Blockchain and Data Science (Artificial Intelligence)
AI is going to change the world. We all know that. Blockchain is also (like AI) disruptive, revolutionary, and earth-shakingly transformative. So what happens if we take two buzzwords like AI (data science) and blockchain and combine them? Let’s find out!
But first, do you know what a blockchain is? And why it’s one of the keys to a democratic digital future?
Well, I could repeat what others have already detailed on this blog in the past and finish my word count and get the job done – but I want to inspire you! Give you fresh stunning information which you can hopefully use to ignite the flame of learning within you to start this journey or adventure in technology.
And, of course, I am 1000% committed to high-quality articles, at all costs. So what I am going to do is: if you know what blockchain is, awesome, continue! If you don’t, please read the following article here
OK! So from now on, we assume now you know the basics of blockchain.
In case you still have some doubts after the last article, refer to the following link
and for a graphical explanation (which may suit everyone the best), link here
You also need to know what a cryptocurrency is. The links are given below:
For technical readers: Link
For everyone: Link
This last webpage explanation above is excellent. Highly recommended.
The Boom in the Technology Sector
You should also know that the market is huge! Booming! Demand outstrips supply by a factor of over 10x! To understand the blockchain market, you need to be aware of the following statistics:
- The blockchain market will expand by 42% or more in the next year, 2020.
- Current blockchain market value in 2018 is 2.1 billion USD.
- Expected blockchain market cap in 2023 is estimated to be close to 25 billion USD.
- Blockchain jobs tripled in number on LinkedIn from 2017 to 2018.
All this is not to make you switch from AI to blockchain technology as a career. It is to make you understand that blockchain will be everywhere in the practical near future and that you become more valuable as an AI developer if you can leverage your product to take advantage of the blockchain revolution as well.
That is the real reason why we decided to publish a post on this topic. What we will now do, is, explore the exhilarating future that AI and blockchain together will have on society in the future. We will do this by exploring highly exciting startups that use both AI and blockchain in their system infrastructure.
Startups Using AI and Blockchain in Partnership
One thing you will notice immediately about these companies is that, usually, they don’t use the Bitcoin-style blockchain technology. And for good reason! The blockchain as used in Bitcoin is an inefficient, hugely wasteful, and an ultra-high electricity consuming process.
What these startups have done well is to use smart contracts (first introduced in Ethereum) and new emerging technology to come up with some mind-boggling ideas. So, on to our startups and the possibilities they introduce into our new tech-driven world!
IOTA is a startup that doesn’t use blockchain as we know it. Instead, it uses its own technology, a blockchain variant, called Tangle, which is a distributed acyclic graph that uses the last two nodes in the network (graph) to check transaction validity. This allows high scalability. It uses the idea of blockchain but creates a set of distributed validation nodes. The simplicity of the idea also ensures high performance.
As IoT (Internet of Things) technology stands currently, making the IoT enabled devices available and functional across device ecosystems is a massive challenge – which IOTA solves completely, especially now with project Qubic ( a massive extension to IOTA) being announced.
To give you an idea of the capacity of Tangle as a blockchain technology protocol, well; transaction cost is zero, transaction speed is 2 seconds, the number of transactions per second is unlimited, and the total market cap is a whopping 277 Trillion USD! Truly, it makes Bitcoin seem like a historical museum artifact! It is infinitely better as per every design principle.
AI is very much a part of the system here because the IoT is supposed to work on Artificial Intelligence. That’s why we have smart fridges, smart houses, smart cars, smart washing machines and products like Google Home.
The exact technology we are talking about is the fuzzy logic controller systems and PID controllers, and in IoT, it is everywhere. Keep your eyes on IOTA and its cryptocurrency, MIOTA. We could be witnessing the birth of a giant here.
For more on IoT, see here
Virtual Reality at its mind-boggling best! Decentraland is a country completely made up by developers who create their own fantasy land the way they want to.
I agree that virtual reality is a slightly creepy topic (people stuck indoors all day, never coming out, blind to actual reality and completely lost in the computer-constructed virtual world), but it is an emerging disruptive technology, and we would be foolish to exclude it from this list.
It also has a cryptocurrency that can be earned and spent in the virtual world – Mana (hence the blockchain connection). You can even earn by constructing a popular building or scenery on virtual real estate that you buy on this virtual land. This is just today’s MMORPGs taken to the next level altogether.
You might think that there is no data science in creating a quasi-reality virtual world, but nothing could be further from the truth. Data science, machine learning, and AI are the cornerstones of the virtual reality universe. That is mainly because computer vision, computer-generated human motion and animal motion, and 3-d world creation is a job not just for artists but also for engineers who know machine learning.
For achieving human-like interaction on the computer, we need machine learning. This is true for walking, running, speech, vision, world-building, scenery-building and, of course, bots are required everywhere as far as virtual reality is concerned.
