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The current development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is fundamentally flawed. Peter Thiel recently described crypto as libertarian[1] and Reid Hoffman describes AI as authoritarian. This speaks to the concentration of power and control that has taken place in AI and ML. Cryptocurrency, as a technology, and Bitcoin[2] in particular, empowers people to own their digital assets, the same way people can own real estate property and intellectual property. The data and information that is needed to fuel and power AI and ML is, however, only owned by a select few firms. They are the only ones who have a meaningful amount of data to truly make an impact and train their algorithms. 

The ownership and sourcing of this data is a problem, one that I think crypto can provide a solution for. 

Where Does AI Derive Its Source Material?

The first of its two major problems is source material. AI is nothing without the database it draws on. Tencent, Alibaba, Megvii, Sensetime, Facebook, Apple: It doesn’t matter which giant corporation’s tech you’re talking about, they all rely on the input of users’ faces into a massive database in order to function.

This can lead to interesting dichotomies, such as in China. Sensetime and Megvii each provide facial recognition tech to the north and to the south, respectively. Unless people are using both firms’ technology, then each company will only have half of the possible dataset. Due to this limitation, AI becomes not only vertical in its intelligence, but also very regional, reinforcing the very divisions and borders that the internet and networks have been trying to break down. 

Who Holds the Power?

Let’s do a thought experiment. Say, one day, Google is able to get the database of every human

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