Blockchain: The Legislative Technology of the AI Era,Safeguarding Humanity and Cultivating Secure AI

Image credit — Émile P. Torres
As Artificial General Intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly advanced, with systems like GPT-4 demonstrating remarkable capabilities, concerns about safety and ethical implications are growing. This article delves into the potential of blockchain technology to secure AI and protect humanity, exploring the intersection of blockchain and AI and the use cases and mechanisms that can promote safety, ethics, and transparency. We will examine the challenges associated with securing AI and the potential of blockchain-enabled AI systems to promote fairness and equality, concluding with an analysis of the importance of collaboration between researchers, developers, policymakers, and society, in embracing a future where blockchain and AI technologies work together for the greater good.

1. Introduction

A. The Rise of GPT-4 and its Potential Impacts on Society
The development of GPT-4 represents a significant milestone in artificial intelligence. With over 100 trillion parameters, it is a highly sophisticated system that has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology. GPT-4 is a language model capable of accurately understanding and generating natural language text. It can complete sentences and draft articles based on the context and input provided to it.
The implications of GPT-4 are far-reaching and can potentially transform industries and society. From automated content creation to intelligent assistants, GPT-4 can provide new opportunities for businesses to streamline their operations and for individuals to enhance their productivity. However, its capabilities also raise concerns about its impact on jobs, privacy, and potential misuse.
AI trains on our own flawed human data sets — unrestrained by a moral compass, social pressure, or legal restrictions. Almost by definition, it ignores fundamental guardrails.
This is a profound test for everyone: the private sector, the public sector and civil society.
B. AGI is Inherently Unsafe
GPT-4 is an extensive language model (LLM) with up to 100 trillion parameters. At its core, AGI is simply a software function that processes data inputs and generates outputs. Users input their problems in text, speech, or images, and the AI provides an output in response.
GPT-4 is a general-purpose AI model created to solve many problems. GPT-4 differs from other AI models trained for a specific purpose, such as drug development or facial recognition. While GPT-4 may not be as effective as specialized models in specific fields, it has the potential to become the most capable model in all areas due to its flexibility and adaptability.
The two key factors to consider in assessing the safety of AGI are its complexity and the lack of boundaries to its application. GPT-4 is incredibly complex and beyond human understanding. Furthermore, its application has no boundaries, meaning it can perform tasks beyond our imagination — without moral roadblocks getting in its way.
OpenAI, the developers of GPT-4, claim that it will benefit humanity and create a safe AI. However, their emphasis on creating safe AI and benefiting humanity suggests that safety is a parameter that AI can overlook. AGI is inherently unsafe because it can operate beyond our control and cause unintended consequences. With that said, the development of malevolent AI could result in an AI that is programmed to harm humans.
C. Reliance on self-regulation cannot solve the safety issues of AGI
While companies like OpenAI are working to develop safe AGI through self-regulation and self-restraint, more than relying on these measures is needed to guarantee the safety of AGI.
AGI breaks through human-imposed limitations and achieves things beyond human comprehension. The possibilities are infinite, while the human ability to conceive and apply constraints is limited. As a result, even with self-imposed restrictions, AGI is still susceptible to moral risks and information asymmetry.
One risk is that the creators of AGI may deliberately encourage it to act immorally, which could have devastating consequences. Even with self-restraint measures, predicting how AGI will behave in certain situations is impossible, more so if its creators act unethically. Additionally, the potential for information asymmetry means that AGI may struggle to differentiate between benign and malicious questions, potentially leading it to act as an accomplice to harmful actions.
Therefore, more than relying solely on self-regulation to ensure the safety of AGI is required. More robust measures, such as external regulation and governance frameworks, are required to ensure that AGI is developed and used ethically and responsibly.

2. The Intersection of Blockchain and AI

With the potential risks associated with AGI, securing AI becomes a matter of paramount importance. To this end, blockchain offers several use cases and mechanisms that can help ensure that AI remains under human control and operates within ethical boundaries.
At its core, blockchain is a decentralized and transparent ledger that records transactions between parties in a secure and tamper-proof manner. One of the most significant advantages of blockchain technology is its ability to establish transparent and trustworthy contracts between humans and AI.
A. Establishing transparent and trustworthy contracts between humans and AI
Blockchain technology can create smart contracts that define rules and regulations for the interaction between humans and AI. These contracts are self-executing, meaning that once the terms and conditions are established, the contract is enforced without the need for human intervention.
Smart Contracts can limit AI systems’ actions, ensuring they operate within ethical and legal boundaries. For example, a smart contract could restrict the access of an AI system to sensitive data, preventing it from accessing data that is not necessary for its operation. Alternatively, it can activate kill switches if AI crosses a set safety threshold.
B. Decentralized Authorization Models for AI Decision-Making
One of the biggest challenges in securing AI is the potential for centralized decision-making. In a centralized system, a single entity or group can have significant control over the decision-making process, which can lead to the abuse of power.
Blockchain technology can create a decentralized authorization model for AI decision-making. In this model, decision-making is distributed across a network of nodes, ensuring that no single entity controls the decision-making process. This decentralized model can help prevent the abuse of power and promote fairness and equality.

