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Combination of Blockchain, AI Could Create Massive Synergies

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Fri, 03/02/2018 - 18:31
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  • Blockchain and AI are two of the hottest topics in computer science, and it turns out they have quite a symbiotic relationship

Cover image via U.Today

Blockchain technology and artificial intelligence are two of the most interesting and disruptive technologies out there. While they are both extremely innovative, they have their own flaws. This is why people are now bringing these two amazing technologies together to create some interesting use cases. So, before we continue, let’s understand what these technologies are.

Blockchain technology

A Blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable data records that are managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).

The main advantage of this system is obvious. There is no central authority or single point of failure, and the system is created to be as democratic as possible.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is intelligence that is defined by machines. As Wikipedia puts it:

“AI research is defined as the study of "intelligent agents:" any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals.”

The main advantage of AI is the sheer amount of flexibility it provides. In a normal system, you need to put in each and every line of code for a machine to act in a certain manner. However, via AI, you can enable the machine to react to any changes in its perceived environment.

So, now that we have defined what both these technologies are, let’s see how they can complement each other.

First, let’s look at how AI can help solve some of the Blockchain’s problems.

How AI helps Blockchain: Mining wastage

Proof of Work mining is incredibly wasteful. Miners spend $400 mln worth of electricity annually on mining. If that doesn’t put things into perspective, then imagine this: Bitcoin mining consumes more power than the entire country of Portugal! While the proof-of-work system is secure, the fact remains that it is power wastage for the sake of power wastage.

AI has already shown that it can be used to control the amount of energy wasted. DeepMind AI has already been deployed to reduce the energy wasted in Google Data Centers by a whopping 40 percent.

How AI helps Blockchain: Blockchain scalability

Everybody knows that the biggest problem that Blockchain technology is facing is scalability, or to be more accurate, the lack of it. Bitcoin manages only seven transactions per second while Ethereum does a little better at 20.

AI can help Blockchain take scalability to another level via features like Federated Learning. Federated Learning is what Google is using to make your smartphones smarter. It is a machine learning technique that allows your phone to learn directly via your input without having to send your data to the cloud.

Since it provides immediate improvement to performance and user experience, you end up saving a lot of time. This same method can be used in Blockchain technology to propagate data without spending a lot of time waiting for individual nodes to come to a consensus.

Now, let’s look at the other side of the equation. How can AI improve its functionality via Blockchain technology?

How Blockchain helps AI: Big data 

AI is extremely hungry for big data and needs a constant flow of it. Back in 2001, Microsoft researchers Banko and Brill did an interesting study. They found out that for an algorithm, the more data you feed it, the less error-prone it will be. In fact, the error rate will fall exponentially if enough data is used. This was further highlighted in 2007 when Google researchers Halevy, Norvig and Pereira published a paper titled “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data.”

Fine, so if you feed your AI more data, you will make it smarter. What’s the problem here?

The problem is in storage. The storage demands of AI are extremely impractical when it is in operation. It can eat all the data that it wants but that data needs to be stored somewhere. The architecture of the Blockchain itself solves this problem. The Blockchain is decentralized and encourages its participants to engage in secure data sharing. There doesn’t need to be a centralized entity to store the data anymore.

How Blockchain helps AI: Avoiding centralization

Speaking of centralization, since AI needs a lot of big data, a corporation can simply “own” an AI by feeding it their data. Connecting an AI with the Blockchain will make sure the data is fed from a decentralized entity.

How Blockchain helps AI: Data trails

The Blockchain is a completely transparent open ledger. Anyone can look at the data inside and anyone can trace that data to its very beginning. Having access to that level of data traceability puts a lot of accountability on the participants involved. This can help in two major ways:

  •      Byzantine/Malicious actors may want to sabotage the AI by feeding it useless data. Having a transparent system where anyone can trace the data all the way to its originator will make sure that people are discouraged from doing so.

 

  •      When the bots interact with each other, having a clear audit trail of all the data will help improve machine-to-machine interaction.

