Accountability – Where AI and Blockchain Intersect

Recently I’ve been thinking about the intersection of blockchain and AI and although several exciting directions are rising from the intersection of the technologies I want to explore one direction here.

One of the hottest discussions on AI is whether to constraint AI with regulation and ethics to prevent apocalyptic future. Without going into whether it is right or wrong to do so, I think that blockchain can play a crucial role if such future direction materialize. There is a particular group of AI applications, mostly including automated decision making, which can impact life and death. For example, an autonomous driving algorithm which can take a decision that will eventually end with an accident and loss of life. In a world where AI is enforced for compliance with ethics then accountability will be the most crucial aspect of it. To create the technological platform for accountability we need to be able to record decisions taken by algorithms. Documenting those decisions can take place inside the vendor database or a trusted distributed ledger. Recording decisions in the vendor database is somewhat the natural path for implementation of such capability though it suffers from lack of neutrality, lack of authenticity and lack of integrity. In a way, such a decision is a piece of knowledge that should reside in the public domain while maintaining the privacy of the intellectual property of the vendor. Blockchain as a trusted distributed ledger can be the perfect paradigm for saving such evidence of truth about decisions taken by machines, evidence that can stand in court.

The question is whether such blockchain will be a neutral middleware shared by the auto vendors or a service rendered by the government.

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