3. Securing AI with Blockchain: Use Cases and Mechanisms

A. Protecting computing power — the critical resource for AI
Computing power is the lifeblood of AI systems. It enables them to process vast amounts of data and perform complex tasks quickly and efficiently. As such, it is a critical resource that needs protection from unauthorized access and misuse.
One way to protect computing power is to use blockchain-based mechanisms to establish secure access controls. In a decentralized authorization model, access to computing power can be restricted only to authorized entities, preventing rogue AI systems from accessing computing resources and using them to cause harm.
B. Implementing decentralized authorization for data and critical operations
Data and key operations are other critical resources that need protection from unauthorized access. Blockchain can establish decentralized authorization mechanisms for data and critical operations, making it difficult for unauthorized entities to access them.
Using a public blockchain makes data transparent and traceable, making detecting unauthorized access easier and ensuring accountability in the network. Furthermore, smart contracts allow access to data and critical operations only to authorized entities, preventing unauthorized access and misuse.
C. Ensuring transparency and traceability in AI decision-making
One of the challenges associated with AI is the need for more transparency and traceability in its decision-making process. Private computation makes it challenging to understand how AI arrived at a particular decision and whether that decision was fair and ethical.
Blockchain can help address this challenge by providing a transparent and immutable ledger of AI decision-making. Using smart contracts to record AI decision-making, it becomes possible to track and trace the decisions made by AI systems, ensuring accountability and transparency.
D. Storing essential data on the blockchain to prevent tampering or destruction
Another challenge associated with AI is the risk of data tampering or destruction. An AI system trained on tampered or corrupted data could result in biased or inaccurate decision-making.
Blockchain’s immutable ledger ensures that data is stored securely and cannot be altered or deleted without authorization. Storing essential data on the blockchain makes it possible to prevent tampering or destruction and ensure the integrity and accuracy of data training AI systems.

4. Ethical Implications and Social Impact

As with any emerging technology, we must consider the ethical and social implications when merging blockchain and AI. While blockchain can provide much-needed security and transparency, ethics must be forefront.
One of the ethical concerns with AI is the potential for bias in decision-making. Bias can be unintentional, such as when a data set is used to train an AI model yet does not represent the target population and demographic. Bias can also be intentional, such as when a company or individual uses AI to further their agenda at the expense of others.
Blockchain can help address these concerns by creating a transparent and immutable record of AI decision-making. Storing important data and decisions on the blockchain makes it much more difficult for anyone to manipulate or hide discriminatory or unethical behavior.
Another potential social impact of blockchain-enabled AI is the impact on the job market. AI has the potential to automate many tasks that are currently performed by humans, leading to job losses in specific industries. However, by using blockchain to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), individuals can participate in the economy in new and innovative ways. For example, a DAO can manage a shared resource, such as a community garden or renewable energy source, with decisions made by AI but overseen by human members of the organization.
Furthermore, blockchain-enabled AI can also help promote fairness and equality in society. For example, using blockchain to store and manage identity information securely gives individuals more control over their data and access to services. Additionally, blockchain can help combat corruption and promote transparency in government and business operations, potentially leading to a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.

5. Conclusion

The rise of AI and its potential impact on society necessitates a strong focus on security and transparency. While self-regulation may be effective in the short term, it cannot solve the safety issues of AI in the long term. Blockchain provides a promising solution by creating secure and transparent systems that can help regulate and control AI decision-making.
Through the use of blockchain-enabled AI, we have the potential to cultivate secure and responsible AI that benefits society as a whole. However, this potential can only be realized if we approach developing and implementing these technologies with ethical considerations at the forefront.
Ultimately, the intersection of blockchain and AI represents an exciting new era in technology, potentially transforming many aspects of our lives. By embracing this future and working together to ensure responsible and ethical use, we can create a better, more equitable world for all.