To learn more about computer AI and bots, please refer to the article here
If you don’t know what an MMORPG is, please refer the link
For more on virtual reality, link here
And for more on Decentraland, refer here
We are entering the twilight zone of Artificial Intelligence with this startup.
You may have heard or read about the Artificial Intelligence Singularity, the point where a man-made machine becomes so complex that it achieves sentience or consciousness and learns exponentially, leading to the extinction of the human race and the birth of an Age of Machines (the entire Terminator series is built around this theory – in the movies, the AI is referred to as SkyNet – as well as the Matrix Trilogy and some others, one example being Avengers – Age of Ultron).
Well – this is a startup trying to achieve a sentient self-aware AI (whoa!), and actively providing tools to enable research in this direction, and hence the name. You may ask me, where does blockchain come in?
Well, this startup has created an online AI marketplace built on – you guessed it – their own blockchain-based cryptocurrency called AGI, where researchers can be paid real money for creating data, AI systems, AI algorithms and applications.
The main purpose – decentralize AI, and make it democratic by allowing more people and research scientists to participate.
For more on SingularityNET, refer:
4. Matrix AI Network
Matrix AI Network is perhaps the most well supported of all the startups we have seen since they have access to over 1 billion USD in funding (!).
The project has a large number of highly innovative crossovers between blockchain and AI, making this one of the most technologically advanced of all the startups we have seen so far.
Remarkably, the platform is designed with the help of AI algorithms, which continuously iterates the system, leading to autonomous self-optimization, and also using the enormous mining computational power of the system for AI needs and operational processing.
This system has self-organizational capacity and also supports smart contract creation in your native tongue, using advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods.
There is much more information to cover in this section. For lack of space and relevance, we merely ask you to visit:
– to know more. Much more.
This is perhaps the most ambitious of all the startups we have seen. Basically, Mark.Space wants to convert the entire Internet from 2D to a 3D experience. This works on both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality systems (VR and AR).
It will be available on all systems (most systems will support AR in the immediate future) and you can experience the 3D aspect even on a normal computer display so we don’t need VR headsets.
Blockchain technology in this project is used for the virtual reality real estate registry, for advertising, for distributed rendering and the platforms own cryptocurrency token called MRK.
Which brings us to a pressing question – how much innovation is being stifled in India by banning cryptocurrencies?
Just to make you reflect a little!
Again, like Decentraland, the Mark.Space universe is divided into several districts, with different purposes for each district. The time is not far off when all we do will use Augmented Reality Systems (AR). We live in highly exciting times!
Will your firm be the next Google for the VR world? And will the existing World Wide Web (www) be ported to AR soon?
Only time will tell.
As I said – exciting times!
For more information, visit:
And enter this site for a demo:
I repeat : you don’t need any special AR or VR hardware to experience the site. A normal computer screen is enough.
A screenshot from my laptop is attached below taken from the demo link above:
A little exploration led me here (walking up, down, left and right with the arrow keys, and using the building layout map):
However, I warn you – this site will be too slow for most Internet connections without a fiber-optic cable backbone. So go slow and don’t be dismayed if the site lags a little. This product is still in beta (beta is a fancy term software engineers and developers use to indicate that the product is being tested by the general public and the final software release date is in the future).
No special hardware required. Go to create.mark.space and see for yourself.
Wow. So the entire Internet is going to change. 2D will be a thing of the past, like black and white monitors are today. HTML, CSS, and so many other old technologies will die out. And the blockchain and AI revolution – is just beginning.
Hang on to your seats, folks!
It’s gonna be a heck of a ride!
In all of recorded history, there has never been a better time to be a Computer Science engineer or software developer.
Please feel privileged and blessed if you are one or are training to become one.
Cheers and God bless!
One of the first questions you may have will be, what are the technologies that will not die out any time soon? My answer is:
- Python and R (Machine Learning)
- Artificial Intelligence
- Deep Learning
- Cloud Computing (AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure)
- Computer Graphics
- Smart Contracts
- Cryptocurrencies (even though they’re currently banned in some nations like India)
- Serverless Tech
- Mobile Computing
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Systems Engineering
- Natural Language Processing
- Cloud Databases
- IaaS, PaaS, DBaaS, Blockchain-as-a-Service
- General Purpose Python
To any young programmer out there: all items from 1-20 have Python APIs. So please, my strong advice to any aspiring programmers who don’t want to go out of date: learn Python, and its core applications like Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, IoT and Robotics. These domains will never go out of date. Ever.
AI and Machine Learning students, please join this absolutely awesome course (an excellent introduction to Python as well):
As always, enjoy machine learning!
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You can follow this link for our Big Data course!
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All images under the AI and blockchain startups sections have their own copyright. I included them here since I figured that they would welcome the publicity and the visibility by the inclusion of their companies into this list. This article will also appear on my Medium.com account after 30 days of publication on this site.