Blockchain + AI examples

We have already seen some exciting implementations of Blockchain and AI. One of the most interesting products of this communion is Augur. Augur is a trustless, open-source, decentralized oracle and prediction market platform built on the Ethereum Blockchain. The Augur AI uses the “wisdom of the crowd” or the “collective intelligence” of the masses to make accurate predictions.

Blockchain + AI: Symbiotic relationship

As we can see, the relationship between AI and Blockchain can be extremely intriguing. They seem to be capable of a truly symbiotic relationship with one entity making up for the other’s weaknesses. With platforms like Augur, we have already gotten a mere glimpse of what this collaboration is capable of. However, we have only just scratched the surface, more research definitely needs to be done. We could be on the cusp of something truly special here.

About the author

Rajarshi is a blockchain researcher and writes for Blockgeeks and Springrole. His goal is to become a leading voice in cryptocurrencies by educating the masses about blockchain technology.

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Weirdest Crypto Names You Can Find: from Jesus Coin to FirstBlood

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Fri, 11/29/2019 - 16:31
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  • Can Bread coin feed you and Jesus Coin buy you a pass to heaven? See a selection of the weirdest crypto coin names prepared for you by U.Today

Cover image via 123rf.com

It seems that while making up names for new coins, their creators think as wide and deep as they can. And after they do that, it appears they ultimately choose what comes to their mind first, they want to have fun, give users an idea of what the coin can be utilized for.

Sometimes, unless there is some special story behind a coin’s title, people seem to use their favorite movies, names of Greek or Scandinavian gods, or references to the Bible, favorite novels.

FirstBlood (ranked 322) is a good example here. It is trading at $0.099154, with the market cap totaling $8 483 439 and daily trading volume amounting to $895. Name taken from a famous in the past action movie about John Rambo.

First blood
Image via CoinMarketCap

Ubiq (ranked 540). The name of a popular novel by Philip K. Dick.

U.Today’s selection of coins with weird names

All coin names below are on the CoinMarketCap list. They are divided into several topics or utility purposes that their creators might have kept in mind when making them. Their ranking on CoinMarketCap is shown in brackets.

Names to do with the Bible

Jesus Coin (1673), Noah Coin (221), Haven Protocol (576).

Jesus Coin
Image via CoinMarketCap

Outstanding personalities of the past

Davinci Coin (332), Mao Zedong (1176). The latter sounds like it is more suitable for China instead of the ‘China Coin’ (DCEP) that the local central bank is working on.

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Titles that sound to be used on adult websites

Eroscoin (1220), Titcoin (1753), Bitcoin Adult (1846), Desire (1855), HOT Token (2248), Sexcoin (2266).

Earlier U.Today reported that the adult content giant PornHub accepts Verge, Tron’s TRX and some believe it may also be accepting XRP in the future, now that PayPal backed off from collaborating with PornHub.

Just peculiar names for cryptocurrencies

Some names of coins sound like these assets were created just for fun.

Bread, aelf (ELF), DeepOnion, Evil Coin, BROTHER, BUDDY.

Cabbage, Dynamite, HiCoin, DeepBrain Chain, TrollCoin, Nuggets, BunnyToken.

Separately, two coins should be noted – TrumpCoin and PutinCoin. The latter is trading at $40 but at the time of writing is falling by around 45 percent.

There is even Bitcoin CZ – sounds like it was created by a big fan of Changpeng Zhao.

Another coin worth mentioning is WHACKD coin created by John McAfee. It is based on the popular meme "Jeffrey Epstein Didn't Kill Himself", since it is to do with Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier, who was accused of a sexual abuse but committed suicide in the prison cell. Many, including John McAfee, believe it was a murder, not suicide.

About the author

Yuri is a journalist interested in technology and technical innovations. He has been in crypto since 2017. Believes that blockchain and cryptocurrencies have a potential to transform the world in the future. ‘Hodls’ cryptocurrencies. Has written for several crypto media. Currently is a news writer at U.Today.

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