As AI continues to take over the digital space, it exposes us to a world of unforseen possibilities. The adoption of AI on the present day internet and making it open to an array of false data can lead to devastating consequences.
Our increasing reliance on machine learning opens the floodgates for hackers and other bad actors to manipulate data and exploit algorithms in dangerous ways. From entering counterfeit products into the supply chain to changing software source code to meddling with voter registration databases, data tampering is already being used as a powerful weapon.
Introducing AI into the equation only amplifies the danger. AI is powerful enough to drive autonomous machines, and hackers are powerful enough to get past any firewall. Damage can be done in just a few seconds, and it could be months before anyone notices that something is off.
To confidently support the expansion of AI as we move toward the next phase of the internet, the internet itself must adapt — with blockchain serving as the root of the change.
The internet is already untrustworthy
Spurred on by game-changing events like the uncovering of AI-generated fake news and deep fake photos, internet users are being forced to rethink their faith in the internet as solely a force for good.
Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and Equifax’s data breach exposed another one of the internet’s major problems: database vulnerability.
Here, too, the public is beginning to turn against the internet. For evidence, look no further than the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — two pieces of legislation both meant to place extreme limitations on the collection and storage of personal data.
The underlying problem is that database security never caught up to the raw computer power that allows companies to collect and store more consumer data than ever thought possible. Instead of rethinking databases from the ground up to adjust to this new reality, the growing trend has been to introduce point fixes, further exacerbating the mess of APIs that have bogged down “modern” internet architecture.
Yet it is the ability to gather and store data that drives the modern economy. Data is what enables companies to bring about the next generation of services custom-tailored to our preferences and needs.
Web 3.0 ups the ante — and it needs a defense mechanism
It is possible to salvage the best of the internet while starting to solve some of its most pressing concerns. That’s because the internet is quickly moving into a new phase known as the Semantic Web, or Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 aims to empower machines that are connected to the internet to communicate directly with each other — this is known as machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Additionally, Web 3.0 will rely on AI to learn more about a user’s preferences from their past interactions, providing a richer and more personalized user experience. Search engines, for example, will be able to provide more accurate and intelligent results based on an individual’s habits and previous activities.
On first blush, this may sound like an entrenchment of the problem: If we’re already concerned about our data, why move to a Web 3.0 model that depends on personal data even more? The answer is simple: It’s true that Web 3.0 will be data-driven, but it will no longer rely on centralized and insecure databases. Additionally, Web 3.0 has an essential tool in its toolkit that fundamentally changes the security profile of user data: blockchain.
Blockchain can mitigate AI’s risks as a key part of Web 3.0
Blockchain provides the necessary technology to make sure that AI architects can understand and trace the path of machine learning, allowing them to be confident in the integrity of the data that powers AI. That’s because blockchain provides a tamper-proof public record, ensuring each individual piece of data’s end-to-end traceability. Using this digital audit trail, AI decisions and results become easily explainable.
That explainability will become increasingly important as machine learning becomes more pervasive in online operations. With more deployments, there will be more adversarial attacks. Strong data integrity along with a provable history that can track the chain of updates over time will be absolutely critical to fighting against foul play.
Perhaps one of the best things about blockchain protection is that a tamper-proof record not only helps identify suspicious cases of “data poisoning” in the past, but it also helps prevent them from happening in the future. On the blockchain, AI has access to data that is not only tamper-resistant and secure by design, but comes with a mathematical record that proves it has not been tampered with. This enables more open, decentralized, even permissionless environments, democratizing AI for all.
The next generation of the AI-powered internet requires the next generation of defense mechanisms, and blockchain is the perfect match.
This article is sourced from:https://www.forbes.com