Chapter 08: Blockchain Rails for Artificial Intelligence

"I envision a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans. And I am rooting for the machines."

-Claude Shannon

 

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

-Issac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics

 

Now as we overwrite, erase the law of three

Leave nothing left behind except seven billion bodies

Justify thy actions here, not a "misanthropic crusade."

The majority will benefit, so erase this carbon plague!

-Allegaeon, Proponent for Sentience III

 

Often, people look to Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the dominant driving force that will define the future of computing and industry. To this effect, there are far more movies about AI than there ever will be about blockchain. From Her to Terminator and Ex Machina, these movies capture both the potentially human-like side of AI, as well as the more sinister and apocalyptic possibilities that the technology holds.  

Futurists expect AI to replace both white and blue-collar human labor. This wave of automation stretches from data entry and manufacturing to legal discovery and medical diagnosis. The intellectual debate about the future of AI is just as rich and as vivid today as discussions of theology were in the Middle Ages, or science and philosophy were in the Enlightenment.

This book isn’t about AI, but it is about how blockchain technology will evolve soon, so it is impossible to gloss over how deeply AI and blockchain will intersect by 2035. Even if a human-like synthetic intelligence remains “fifty years away” indefinitely, the fact of the matter is that we are further along today than we were yesterday. To boot, AI shares an intellectual history with the blockchain and computing generally and will necessarily intersect at some level, especially where these two technologies are complementary, which we strongly believe they are...

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