Written by 8:42 pm AI Trend

### Decentralized AI Advocated by Crypto at Davos

With Big Tech set to dominate AI, decentralizers made the case for a blockchain governance layer fo…

The roster of firms at the forefront of the competition for generative artificial intelligence underscores the potential risks associated with the consolidation of power in this domain and highlights how blockchain’s decentralized approach to data management could offer a remedy.

The prominent contenders in the AI arena are no strangers: Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Meta, the tech giants that have reigned over Web2 for the past couple of decades. These industry titans are pouring substantial investments into AI, both through significant holdings in startups like Open AI and Anthropic and through in-house initiatives.

Coincidentally, these corporations hold five of the top seven spots in the corporate market capitalization hierarchy, with a combined value nearing $10 trillion. When you factor in Nvidia, ranked sixth, whose GPUs are in high demand by the aforementioned companies to bolster the computational capabilities necessary for developing large language models (LLMs) in generative AI, their collective influence extends to over a quarter of the S&P 500’s market cap.

Interestingly, the only other company globally that rivals their size is Saudi Aramco, the state-run oil behemoth from Saudi Arabia, underscoring the analogy that likens data to the “new oil.”

These tech giants’ dominance is rooted in the vast reservoirs of digital data they possess about individuals, which serve as the foundation for training LLMs based on language preferences and behavioral patterns. Through their search engines, social media platforms, browsers, operating systems, and cloud services, the Big Five have amassed exabytes of data on our online interactions and social connections, effectively transforming us into sources of this new digital asset.

Motivated by the prevailing business model of surveillance capitalism in the digital realm, these companies have leveraged this data to craft algorithms that target our psychological triggers, keeping us engaged with their platforms through continuous dopamine stimuli to serve their commercial interests. This strategy, as revealed by Facebook’s former president Sean Parker, was a calculated effort to exploit human psychology vulnerabilities.

While this approach has proven immensely lucrative for the platforms and their shareholders, mounting evidence suggests that it has had detrimental effects on society at large. The surge in adolescent suicides, concerns raised by the U.S. Surgeon General regarding online bullying’s impact on youth mental health, and the erosion of factual discourse amid polarized online debates underscore the societal toll exacted by this model.

As we stand on the cusp of the AI era, where data-driven algorithms will wield even greater influence over our lives, the question arises: should we replicate this destructive, oligopolistic paradigm in the realm of AI, granting centralized corporate entities absolute dominion over crucial information that defines our humanity?

The imperative to transition towards a data management framework that empowers individuals at the network periphery rather than consolidating control at the core is becoming increasingly clear. Initiatives are underway to shift the data ownership dynamic, with institutions like The New York Times taking legal action against Open AI for incorporating their articles into AI models without consent, signaling a potential shift towards decentralized AI systems where data usage requires explicit authorization from owners.

To facilitate this transition, decentralized tracking mechanisms enabled by blockchain technology could play a pivotal role in ensuring transparency and consent in data utilization, guarding against AI-generated misinformation. Establishing a verification system founded on a censorship-resistant, open-source protocol offers a viable alternative to relying solely on Big Tech’s assurances of ethical conduct.

The convergence of AI and blockchain emerged as a focal point of discussion among cryptocurrency enthusiasts at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, underscoring the urgency for mainstream recognition of decentralized solutions advocated by the blockchain community. Amidst the backdrop of global corporations showcasing AI solutions at Davos, the emphasis on AI-blockchain synergy by decentralization proponents signifies a critical shift in the dialogue surrounding the future of technology.

In conclusion, as we navigate the intricate landscape of AI advancement and data governance, the interplay between blockchain decentralization and AI ethics stands as a pivotal frontier that demands attention and action from both industry stakeholders and the broader public.

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Tags: Last modified: March 17, 2024
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