in the art of HR Giger.
A dystopian vision under grey skies or a glorious Metropolis?
Will AI, Machine learning and the total decentralization of everything grant us the ultimate final liberation, or is it a treacherous delusion? It´s maybe not a sweet dream of total freedom, but a nightmare of a future worlds demise.
What will our children once say about the things we currently work towards? What kind of retrospection will they have as a bunch of generations that played with a technology in a way a monkey plays with a loaded gun.
To govern this evolution, we must know our weaknesses and progress as a whole of a human race.
What are your opinion about the coming Age of Blockaquarius? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
On behalf of mankind, Werner Hochleitner / Double Edge