Blockchain and AI: What the World Urgently Needs

An eagle’s eye critique of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence pertaining to their respective relevance to people’s lives

The hype around these two newfound technologies is massive. Blockchain here, blockchain there. In short, blockchain everywhere.

In fact, the most expensive operating system ($4 billion)😳for decentralized applications (DApps) or better known as EOS, has since come up with an eye-catching slogan — Decentralized everything. How ambitious goal but it’s plausible.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence: Which Is Which

The same goes for artificial intelligence. AI will soon take over everyone’s job, will cook for your dinner with matching brewed coffee, offers you secretarial assistance, and we’ll end up becoming so heavily reliant on them to the point of getting too lazy and too stupid to think by ourselves.

Silly but the likelihood is almost a guaranteed. I’ll give you a clue. Hmmm

As I write this article, I didn’t even have to put any efforts into spelling accuracy like I did when I was in high school or college writing for a report project.

Smartphones didn’t exist back then, only Nokia 3310.😁But hey, you might be thinking that I must be a senior citizen by now. Hell, naw! That is a harsh critique bruh, a blasphemy to the first generation of millennials. Please, no such. I’m not that old ya know, just evolved.

Fair enough? Okie let’s continue, take a deep breath and sit back.

Wondering why I have said I didn’t have to worry about spelling mistakes?

Well, why would I when technology such as predictive text algorithm built into my Android keyboard, afforded me to write faster with 100% spelling accuracy?

Text Prediction Algorithm Will Give You the Power of a Spelling God

The world has evolved so immensely. It doesn’t make sense when we apply the same mentality we’ve learned from our direct ancestors into the present time.

I mean, who in their right mind would care to memorize how to spell the name of the King Nebuchadnezzar at this point of technological advancement?😂

With my ZenFone Laser (yep, I’m an ASUS fanboy) I could simply touch a few keys such as Nebuc, and there you have it, the complete word magically appears.

Not only that, as soon as the predictive text algorithm begins to learn my typing behavior, it also gets better at word recommendation. Easy-peasy darling!

I know English teachers won’t be happy with this. But I say this once ma’am, deal with it and move along. The technology of the future is not a respecter of someone else’s profession.

And if my smartphone is not available for some reason, I can always switch and do the same thing with PC. Although it requires a separate software to get shit done.

One favorite of mine out there is called LIGHTKEY, and you can have it installed on your Windows PC only at the moment.

There are a few alternatives to this like eType, but as far as personal experience can tell, LIGHTKEY offers almost the same functionality and user experience as mobile text prediction algorithm, and it’s absolutely free.

It is noteworthy that smart technology such as this is just the first stage of AI evolution. It’s already making our lives easier as depicted above and we’ve only just scratched the surface. Soon enough it’ll blow everyone’s feeble human mind.

The tradeoff however of relying too much on this technology is we become dumber than we used to be. But who cares anyway. It’s the wiser dumb act after all.😉

Usefulness as a Barometer of Greater Innovations

When it comes to latest technology, the first rule of thumb that I should be asking myself sounds like this. How is my life better with this?

It may sound like a douchebag question but the truth must be told, it’s the right question you should be asking yourself too before on-boarding the hype train.

When Bitcoin was born, nobody was paying any serious attention to its underlying technology called the blockchain.

Maybe people at the time were so skeptical of the then unproven weird mechanism by which information is stored and transferred.

How likely it is will survive through the test of time was probably not even the criticism within people’s mind.

It was something that came out of nowhere where only a few breeds of geeks who had plenty of time to waste knew what they’re talking about.

Enters the Dragon

Bitcoin price surged exponentially, it hits mainstream news and is now gradually becoming a part of household terminology.

The popularity of blockchains is mainly influenced by the massive influx of money gravitating towards ICO projects each claiming to have found the ultimate solution to the world’s problems (including hunger problem), and offering their miraculous shit coin to investors willing to bet on the next coin of the week.

Yes, Johnny my friend, I’m glancing at you.😎

Without the public market of ICOs and Bitcoin mania, it’s really difficult to conceptualize how blockchains would ever get widespread adoption.

Money comes first was the invincible force which set blockchain into motion. It’s the Dark Energy powering the cryptocurrency space. It’s nowhere yet it’s everywhere.

But the question that begs a serious reconsideration. Do we really need this type of decentralization we’re heading to?

The short answer is, not necessarily but it’s the most attractive and pragmatic path to follow.😍

It’s not even clear what it means to decentralize everything. Maybe people within the EOS community have a firm grasp on what decentralization means to them as outlined by the writings of their supreme master, Daniel Larimer. Maybe not. Or maybe we got screwed in the process of etymological formalism.

