When Blockchain Meets Blade Runner
HWM Singapore|June 2019
When Blockchain Meets Blade Runner

Kazuaki Ishiguro, Chief Blockchain Architect, Connectome

Koh Wanzi

How is Connectome looking to change AI and the data sharing paradigm today?

At the moment, AI is heavily dependent on data, such that whoever has more data is going to have a more precise and capable model. Facebook and Google and Amazon provide free services that keep people coming back. But at the end of the day, the data they collect is used for marketing reasons in order to drive sales. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with this.

Unfortunately, one problem with this approach is that a startup that doesn’t have the same resources as these companies will not have any data sets to train its AI on, which means that it’ll also have more trouble attracting customers. On top of that, it’s very expensive to store all the data you need to train the AI, especially after factoring in the costs needed to protect that data. And even then, Facebook has already suffered some high-profile leaks.

Ultimately, we want to provide people with more choice while allowing them to keep the data sets with them. Companies like Google and Facebook have so much customer data on their hands right now, and we want to change that.

Where does blockchain technology factor into this vision?

Most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency. But at its core, blockchain is really about having the right to store your own data and being able to prove that the data is yours. Today, you store all your private data on Google’s or Facebook’s servers, which means that it can potentially be seen by employees at these companies. Take Amazon’s Alexa smart speakers for example. An employee could just copy a conversation, without encryption, to another worker and ask how to improve Alexa’s response based on what was said. In other words, when you put a smart speaker in your living room, someone could be privy to your entire conversation.

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June 2019