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In a recent blog post, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, warned developers about integrating artificial intelligence (AI) with blockchain technology. As the intersection of these two innovative fields continues to gather momentum, Buterin emphasized the critical need for caution, highlighting the potential risks associated with its fusion with blockchain technology.
Buterin opined that while AI holds immense potential, particularly in mechanisms like prediction markets at a micro-scale unfeasible for humans, developers must exercise prudence. Furthermore, he suggested the applications of AI in crypto wallet interfaces, enhancing user understanding, detecting scams, and ensuring secure signatures.
Risks And Challenges Of AI-Blockchain Fusion
Buterin also expressed reservations about the inherent risks, particularly in scenarios where AI is responsible for enforcing the rules or governance of cryptosystems. He added that open-source AI models are easily susceptible to hacks, emphasizing the importance of deploying measures against malicious exploitation.
Buterin underscored the trade-offs in transparency and security between open-source and closed-source AI models. While closed-source models offer security, they lack transparency, raising concerns about potential biases or vulnerabilities.
Notably, he cited the example of Worldcoin, an AI-related crypto startup utilizing closed-source AI protected by trusted hardware mechanisms. Furthermore, Buterin highlighted the challenges of creating a decentralized AI leveraging blockchain technology.
He outlined the concept of a “singleton” – a single decentralized trusted AI that applications could rely on for specific purposes. While acknowledging the promise of such applications in enhancing functionality and improving AI safety, Buterin cautioned against the underlying assumptions’ potential failure, stressing the need for rigorous scrutiny and risk assessment.
China’s Tech Titan Shifts Tides Towards AI
Like its Silicon Valley counterparts, Tencent, China’s premier tech conglomerate, has announced its pivotal shift towards artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives. The decision follows a tumultuous period for the company’s gaming sector, traditionally a cornerstone of its revenue stream.
According to reports, the Chinese gaming sector underwent a substantial decline from its peak in 2018, with deals plummeting from $16.9 billion to $158 million by 2023. This downturn has directly impacted Tencent, which relies on gaming for nearly one-third of its profits.
Notably, Tencent’s flagship games, such as PUBG: Battlegrounds and Honor of Kings, have faced intensified competition, leading to a marked decline in gaming revenues.
Pivot Towards Artificial Intelligence
At the company’s latest annual corporate event, Tencent CEO Pony Ma analyzed the company’s challenges in the gaming sector. Ma, acknowledging gaming as the company’s “flagship business,” admitted that the company struggles to keep up with the progress of its competitors.
Nevertheless, Tencent believes it can identify and explore profitable opportunities in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence. Ma believes focusing on AI technologies can rejuvenate the company’s trajectory and increase profits.
The Tencent CEO is confident the company can become among the leading AI firms in China within a short period.
Central to Tencent’s AI ambitions is Hunyuan, a robust language model that can rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Launched for enterprise use in September 2023, Hunyuan has become one of China’s most sought-after AI models alongside Alibaba’s Tongyi Qianwen and Baidu’s Ernie Bot.
Tencent’s strategic investment in Hunyuan underscores its commitment to establishing a formidable presence in the global AI landscape. However, Tencent’s ambitions in the AI realm face tough challenges. OpenAI’s worldwide dominance and Nvidia’s leading position as the prominent hardware provider present formidable obstacles to Tencent’s ambitions.
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