Are we now losing all sense of trust we may have left to the point where we no longer capable of trusting even ourselves?

3 Things Blockchain Is Very Good At

  • The main problem by which blockchain technology is very good at is the relative speed in terms of value transfer in comparison to existing bank protocols and other traditional payment gateways where people will have to wait for days or even weeks to receive their money internationally. This is beautifully demonstrated by Bitcoin and other alternative coins utilizing various upgrades of consensus mechanism.
  • Second is the so-called Smart Contract similar to what the Ethereum network does which has been used for fundraising through crowd sale. But I don’t think this is not feasible with centralized platforms. Any companies who have established a high-level of trust among their user base are pretty much capable of setting up a public smart contract service. Freelancing platform is a great example of this.
  • The third is the attention-based economy. This actually is a revolutionary idea that has potentials to change the overall landscape of content marketing and advertising. In fact, the threat to dethrone the incumbent web-based media outlets and other online platforms which solely rely on ad revenues, coupled with the growing number of ad-blocking extension users, is causing an alarm among adherents to conventional content marketing.

Blockchain Quality Doesn’t Always Mean Success

The token price associated with its corresponding service offered to token holders is often what determines the financial future of a blockchain-based platform. The quality of a blockchain project doesn’t always guarantee market success. Many times, an utterly trashy startup is more valuable in terms of market capitalization compared to the legitimate ones.

The irrationality of human behavior is constantly at play, and this is indicative of the unpredictable price swings every now and then, rendering cryptocurrency trading not suitable for those who have faint of heart.

What is clear is that the blockchain paved the way to showcasing whatever assets of value into a single, compact digital code and put it on a distributed ledgers so others can trade this digitized asset on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Kool idea! But is it really something new?

Nope. Not at all.

Remember the last time you went to casino or a carnival show? It’s the same thing you do when you buy some fancy tokens and/or top-up your game card.

It’s the same trick with added finishing touches. Cryptography, decentralization, top-notched security, and the ability to trade for other cryptocurrency assets universally.

It’s the most successful and bold attempt at tokenizing literally anything.

With the rise of smart contract networks, you don’t even need to have your own blockchain to be able to create your own token for whatever purposes.

The question still remains. How urgent is it for the world to translate everything into tokens?

We don’t have to, for the time being. And we may never need to, in the future. But the chance is that it’s very likely we will go in this direction. Not because it is a necessity but that it is necessary.

Adapt, Evolve or Become Extinct

Businesses are obliged to go along with the trend or risk of having their business becomes out of business. The same principle in evolution applies baby.

Conversely, the AI community is not driven by the social trend for the tech to becoming a compulsory invention.

Remember, blockchain-based projects are popping in and out of existence similar to virtual particles and are mostly driven by the ICO mania with the promise of easy money and instant returns.

The possibility of falling into scams is essentially very high.

The Unbeatable Coolness of Artificial Intelligence

AI systems, on the other hand, are created to solve dilemmas too complicated for the human mind to figure out.

Whereas blockchains are making transactions cheaper and more efficient, AI is empowering humanity to automate extremely complex knowledge processing so that the next time you ask, ‘how do I escape from the Matrix’, your AI assistant right there in an instant is redirecting your browser to the Dark Web so you can have a variety of Red Pills each with its own portal to the whatever reality you want. Oops, just kidding!😇

Oh my goat, what I have just said! People please, for the life of me, don’t take it too seriously.🙏

In a nutshell, artificial intelligence allows us to come up with ridiculously effective solutions to complex inquiries almost instantly than you would with manual calculations which most likely will take a considerable length of time to arrive at a certain degree of precision.

AI is making our lives easier by automating mundane task we do in a daily basis ranging from scheduling, decision making, finding the right talents for HR, finance and market analysis, astrophysics and cosmology, biotechnology, personalized cosmetics through AI-enabled AR applications, medical diagnostics, AI-powered drug discovery engine, and longevity research. The list could go on and on and on.

If Blockchain’s Mission Is to Decentralize Everything, Artificial Intelligence Is Bound to Automate Everything

The depth by which AI impacts these fields of study is immense. Its potential to transform everything we know about this world is unimaginable. Hence, the future looks very exciting from this vantage viewpoint.

Unlike blockchain which is geared towards an optional solution to the problems the world currently facing, AI brings in a catalyst wand for us to be able to make sense in a world saturated with unstructured data of everything.

