It’s clear that AI is going to disrupt business in ways we can’t yet comprehend. With the internet permeating the lives of approximately 66% of the global population, novel technologies designed to capture and synthesize data are becoming indispensable players in nearly every facet of online interaction.
Data has transcended its role as a mere byproduct of internet surfing, ascending in recent years to a commodity status akin to the 18th-century significance of oil. In a landscape where more than 11,000 marketing solutions sift through data to learn more about consumer behavior, the significance of blockchain, an open-source distributed ledger, is undeniable.
Blockchain offers a new logbook in which to store humankind’s abundant data. However, the inherent transparency of data on the blockchain raises questions. A dilemma emerges when we consider that everything stored on chain stays there forever — and for the public to see. This forces us to scrutinize how much data we want put on chain, how much we want to give centralized platforms to use for profit — and how we can own more of it ourselves.
Artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as a possible solution in this complex landscape. In an idealistic future, AI assumes the role of data analyst, sidestepping third-party surveillance. Increasingly, data scientists are understanding that AI learning models possess the right algorithms to glean insights and ensure the integrity of digital information. Yet, it must be stressed that the applications of AI and blockchain must be user-centric in nature — offering the consumer more control over how and what information gets shared — to avoid a panopticon of data surveillance.
There are already companies today leveraging AI to enhance and augment their blockchain-based services and tools. Ahead, we spoke to two.
Unstoppable Domains empowers users to own their digital identity with Web3 domain names. The company sells various add-on features to customize their digital identity, one of which is a paid AI Art tool. The user uploads up to 20 of their photos to the tool and gives it a prompt, like a certain illustration style or color scheme. Then the machine learning algorithm gets to work and produces customized profile pictures that can serve as their digital avatar. When the user finds an option they like the best, they mint it for free and can add the NFT to their Unstoppable Domains profile.
Furthermore, Login with Unstoppable allows owners of Unstoppable Domains to log in and share profile information with EVM-compatible and Solana applications. The user controls what information they want to share. Conceivably, AI can make customized suggestions to the Unstoppable Domains profile owner by gathering the data they've shared on various apps.
As Unstoppable Domains senior director of engineering Lisa DeLuca explains, “Me as a consumer, I'll get customized experiences out of the gate instead of waiting for the app to learn more about me."
And because the blockchain is immutable, the data is much more reliable for companies to act on in turn. "When you have a verifiable source of truth, it makes the data stronger," says DeLuca.
This creates a mutually beneficial relationship where the user gets tailor-made experiences and suggestions that are helpful and relevant, and companies gain a much clearer understanding of their users so they can continue to serve them effectively.
Another company turning heads in the AI and blockchain scene is Alethea AI. Alethea AI is working to bring ownership to generative AI through NFT augmentation and on-chain character generation.
The company made a splash in 2021 when the world’s first iNFT, was auctioned at Sotheby’s for $478,800. An iNFT, or interactive and intelligent NFT, is an existing NFT that has been “fused” with an Intelligence Pod.
An Intelligence Pod is an ERC-721 token that enables an existing NFT to have a customizable on-chain personality and upgradable intelligence levels. AI systems powering the iNFT then enable the iNFT to interact, perform tasks, and offer services on the AI Protocol ecosystem. This fusion takes place in the Noah’s Ark dApp, touted as the world’s first Intelligent Metaverse.
The company is already seeing some fascinating use cases as a result of the iNFT technology. One user created a digital twin that he’ll pass down as an inheritance to his future generations. Another gave their pet alpaca a digital life in the Metaverse. As Alethea AI Content Manager Komalika Neyol explains, “Noah’s Ark serves as a place where people can express themselves and test the limits of their imaginations.”
CharacterGPT is another exciting Alethea AI tool. As the world’s first Text-to-Character AI system, CharacterGPT generates interactive AI characters from natural language descriptions.Over 300,000 AI characters have been created using the MyCharacter.AI dApp since its release, and 135,000 have been collected and minted as NFTs on the Polygon blockchain. Now with the release of V2, there are improved conversation abilities and more diverse generative capabilities.
Alethea AI is actively building on the AI Protocol that serves as the property rights backbone of the Generative AI economy. This enables creators to build AI dApps and assets that are interoperable with each other and provides a secure and trustless environment in which tokenized AI assets can be traded.
In conclusion, AI and blockchain are two emerging technologies that work even better together. AI is strengthened by the verifiable data on the blockchain, and blockchain assets are creatively leveraged and personalized through AI augmentation. This is one winning combo that users and businesses should follow closely.
This is not financial advice. If you don't want to spend money investing in crypto or Web3 — you don’t have to. The intent of this article is to help others educate themselves and learn.