The world I want to build

AI is super cool. Blockchains are super cool. Tbh though, I think that the intersection of the two is much more interesting. Here’s why:

AI needs data and AI works best when personalized. To personalize something you need to “know” a person, and that happens via their data. As data and everything becomes tokenized and trades on open markets, verifying the authenticity of this data is huge. I mean just look at the latest paper on Crowdturfing attacks for Yelp reviews lol.

Blockchains can help with this though because they decentralize trust and enforce authenticity from a source (albeit from a technical standpoint). This source (currently a blockchain address) is an aspect of identity to access services and to collect data and history. I see identity in the blockchain space evolving into an end to end system that allows you to control the output and access to your digital “self”, which is just a collection of data points that aggregated together represent “you”. Just like a private key allows you to control the output of a digital wallet, your identity is what controls the output of your digital self and what it connects to.

The interesting part happens when you authorize access to data for AI services. This can include data science research, personalization for marketing and sales, or for direct compensation via data sharing.

Here’s a few examples:

- Data Science: if in the NHS deal had authorization from the patients and they were compensated for being part of that study. The data would be authentic and secure, and the patients would be compensated, and the research would get done.

- Marketing and Engagement: if there was a smart contract that ads on the web3 level connected that would directly pay out the user when they click on things. Money in your wallet, asap, when you click on ads, links, whatever… You could directly incentivize people to engage with your content. You could make the token access a discount or promotion instead. Imagine the Yelp review situation described above, but since you’re an authentic user you get $10 off your next meal. Cheaper than paying for a fake review or for marketing, the review is certified as authentic to other customers, and everyone wins. If you had access to their personalization preferences and they didn’t want what you had to offer, you could give them an affiliate link to a promotion that you’d get a cut off of. All automatically via smart contracts, and the user can opt in or out.

- Sign In and Authorization: Imagine if everytime you signed into a website the permissions were generated on your side, not the side of the website, app, or platform. You could change them whenever you wanted with a few clicks, and it would be automatic. You could also set parameters such as your desired compensation for each piece of data. If Uber wants to track your location 24/7, great… but they have to pay for it. If their bid matched your ask, you’d have a deal. Otherwise you’d find a service that did. I know it sounds far fetched and difficult, but I think once people see real numbers in their accounts they can use for coffee or free stuff, we’ll wonder why we ever did it any other way.

To make this happen, you would need a secure interoperable sign in protocol connected to a “vault” of data and money, a suite of smart contracts that developers can bake into their apps and websites, and privacy features like those proposed in Plasma, ZoE (Zcash Ethereum integration), and NuCypher (decentralized key management).

Ultimately I think this will create new markets that boost productivity, customer happiness, and provide a market based UBI that supplements other forms of income. The real win though is that people would be engaged in their process because they’re financially incentivized to do so. A successful democracy requires informed and engaged citizens. As capitalists though, we vote with our money. This would make both a reality :)