The world is using artificial intelligence more than ever before. AI is constantly becoming more involved in our decision-making processes.
In this article, we go through why artificial intelligence must be used in a decentralized manner.
Why has the popularity of AI exploded?
Recently, ChatGPT has also brought artificial intelligence to the mainstream.
Why are artificial intelligence and its utilization so popular at the moment? There are several reasons for this, but at least the following have had a positive effect on the growth of artificial intelligence:
- The growing amount of data: Today, vast amounts of data are collected from various sources. Artificial intelligence can effectively process and analyze this data and identify different patterns and connections from it, which helps it make sounder decisions.
- Increase in computing power: The rapid development of technology has made it possible to increase computing power, enabling the development of more complex artificial intelligence solutions. This helps companies and organizations developing artificial intelligence to process large amounts of data faster and more efficiently.
- The need for automation is growing: Artificial intelligence offers solutions for many of the automation needs of companies, which helps to save time and costs. For example, artificial intelligence can help companies process large amounts of information quickly, freeing time for staff to focus on more critical tasks.
- Development of technology: The development of technology has increased people’s awareness of artificial intelligence and its possibilities. More and more companies, organizations, and individuals are utilizing artificial intelligence and its applications in various business processes, which has increased its popularity.
- New applications and uses: Artificial intelligence can be applied in various fields, such as healthcare, retail, and logistics. New applications and services are constantly being discovered, which increases their popularity.
So the growth in popularity of artificial intelligence is strongly related to the development of technology and the growing amount of data that needs to be processed faster.
The importance of decentralizing AI
Concentrating the use and development of artificial intelligence only among large companies serves no one. The technology giants of the Web2 era, such as Meta, Apple, and Amazon, are good examples of what follows when the development of technologies is not decentralized.
These tech companies have so much money & power that they can buy out all their competitors and keep increasing their technological strength. Such an environment kills innovation because real competitive situations cannot arise in the market.
In addition, the fact that all our data is in the hands of only one or two operators increases the data security risk considerably. If someone managed to break into Google’s servers, they would find massive amounts of data on almost all internet users.
Over time, artificial intelligence will also change how we think: The increasing use of artificial intelligence will make our thinking world more homogeneous, reducing our uniqueness.
In other words, people will resemble machines more than machines resemble people.
This will only happen in the long term, but it should still be considered when discussing the importance of artificial intelligence and its decentralization.
It would not be desirable for the keys to shaping our world of thought to be held by only one or two companies — that’s why the decentralization of artificial intelligence will play a vital role.
The role of blockchain technology and Web3 in the decentralization of AI
Web3 is based on decentralization, i.e., information management, so no centralized entity or intermediaries are needed to make various transactions. In other words, Web3 reverses the massive centralization of ownership and control.
The idea behind Web3 is to redistribute power, access, and wealth to communities and individuals — not centralized entities.
Web3 also offers a solution for transparency. Instead of having to hope that AI applications work correctly and don’t collect anything you don’t want to share with them, Web3 creates new systems where the rules are written in open-source code or smart contracts for everyone to see.
This way, you can be entirely sure what will happen when you use or enter your data into an online artificial intelligence application.
Currently, the information and resources needed to innovate artificial intelligence are only under the control of the wealthy few. Web3 could democratize those resources by creating a decentralized autonomous hive mind.
Blockchain technology offers a solution to an already commonly observed problem with artificial intelligence: verifying facts. By using a decentralized data structure to authenticate and verify data, blockchains can help ensure the integrity and credibility of AI-generated content.
Blockchain will also help identify users in the future internet. We already know that not everyone will use the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence for good. We will likely see thousands of AI-powered social media users that will be hard to verify as being run by AI without blockchain technology.
When implemented correctly, blockchains can confirm to others that you are you and not some fake profile created by AI.
What does the future of AI look like?
Artificial intelligence will bring us intelligence on a large scale. Web3, on the other hand, enables coordination, trust, and value transfer on a large scale.
By combining them in a responsible and decentralized way, we can create unique innovations.
For example, imagine an artificial intelligence with a distributed incentive system that drives almost any social behavior. If this alone seems incredible, thinking about what kind of innovations we can develop in the next ten years is dizzying.
The future looks bright regarding artificial intelligence as long as we can ensure that its development and use are as decentralized as possible. In terms of decentralization, blockchain technologies, and Web3 play a significant role.
The challenge of decentralization will be that many AI users will undoubtedly be dishonest and prefer to cheat the system for personal gain.
Behind the functionality of Ethereum and Bitcoin is a set of ingenious incentive structures that make these systems self-governing. With well-calibrated financial rewards, crypto networks like Ethereum encourage users to keep each other in check.
And while they might not trust each other, they can come to trust Ethereum’s decentralized blockchain, which together they help secure. A similar structure could also be utilized in the use of artificial intelligence.
Problems if the use and development of AI continue in a centralized manner
If the development and use of artificial intelligence are concentrated in only a few large companies, several potential problems can arise:
- Limited innovation: When only a limited number of companies dominate the development and use of AI, it can stifle innovation, as there may be less competition and cooperation between smaller companies and startups. This can limit AI capabilities and ultimately slow down AI development.
- Monopolization: If only a few companies dominate AI, they could use their market power to dominate the industry and restrict other players from entering the AI market. This could limit consumer choice, raise prices, and harm competition and innovation.
- Biases and discrimination: AI systems are only as unbiased as the data and algorithms that train them. Suppose only a few companies control the development and use of artificial intelligence. In that case, there is a risk that their systems may contain prejudice and discrimination because they may not represent enough diverse perspectives and experiences.
- Privacy and security risks: The centralization of AI can also raise concerns about privacy and security. If only a limited number of companies control vast amounts of data, there is a risk that this data can be misused, hacked, or stolen. This can have severe consequences for individuals and society as a whole.
The fact that one of the founders of OpenAI, Elon Musk, has published an open letter with other industry experts calling for a halt to the development of artificial intelligence models is also a cause for concern.
The people behind the open letter call for an additional time teaching artificial intelligence models because they fear that the fast race to develop artificial intelligence systems is getting out of hand. According to the writers of the open letter, the development of artificial intelligence is now happening so fast that no one can understand, predict or control it.
Overall, it is vital to ensure that tech companies do not monopolize the development and use of artificial intelligence and that a diverse ecosystem is working on this critical technology. This can help foster innovation and competition and ensure that AI is developed and used ethically and responsibly.
Decentralization of AI — FAQ
If all the power for the development of AI is given to a few technology companies, then innovation and the development of artificial intelligence will suffer. It also creates major data security risks, as the vast amounts of data, unfortunately, also attract criminals.
We also use artificial intelligence constantly to the extent that it shapes our thought processes. Without decentralization, companies could directly influence the way we think.
The biggest challenge in decentralizing artificial intelligence will be that many of the users and developers of artificial intelligence pursue their personal interests rather than the interest of the community.
At the moment, however, it is too early to say how decentralized/centralized the development and use of artificial intelligence will be in the future.
Many challenges related to the decentralization of artificial intelligence can be solved with the help of blockchain technology. For example, currently, the most common problem with AI-generated content is fact-checking. Blockchain technology can be used to ensure the correctness of the facts.
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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong to the author and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee, or other group or individual.