They’re usually talked of as completely disparate fields; but ‘Brains and Chains’, or Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies, have already started to converge - despite claims they’re philosophically incompatible. So where’s the join?

Google, Amazon, Microsoft and the like have invested billions in AI over the years. Billions more are being poured into Blockchain ventures - quite a number of those also harnessing AI. So I invited long-standing AI expert Dr. Tania Peitzker, who is also CEO of Bots as a Service, to discuss with ‘Blockchain Bytes’ whether it is inevitable ‘Brains and Chains’ will merge - and when?

AI bots have long passed the ‘Turing Test’, she says, – on-screen or phone conversation where you cannot tell the machine from the human - many times. In fact This ‘new’ technology is really not that new. Tania’s own is a 10-year-old algorithm, and Google has been working for decades on just this - in 2014 it paid $500M for the Deep Mind algorithm.

Yet both technologies have something of an image problem – even journalists tend to think of the Dark-Web and cybercrime when they write about cryptocurrencies or even Blockchain and AI is overshadowed - not without reason as the Bank of England chief economist has recently pointed out - by fears about jobs as well as more ‘science fiction’ fears of AI domination.

But fundamentally, like the internet, Blockchain provides an enhanced, but more secure, environment - one in which AI and bots or all kinds can become actors and provide support and other services.

It’s not difficult to imagine adding a bot based helpdesk layer to the new logistics system at the Port of Rotterdam , now fully running on Blockchain technology, where chatbots could integrate to help users with the new ‘paperwork’?

Or in the environment created by Auditchain, which aims to reduce the risks and re-establish the audit trail in today’s electronic environment using Blockchain to create real-time ‘Streaming Financial Statements’ - with the potential to eventually to make traditional reporting methods obsolete they say. Highlighting potential anomalies, alerting the right people or even making real-time interventions.

So as the bots become more sophisticated - and are trusted to do more - they will be able to do more and more in our ever growing Block-tech enhanced environment.

Truly a marriage made in app heaven - or tech hell? The choice will be ours.

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