AI, IoT, and Blockchain: Unlimited possibilities of a dynamic combo

Raj Srinivasaraghavan, CTO-Blockedge Technologies | Friday, 01 July 2022, 14:15 IST

Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain, the three smartest and groundbreaking technologies in recent times, have been making their distinctive impacts across the sectors, each one by its own merits and innate capabilities. AI has proved immensely vital in many segments from content creation to driverless cars to business analytics, supplementing human intelligence, if not replacing it. With digitalization leading to a proliferation of devices, IoT has made the homes and offices smarter, by creating coherent ecosystems while blockchain, with its in-built security, decentralization, and immutability features, has been making a significant difference not just in financial dealings, but across supply chains and transactions.

But now, the focus is on converging these three technologies to unleash the greater potential and several pilots are already springing up in different areas to this effect. It is a natural and logical growth for these innovative technologies to be packed in a bouquet, which will create cascading impacts on security, interconnectivity, trust, and autonomy and finally revolutionize the way things are orchestrated. The three together can be one of the key pillars for industry 4.0.

Studies suggest that the AI market worth $360 million in 2016, will grow into a $31 billion industry by 2025. Similarly, IoT as a segment had $120 million in revenue in 2016 and has grown to be a $1.4 billion market already by 2021. The global blockchain market is projected to grow from $7.18 billion in 2022 to $ 163.83 billion by 2029. But the most important point is with these three working in combination, the market for each of them will grow manifold in the coming years

All three technologies have the ability to combine seamlessly well to make modern life better and smarter. Their inherent strengths make them natural companions. IoT, while creating a nervous system by connecting all devices can collect data from smart devices and AI can easily make automated decisions based on this data. And the blockchain will make these AI algorithms run, secure, and decentralized, and can create immutable smart ecosystems aided by IoT devices.

In other words, IoT will make processes more user-friendly through enhanced automation while AI will analyze the data from the IoT devices to optimize business decisions and blockchain will chip in with trust, transparency, and security through decentralized and shared ledgers. These capabilities make convergence a game-changing one in the digitalization era.

The gains of convergence are multiple, right from data management to trust. Data management becomes smoother, better, and more efficient. Blockchain embedded mechanisms ensure data privacy and security. Another big benefit is trust and transparency as authentication through blockchain increases trust while making identity management easier and faster. Similarly, blockchain integration will enable automated smart contracts that can validate data collected and record immutable results about them in ledgers.

Like how they play on each other’s strengths, they can also plug in the loopholes or address the limitations of the other technology in the combo. Blockchain can help AI resolve some challenges in data privacy, security, and transparency. Machines can think more transparently with the help of blockchain as this distributed ledger makes available the decisions made by AI at all nodes for analysis. Similarly, IoT finds it difficult to monitor and manage the data and activities, as there could be a substantial number of devices and millions of activities associated. Being centralized in nature, it is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and single-point failures. But blockchain can address these challenges, by merging solutions and decentralizing the IoT platform.

More importantly, the integration of blockchain into AI will be a big leap for the small companies and startups that will be able to access the vast pool of data. Currently, only the tech giants have access to a large volume of data processed from AI and small players are at a disadvantage.

The combination can take the current digitalization drive to the next level by making lots of business processes faster and smarter, thus introducing new scalable business models, effectively simplifying data management, and disrupting numerous modern industries.