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Convergence of blockchain with AI and IOT


IoT and AI are growing exponentially

Internet of Things – IoT

A future of transacting intelligent machines


β€’ Individually, each of these technologies deserves all the attention they’re getting as enablers and disruptors

β€’ But, taken together?

β€’ Their transformative effect becomes multiplicative

β€’ A future driven by machine connectivity, data exchange and commercial services:

  • IoT connects billions of machines and sensors generate unprecedented quantities of real-time data
  • AI enables the machines to act on data and trigger services
  • Blockchain functions are the transaction layer where data and service contracts are securely stored and payments for services are settled

How does blockchain support intelligent connected machines?


β€’ Smart Contracts enable self-executing and self-enforcing contractual states

  • Custom financial instruments (tokens), records of ownership of an underlying physical asset (smart property), any
  • complex business logic that can be programmable
  • Can such applications be ideal for intelligent (AI) and connected (IoT) machines?
  • These machines are intelligent enough to negotiate contracts, but need a technology allowing them to securely sign and enforce them

β€’ Digital currencies create new forms of money

  • Programmable and active
  • Will such money be ideal for intelligent (AI) and connected (IoT) machines?
  • These machines will need digital currency to pay for services assigned through the smart contracts

How will the three technologies work together?


IoT – Internet of Things

  • Sensors allow us to cost-effectively gather tremendous amounts of data.
  • Connectivity allows us to transmit/broadcast these data.
  • But, there is a missing element: intelligence to process these data.

AI – Artificial Intelligence

  • Intelligence at the very edges of the network (mini-brains).
  • Combine with IoT and you have the ability to recognize meaningful patterns buried in mountains of data in ways that would be impossible for most humans, or even non-AI algorithms, to do.
  • But, there is a missing element: a secure storage layer for data and a transaction layer for services

DLT (blockchain) – Distributed Ledger Technology

  • Decentralized governance, coupled with no single point of failure, disintermediation, unalterable and searchable records of events.
  • Digital currencies and tokenized custom financial instruments.
  • Combine with AI and IoT and you have a new world of autonomous systems interacting with each other, procuring services from each other and settling transactions.

The technology stack of the future


Technology Stack of the Future

Toward a world of machine commerce


A world of Machine Commerce

M2M will need SSI (self-sovereign identities) – for objects!


Human Identities types

Object identities can be SSI by default

  • Multi-source, multi-verifier
  • Digitally signed, verifiable credentials that can prove issuer, holder and status
  • Secure peer-to-peer connections (permanent or session-based)
  • Exchange full credentials, partial credentials or ZKPs derived from credentials

Next milestone: Decentralized Organizations (DOs)


DOs are good at:

  • Coordinating resources that do not know/trust each other (including hybrid
  • H/M)
  • Governing in a geography-agnostic, censorship-resistant manner
  • Enabling short-term or informal organizational structures  (networks/communities)
  • Tracking and rewarding contribution

Challenges

  • Jurisdictional issues
  • Legislating new types of work for humans and work rules for machines
  • Governance modalities, including external supervision


Challenges


New/upgraded system architectures

β€’ From legacy to blockchain/AI/IoT-native systems
β€’ Integration, interoperability, backward compatibility
β€’ ROI obvious ex post, difficult ex ante – Bootstrapping

Advanced analytics capabilities

β€’ As devices at the edge become smarter, the smart contracts enabled by blockchain platforms will require more advanced data analytics capabilities and gateways to the physical world.

New Business Models

  • Disruptive innovation will dominate – but not without boom-and-bust cycles and big failures along the way.
  • Winners will NOT be the ones focusing on efficiency gains, but on disruptive models.

Key takeaways

β€’ IoT, AI and DLT (blockchain) are foundational and exponentially growing technologies

  • When combined, they will create a new internet of connected, intelligent and commercially transacting machines
  • An era machine-to-machine (M2M) and human-to-machine (H2M) commerce is likely to emerge, with profound consequences on social and economic dynamics
  • New forms of corporations or organizational formats (code-only, autonomous) will emerge

β€’ There are numerous challenges that must be overcome

  • IoT has outpaced the human internet, but is still a largely passive, insecure and privacy-vulnerable network
  • AI has made huge leaps, but still requires immense computational resources and is largely incompatible with edge computing
  • DLT is a new technology, largely untested at scale; both smart contracts and digital assets lack the regulatory clarity required for mass adoption

This work is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives license
Β© University of Nicosia,
Institute for the Future, unic.ac.cy/blockchain





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