March 28, 2024
Vitalik Buterin Cautions on AI Integration with Blockchains

Vitalik Buterin Cautions on AI Integration with Blockchains

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has issued a cautionary note to developers regarding the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) with blockchain technology. In a blog post on Jan. 30, Buterin highlighted his concerns about the potential risks and urged developers to “be careful” when deploying AI in high-value and high-risk contexts.

“It is important to be careful: if someone builds e.g. a prediction market or a stablecoin that uses an AI oracle, and it turns out that the oracle is attackable, that’s a huge amount of money that could disappear in an instant.”

Buterin acknowledged the potential benefits of using AI in certain areas, such as allowing AI to participate in micro-scale prediction markets and enhancing crypto wallet interfaces. However, he expressed reservations about using AI to enforce rules or governance in cryptosystems, citing the risk of adversarial attacks on open-source AI models.

The Ethereum co-founder emphasized the challenges associated with creating a decentralized AI using crypto and blockchain. While he acknowledged the promise of such applications in terms of functionality and improving AI safety, he also pointed out the potential pitfalls and the need to avoid centralization risks.

“The most challenging to get right are applications that attempt to use blockchains and cryptographic techniques to create a “singleton”: a single decentralized trusted AI that some application would rely on for some purpose.”

One example of a closed-source AI model mentioned by Buterin is Worldcoin, a crypto startup associated with OpenAI. Worldcoin employs trusted hardware and restricts direct access to the AI model to enhance security. Buterin concluded by highlighting the uncertainty and potential failure of underlying assumptions in the development of decentralized AI applications leveraging blockchain technology.

Image by DC Studio on Freepik

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