Imagine if we don’t embrace artificial intelligence as early as now. Fast forward time to some 50 years from today. Do you think the human mind alone is enough to digest the explosion of scientific papers each with its own self-serving claims that seem contradictory to the others?

Even the smartest mind of science alive by that time will have a real hard time figuring out that shit load of unstructured information.

Here comes AI to the rescue and its main job is making the seemingly obscure information becomes obvious and easier to understand.

The Road to Automation Begins

Let’s say you want to book a ticket for the Avengers: Post Infinity War. But the movie isn’t even released yet and it’s something you don’t want to miss when it comes out. An AI technology from Google called Duplex, and similar assistants, got your back.

Since it can be set as a personal assistant, the more information you feed to it, the more it becomes familiar to your scheduling pattern and personal preferences.

So when the movie is finally out on cinema, you’ll have a guaranteed seat without lifting a finger even if you’re too busy at that time. The assistant merely sifts through nearby cinemas and automatically book for you when it detected a showing announcement of the movie you wanted to see. A fully-booked scenario is practically prevented.

Now let’s move on to personal beautification and ageing monitoring. Say you want to analyze your face, the texture of your skin, its symmetrical characteristics, and how it correlates with your biological ageing. There’s an app that does exactly just that. It’s called RYNKL which is a wrinkle analysis app, as the name suggests.

All you have to do is to take a selfie using the said application you’ve downloaded and installed on your smartphone, and it will give you a generated report about the facial details it found on your image by way of an RYNKL score. Thanks to computer vision technique that underlies the app’s visual analysis capability.

Need some more health-related kool stuff?

Here’s another one. A web-based system which keeps track of your health by feeding the system with your health records and other medical test results is called Young.AI

The app is able to pull off a comprehensive analysis of your health condition and provide you feedback on what to and what not to in order to stabilize your body’s overall health. It can even analyze simple data such as your photographs, blood test, MRI and CT scan results, and many other parameters.

First International Beauty Contest Judged by Artificial Intelligence

Also in 2016, there was a beauty competition in which anyone in the world can participate in what was dubbed as beauty contest judged by robots.

It was a virtual search for the world-first Mr and Miss beautiful where winners were given their corresponding cosmetics prizes. And the coolest part was that winners were selected by artificial intelligence.

The platform’s ultimate objective is to provide users with cutting edge AI toolkit to better enhance their physical looks via personalized beauty assessment and product recommendation that is truly suited to the individual’s unique characteristics.

Deep Learning for Precision Medicine and the Quest to Defeating Ageing

And lastly, personalized medicine. This is the noble goal of the AI company Insilico Medicine, a drug discovery firm that is gradually gaining global recognition in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

The idea is to automate the creation of precision drug treatments by means of a deep learning technique called GANs-RL, short for Generative Adversarial Networks and Reinforcement Learning. A detailed and down-to-earth explanation of this can be found here.

Imagine you want to be cured of a certain complicated disease, and don’t want to have your other vital organs suffered as a consequence of the medicine you’re willing to take.

Personalized medicine gets the job done. When AI understood how your entire body works including the minuscule data of your DNA and its subtle correlation to your body’s macroscopic details, a next generation of precision medicine is going to disrupt the world’s healthcare services.

Not only that, the company is also working on something called Juvenescence. A dedicated AI startup that will provably bring us closer to indefinite lifespan. Capitalizing on its cutting-edge deep learning sophistication, it aims to put an end to humanity’s greatest nemesis in all of history known as ageing.

People might say there’s no point in fighting against the natural processes such as ageing. Well, allow me to challenge that overrated notion of existence.

Malaria too, fever, and cancer, to name a few, are all belong to the same aquarium of natural phenomena but why do we resist and find ways to cure such natural occurrences within our body?

The quick answer is because we chose to. There’s a free will at the core of our life’s journey, and it is imperative to exercise that free will to the fullest extent of its capacity.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Are Here to Stay

Like blockchain and other distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence is here to stay.

Let me finish by saying, while blockchain was born out of artificial necessity leading to the birth of emerging token-based economy, it was kind of discovery by chance, and we could still move forward without it.

Artificial intelligence is a completely different storyline. The world needs it, that is why visionary technocrats are devising ways to bring it to life. It is not fueled by the hype around short-term investment opportunities nor it’s pumped by FOMO.

Rather, it is designed with a long-term vision to automate industrial scale processes down to groundbreaking life extension research, and personalized smart assistants.

Does AI necessarily have to work hand in hand with blockchain technology and other versions of DLT? Again not necessarily, but it might need to eventually.