Blockchain and AI: Are they foraying the fourth industrial revolution?
Whether you realize it or not, the fourth industrial revolution is underway. Technology is transforming several aspects of our life – the way we live, work and even communicate with each other. Technology has brought visibly massive changes in the lives of people. Blockchain and artificial intelligence are major contributors to this radical change and have set the foundation for further disruption of the global industry.
This is also evident from the fact that economies globally are spending a large amount of money on blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. The blockchain industry is advancing at a rapid pace. According to IDC, global spending on blockchain technology will increase to $12.4 billion in 2022, growing at 76% annually.
Similarly, the spending on artificial intelligence is expected to increase to $97.3 billion, according to IDC. Both the technologies, together, are accelerating the pace of revolution.
Blockchain technology is taking the world by storm —
- U.S military is experimenting with blockchain in cybersecurity.
- More than 1000 cryptocurrencies have been invented
- Nearly 69% of banks are experimenting with blockchain to make transactions faster and secure
- By 2024, corporations will spend $20 billion per year on blockchain technical services
- More than 20 countries are evaluating cryptocurrency as a potential national currency.
Taking charge of the economy
Blockchain technology has grown phenomenally in the past decade. The outbreak of global public concerns related to privacy and security have turned their attention to blockchain. With distributed apps (Dapps) built on blockchain, businesses can now enforce transparency and bring about more cooperation among users.
Cryptocurrencies, which thus far, have been used in limited capacity use are taking newer forms for global application. Several blockchain consortiums –The Libra Association, The Mining and Metal Blockchain Initiative, R3, etc. are already in work trying to bring more transparency to business transactions and global trade. Such global consortiums are growing. World Economic Forum has now, finally, set out a clear framework for building a blockchain consortium.
This move will likely accelerate the pace of innovation in blockchain development and across all spheres of the industry. On the upside, the job market is seeing increasing demand for blockchain engineers. Blockchain-related jobs are growing fast, according to Linkedin report 2020.
Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is catalyzing the race towards better work and disrupting the industry. AI brings faster execution with improved accuracy. Coupled with blockchain technology, AI paves way for efficient and transparent industry operations.
Here are some ways blockchain and AI are disrupting the industry.
Supply chain – This is the backbone of the retail industry (which accounts for a major portion of the industry). Using blockchain to track goods right from their production to the consumer can reveal a lot of information and improve provenance, leading to cost reduction.
Companies like Bext360 are already doing so. Bext360 operates in the coffee, timber, seafood, and minerals sector. It is improving the sector’s supply chain productivity by making it more transparent.
- Audience analytics – Businesses today are diversifying. It’ highly unlikely, especially for multi-national corporations, to gather insight about each customer. The combination of the blockchain (allowing selective customer engagement) and artificial intelligence can offer enriching customer experience.
- Democratized information – The Internet may have democratized information. Proprietary information is still hard to catch. Initiatives like Singularity NET are now democratizing proprietary information. Singularity NET uses blockchain’s smart contracts to facilitate the trade of AI algorithms between sellers and buyers.
- Smart cities – Smart cities are the future. Blockchain and AI combined can offer voice-activated parking, voice-assisted home assistance, and more. Alexa and Google Home are already taking the lead.
- Drug supply chain — WHO reports fake drugs have increased in circulation. Over the next five years, this number will increase by over 90%. In Asian and African countries, fake drugs contribute about 10-30% of all drugs. Blockchain will increase transparency in the supply chain and curb circulation of fake drugs.
Blockchain technology has brought an all-new side to the business and global trade. With artificial intelligence, it is making bigger leaps, in that it is automating business processes. Thus, adding more efficiency to business operations and resulting in better output. Companies are now looking forward to fewer humans and more machines doing work.
Across all industries – retail, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, etc. the influence of automated machines can be felt. In personal lives and at home, Google Home and other voice and gesture activated gadgets are pervading. Our lives have started to become more convenient and we’re starting into getting into a comfort zone that so far has been talk in the movies. Slowly, but steadily we’re moving towards that life.
Humanoids are already among us—reading the news to us like Erica, a Japan-built robot, and Boston Dynamics’ Spot Mini, which resembles closet to a human appearance. Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen after showing here human-like abilities to walk, talk, and emote, is now making waves with her uncanny sketching skills. Humanoid robots are increasing in number hey are increasing in number. The market for humanoid robots is expected to increase to $ 3,962.5 million by 2023, according to Markets and Research.
The future we see in movies where humans and robots co-exist while getting dependent on each other will soon be a reality. How soon? Time will tell, but until then let’s keep our fingers crossed.