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Rowan Spencer, Editor In Chief
You need to constantly reinforce the fact that you still love blockchain, and that it'd be silly for them to feel the need to choose sides. It's bizarre...but it's not a total shock - the blockchain space has a reputation for being tribalistic at times.
Don't believe me? Go to a Bitcoin meetup and start talking about Ethereum. I dare you. (Just make sure you have health insurance).
Like it or not, AI is going to play a foundational role in the third generation of the web - right alongside blockchain. The glass half full view: Web3 is gaining something, not losing something - or better yet - this is a marriage, not a divorce!
The two technologies will meet/compliment each other, rather than destroy each other. For example:
"Ok, ok! You make some good points, but I still feel an aversion to this transition....any help?"
I hear you, and I’m with you (honestly, I’m still getting my head around it all)...as for why?
1. It feels like AI just came out of nowhere, and was all of a sudden 'the hot new thing.' ...because it did, and it kinda is.
ChatGPT is the first broadly adopted consumer AI product - and it came out in late November 2022 (November!). The crazier part? It reached 100M daily active users, just two months after it launched.
That's faster than TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Email, Television - literally everything that came before it! So yeah, some whiplash is to be expected.
2. Blockchain has been built in public from the beginning - AI was not (at least, until recently).
Think about it: from the moment the Bitcoin white paper was released, all the major pieces of the 'blockchain puzzle' have been put together, in public. On the other hand, AI was being worked on waaaaay before blockchain existed...but it was largely done behind closed doors.
Decades of work and research needed to be conducted before something like ChatGPT was even remotely possible. But the public never had to grit its teeth and deal with the clunky early iterations of AI (...it was just 'a thing' all of a sudden).
In blockchain, we've been there every step of the way, tinkering and exploring what's on offer. From the outside looking in: it might feel like blockchain's had a longer lead time, and achieved less - but it's actually a younger technology.
Blockchain and AI developers have each been building out the 'roads' that make up Web3 - it's just that AI developers were the first to create the 'car.'
(I.e. a mass market product that anyone/everyone can easily find a use for - think ChatGPT as a virtual assistant).
Blockchain will soon follow by powering the next generation of social platforms and games, while continuing to permeate art, music, collectibles, travel, investing, loyalty programs, real estate - you name it.
It's just not at our fingertips yet…and you know what? Blockchain may never have its clear ‘moment of arrival,’ because a lot of its benefits lie in backend infrastructure.
I.e. the stuff we never see, but constantly interact with - similar to the APN protocol.
(You probably don’t know what that is, but if you’re an Apple user - the APN protocol plays a constant role in your daily life: it’s what powers iMessage).
This is all to say: mom n' dad aren't getting divorced - they're renewing their vows!
Ok, now we’ve covered where AI and blockchain could intersect - let’s go over where they’ll need to intersect.
Ok, ok, it doesn't sound very exciting when I put it like that - but think about the importance of data verification, when AI can fabricate just about anything:
Wait...where was I again? Oh yeah, AI. AI can fabricate these things pretty darn well, and soon they'll be indistinguishable from reality. We're going to need to be able to verify whether or not key pieces of digital media are real or not.
One way to do so, is for the trusted sources distributing these photos/videos/audio recordings to verify their origins, by minting them as NFTs. Sounds weird! But it'd kind of work similar to verification on Instagram.
E.g. Let's say @kim_kardooshian is mimicking the real Kim K (@kimkardashian) on Instagram.
Users would be able to see straight through it - because they know @kimkardashian is verified. With tamper proof and immutable verification of information via NFTs, the same could go for digital media in the age of AI.
We’ll not only need to see this at the distribution level (news sites, social media etc.) but also at the device level where these photos, videos, and audio recordings are being generated.
In the age of AI, seeing is no longer believing - which means we’ll need an immutable, verifiable source of truth to refer to.
We need blockchain technology.