Blockchain technology is already making a positive impact in several industries such as banking, supply chain, payments, and health. However, this technology is also solving AI’s biggest challenge: data.
According to VentureBeat, blockchain technology helps power AI systems by providing them with high-quality data.
“Imagine walking into a neighbourhood shop for the first time and the sales associate immediately shows you the products that match your tastes, in your size, and that you do not already own,” Eran Eyal explains. This is where AI and blockchain technology meet to create even better innovations.
Blockchain technology not only creates databases that are open-source, decentralized, secure, and transparent but that also provide privacy. The fact that the blockchain can also offer privacy makes the technology important in AI systems that deal with consumer data.
The distributed ledger technology can also drive increased adoption of AI in the real world “by expanding its community, involving more workforce and making datasets accessible not only for tech giants, like Apple, Microsoft or Tesla, but also for smaller businesses” according to an article on Hackernoon.
“[The blockchain] holds potential to break down current barriers of AI development that could lead to more efficiency and greater openness with lower costs,” Dmitry Matskevich states.
The Application of AI and Blockchain Technology
The combination of AI and blockchain technology can be applied to various industries such as retail, smart energy and smart buildings, precision medicine, cybersecurity, and e-governance.
Cybersecurity and e-governance are some of the areas that the Kenyan government is already implementing. That means that there is an opportunity to scale these efforts by introducing blockchain technology and AI in their application.
Additionally, there is a need to make policies and regulations that propel the adoption of the two technologies. As the coordinator of Blockchain Nigeria User Group Chimezie Chuta observes, “To date, there has been no discernible regulatory trend or policy statement about the [two technologies], whether favourable or unfavourable. […] Africa risks falling further behind if it ignores the twin innovative technologies of the blockchain and artificial intelligence.”
So far, Kenya’s AI and blockchain taskforce has only given recommendations for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. However, the taskforce should focus on making recommendations on the combined application of the two technologies as they have the potential to increase innovation in the country.