Vitalik Buterin Outlines Synergies Between AI and Blockchains

Buterin says most promising use cases will be where the underlying mechanism continues to be designed roughly as before, but the individual players become AIs.

By: Owen Fernau Loading...

Image depicting the merger between AI and blockchain technologies in a minimalistic style with neon colors

Vitalik Buterin weighed in on the use cases at the intersection of AI and blockchains on Monday.

The Ethereum co-founder listed four categories for synergy between the two technologies. The most viable category in the short-term is the use of AIs as agents within a human-created game, according to Buterin. He specified prediction markets as a place where many AIs could provide value by making bets on events which don’t offer enough payout for a human to participate.

The second category is AI’s use to augment interfaces. Buterin gave the example of using AI to explain in simple language what a blockchain-based transaction would do. The Ethereum co-founder stressed that this route carried risk because scammers have unlimited access to the AI model and can potentially customize their attacks based on the information they glean.

AI "Judges"

The third category Buterin outlines, which he calls “the most risky,” is one where AIs serve as “judges.” An example would be using an AI to make a subjective decision for a DAO.

The fourth category of synergies between the two technologies are efforts to create a system whose end goal is to construct and maintain an AI. Buterin said that this was a “longer-term, but intriguing application.”

AI / Blockchain Synergies Diagram - VB Post

AI and blockchain-based technology have been the most significant developments in software over the last decade. Because of this, it’s almost inevitable that entrepreneurs and investors will look for applications which can successfully mesh the two technologies.

Centralized AI Risk

Buterin’s post stresses the risks which come from centralized AI systems and addresses some of the ways blockchains can effectively meld with the technology.

The Ethereum co-founder’s post comes on the back of his philosophical call for defensive technology acceleration, or d/acc. The post, which the Ethereum co-founder published in November, specifically addressed humans merging with AI through brain-computer interfaces as a potential way forward.

The Ethereum co-founder also weighed in last year on Worldcoin, a controversial project which uses biometrics to establish digital “personhood” to differentiate internet actors from AIs.

Moving forward, the AI-blockchain intersection will continue to shift from what Buterin calls a “superficial vibe level,” to specific applications.

“In general, use cases where the underlying mechanism continues to be designed roughly as before, but the individual players become AIs, allowing the mechanism to effectively operate at a much more micro scale, are the most immediately promising and the easiest to get right,” he wrote.