If I was to try to define the biggest problems faced by the tech world right now, and by extension the social world since they are increasingly hard to separate, I would end up with two main themes: trust and fairness.
Neither of these issues is new, but the need to address them has never been more important, while technology, as evidenced by artificial intelligence, could quite quickly outpace us. We need to be aware of this, we are at a point where the technological choices we make can either allow us to solve the problems of trust and fairness or lead us into a dead end.
The reason I bring up the issue of trust and fairness about blockchain and AI is that both technologies have more potential than any other to help us create a more just, equitable and open digital world. But only if they are used well, which is not a given as recently demonstrated by the Future of Life Institute's open letter calling for a 6 month halt to AI development or financial scandals like FTX.
There is no fatality. Technology is neither good nor bad. Its impact depends on how we, as individuals, companies, societies and states, choose to use it. Well used the positive potential of blockchain and AI far outweighs their negative potential.
The interesting thing about AI and blockchain is that their positive impact depends on each other. AI can help us optimize everything from traffic conditions to medical procedures, automating processes that used to take humans a long time. From this point of view, AI can help make the world a fairer and more open place by giving people access to knowledge, resources and capabilities that were previously unattainable.
But AI can also become a formidable control tool, especially if it is mastered by large tech companies rushing to "optimize" the experiences of users who will spend ever more time on the platforms.
Used in this way, AI could set us on a path where its potential dangers may soon outweigh its benefits with a less egalitarian and less diverse world with AI that treats all of society solely from a data perspective.
The experiences offered by AI are optimized for a person in a given context, not in its deep diversity. AI is undeniably deficient in uncertainty, emotion and empathy, which are however consubstantial to human life.
And this is where blockchain comes in. Even if the web3 covers several ideas today, it mainly carries the idea of a decentralization of power in the hands of individuals who can connect directly to each other without going through the big technological companies.
The advantage of blockchain is that it allows us to restore trust in a world where it will be more and more difficult with disinformation to know what is true or false. Trust is an essential element for individuals and societies. Without trust, there is no commonality possible. Blockchain can help solve this problem with a balance between the two technologies.
AI can offer everyone the ability to easily create code and applications. Blockchain, in turn, can provide the space for creativity, innovation and openness to ensure that AI does not remain solely in the hands of those who would use it for limited and selfish purposes.
By making the Web3 space more accessible to all through the power of AI, we can begin to create a pathway in which these new technologies can serve the greatest number of people, creating a more accessible and diverse world built on trust and connection. It may be a bold vision, but it's one I truly believe we can and must achieve.