Is the Blockchain a Branch of AI


Title: Is the Blockchain a Branch of AI
Date: 3/28/18
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Duration: 1 Hour

Toufi Saliba
CEO at PrivacyShell and TodaCorp; Chair of the ACM Practitioner Board Conference Committee

Registration Link


“Collide” is an intransitive verb, not a transitive one. It doesn’t make sense to talk about “colliding” two disciplines.


Hello! I am an AI (deep learning) researcher and also blockchain enthusiast, really interested in the combination of those two areas. I have recently started developing smart contracts and dApps for ethereum blockchain.
Moreover, we are with my friends (4 of us) organizing meetups about blockchain here in Singapore, mostly about development and tech side of blockchain.
Are you going to present any practical examples with the code during your webinar?


Combining AI and Blockchain is powerful, but it magnifies the risk of delegated decision-making. Full decentralization means no single party can alter or override decisions made by “the network” and the “hard fork” mechanism for a majority in the network to over-ride a decision is cumbersome and much too slow.

Essentially if we take AI decision-making and put that on a blockchain, we just removed the “kill switch” on AI. I am not an AI alarmist, but if I agreed with Elon Musk on the risks of AI, I would be very weary of put AI on fully decentralized blockchain systems…


I like the idea of having a combined AI/blockchain research theme. Some question I have:

  • What is ACM doing to bring together AI and blockchain research?
  • Which particular fields is ACM trying to bring together since AI and blockchain are both very broad terms?
  • How do you see the trade-off you have to make in terms of scalability and decentralisation? Permissionless blockchains do not scale at the moment. There are several approaches trying to tackle this issue (e.g. sidechains, payment channels, DAG based etc.) but even with those, it is still very slow. Recent advances in AI are also due to the fact that computational power has increased a lot. It is hard to see why one would restrict their AI by using blockchain.
  • How can we decentralise AI that we preserve the privacy of users and also make sure we do not leave people behind? Even if we can manage to build decentralised AI, how can we ensure that users are profiting from its use? I think most of today’s AI advances especially by Google, Facebook et al. are primarily used to increase their ad-revenue which adds more money to their bank account. There is no incentive for these organisations to give wealth back to the producers of the data from which they sell their insights.

Would be happy to hear more about your thoughts.


Hi Jim Boy,
Not here to argue grammar, you win in that case… Kudos. :slight_smile:
I’m here to collide Ai Practitioners with Blockchainers. You can even tell me that Blockchain is not a word in the dictionary… This is intended to most of the people that understand it and hoping by colliding the 2 together we can have an outcome of increasing the security of autonomous AI. Before it’s too late.
So According to the dictionary the meaning of collide and its use:
: to come together with solid or direct impact The car collided with a tree. Two helicopters collided.

The choice of the word “collide” is on purpose and most people get it. But I must say, thanks for putting the time to write this comment.


Hello Ivan Kukanov,
Thanks for your question. Kudos to you and your friends, if any of you are ACM members, adamant computer scientists and would like to take on the initiative to your city, happy to help, please use contact us on the web page. Btw, we are not suggesting a workable solution here or code review, this is intended to focus on the “why” we are colliding people together in conferences and hoping they can work on those solutions early on.


Hello Jhsy,
VEry very very good point! In fact if you keep thinking from attack vector perspectives, even if it does have a “kill switch” it may not be anywhere your children have access to but the anonymous who is sitting behind unknown walls, or the next dictator of your enemy country, or any evil you can imagine from the history of humanity… Do you trust that or an open source autonomous decentralized governance system that can sustain attacks, defend itself and progresses slowly to do exactly what it is supposed to do? In any case, you bring in a good point and that is exactly why we get those conferences across cities to provide the opportunities for those discussions in the open.


You could just say “smash the two together” or “crash the two together” or “slam the two together” or “bring the two together”. Those expressions all use transitive verbs and have the meaning you intend. To say “collide the two together” doesn’t sound interesting or cute, it sounds as if you don’t know the English language, because “collide” is not a transitive verb. The car collided with a tree. The driver didn’t collide the car and the tree.

In fact, blockchain is already in the dictionary: .

I’m a mathematician/computer scientist myself. But I believe in using precise language and not deviating from established usage without a very good reason.

– Jim


Reply from Toufi Saliba:

Hello Dominik,
Thanks for your 4 questions and subquestions. I will be discussing them in more details during the webinar if you don’t mind. Let’s touch base afterwards, if I have missed anything, happy to get back to it. For now quick answers in same order.

  • ACM continues to lead in computer science in general, currently nothing in particular besides those conferences that I am aware of, happy to hear your suggestions
  • I guess the answer above makes this N/A
  • The trade-off can be huge, but it isn’t necessarily the current blockchains out there that we envision for the future. There has been tremendous amount of evolution in that space, touching on all layers of technology and communications etc. However, it’s important to note that autonomous decentralized governance is a security model that maybe necessary to some aspects but not all AI aspects. For example, the heart in most biological beings is very slow and does only one thing, yet all neurons and other parts depend on it…
  • I will discuss in the webinar how privacy can better be preserved using a public blockchain than a private one. You will then see that different layers are responsible to different things. We “homo sapiens” seem to be building one organism. Might be a statement to shoot at all day and all night, but it is still a possibility that one day we will realize it’s true. Whether we are right or wrong, it would be nice to increase the security of the pieces as they are being built.
    See you in couple days. Or (you’ll see me) I guess.


Reading all of these questions and replies I still have a couple of basic Questions about the intersection of AI and Blockchains

First What will be the impact of crime, corruption and politics as it will ultimately be part of any real implementation?

Second Are immutability, incorrigibility really desired attributes of AI systems?


I have difficulty accepting that Blockchain, a way of securely maintaining a distributed ledger, can fit into the realm of Artificial Intelligence. I do not see how Blockchain can think for itself.

For example, since there is such concern about the security of Blockchain (breaking the code and finding weaknesses) and upon Bitcoin that relies on Blockchain, if Blockchain has artificial intelligence and is able to survive on its own and defend itself (according to the talk), then shouldn’t Blockchain recognize this and be investigating the security issues and solutions?


Hi Toufi,

Thanks for the response and a great webinar! I agree there is a lot work remains to ensure AI and blockchain move in directions that benefit society by truly understanding the risks and finding ways to mitigate them.

I think the biggest challenge to decentralized autonomous governance systems is how to ensure they continuously reflect the changing desires of the governed. What is often forgotten is that a DAO should not exist independently of people.

Unless we humans want to become irrelevant, a DAO system needs to include people in its design. And when people are in a system, it can not be static and must be able to adopt and evolve and change. Maybe there is a way to harvest the power of evolution for DAOs.


Thanks Stevel.
Currently blockchains are referred to as distributed ledger, yet none of them are distributed ledgers. In fact they are replicated ledger.
Blockchain is an essential element of Bitcoin. there hasn’t been any successful attack on Bitcoin itself. All attacks have been on peripheral technologies that use the old banking system that are centralized. Such as exchanges, wallets etc. Which re-inforces the idea of autonomous decentralized governance as a reliable security model.


thanks for sharing this information. was wondering if you could explain it all in some more details if possible? thanks anyway!


I have been a bit pragmatic since I am using Gridcoin blockchain to get rewards for my computing cycles at Distributed Hardware Evolution Project.

For those interested in here is a good start point
Reliable Electronics through Artificial Evolution

All the best,


thanks for the links, there’s a lot to learn.