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European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum explores blockchain, AI and IoT

Image by EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum

Fri, 24 Apr 2020, 04:54 am UTC

The European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum (EU Blockchain), an initiative of the European Commission, is exploring blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT).

In its report titled “Convergence of Blockchain, AI and IoT,” the organization looks at how blockchain technology can be used in conjunction with two other important emerging technologies – IoT and AI. It aims to see if the two technologies would complement blockchain in terms of building new platforms, products, and services.

Blockchain and IoT

Based on its research, IoT offers many benefits for the environment and on how people live. However, there are also numerous challenges when it comes to monitoring and controlling millions of heterogenous devices.

Blockchain can help it with its decentralized alternative where devices package data and share it in a peer-to-peer fashion instead of routing it through a centralized cloud server.

“By providing secure audit trails of information coming from a sensor, blockchains can make it easier to monitor individual machines and spot anomalies. Blockchain can also support the interoperability of IoT devices by providing a trusted common communications layer,” the report read.

Blockchain’s smart contracts can also facilitate autonomous machine-to-machine transactions bringing automation, which makes the platform more efficient.

Blockchain and AI

AI is also very promising, but it requires large amounts of data to reap its benefits. The cost of gathering, storing, and processing large data sets is expensive. On top of that, you have to hire and maintain AI experts, which makes it even more costly, which is probably the reason only a few large companies use it.

Blockchain can be used to develop open, decentralized data markets where data producers can sell, rent or share its AI models. Such market could make AI models more accessible. Also, blockchain could help “bring compute to data” allowing AIs to train on data sets in privacy-preserving ways and potentially opening up more data sources.

“In the real world, especially in large-scale use cases, blockchain, AI and IoT are likely to work in concert. In a smart city, blockchain could be combined with IoT and AI on an infrastructure level to manage critical systems that cities depend upon, as well as improve quality of life for residents through safer and better designed urban environments,” the report concluded.

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