Advanced technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are disrupting the markets and transforming the way many segments operate.
Blockchain technology was initially created to provide the bitcoin platform with both anonymity and security in the world of finance. However, since the conception of bitcoin, many developers and researchers have developed independent ways to implement the technology.
Over the years, blockchain technology has presented a vast number of various applications which are being implemented by some of the top companies in the world. For example, blockchain for the supply chain, transactions, and financial services can help companies improve transparency, integrity, collaboration, and customer satisfaction across the globe.
Moreover, blockchain provides new solutions to the informal lending process (as access to bank loans is often difficult) helping small businesses, start-ups, and individuals gain access to secure sources of financing. At the same time, the explosion of AI and its tremendous impact on productivity has helped to make artificial intelligence one of the biggest and most enticing technologies in the world today.
The combination of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence is still a largely undiscovered area. Putting the two technologies together has the potential to use data in ways never before thought possible. Data is the key ingredient for the development and enhancement of AI algorithms; blockchain secures this data, and allows us to audit all intermediary steps.
Suggested applications of blockchain and AI:
-- Smart computing power
-- Creating diverse data sets
-- Data protection
-- Data monetization
The UK is one of the leading jurisdictions of blockchain development, with several British companies taking it upon themselves to solve universal problems with this versatile technology. For example, the Co-operative Food Group began building an alpha-stage blockchain platform with Provenance in the middle of 2017 with a view to tracking and tracing the sustainability of fish products, from the catch to the plate.
RBS and Barclays announced that they, with 40 other companies, had completed a blockchain technology trial using R3's distributed ledger technology aiming at reducing the time it typically takes to complete a property transaction, while global logistics company DHL partnered with IT services consultant Accenture to launch a blockchain-based serialization prototype to track pharmaceuticals across the supply chain in six regions.
UK is also one of Europe's leaders in the adoption of artificial intelligence. According to a recent survey by McKinsey on AI and the UK: "AI could potentially deliver a 22% boost to the UK economy by 2030".
There is already evidence on the ground of the transformational change, both within organizations and in the economy as a whole, that these technologies can bring. A concerted and forward-looking effort from businesses and the government can deliver the positive disruption for which the United Kingdom is relatively well-positioned.
A good example of AI use is UK online retailer Ocado, where customers' orders are picked and packed in highly automated warehouses using swarms of purpose-built robots, capable of collaborating to pick a typical 50-item order in minutes (www.ocado.co.uk). Another example is [AI] Analytics Intelligence (www.analyticsintelligence.com), a data analytics and software development firm applying AI to clients globally.
Although not yet at maturity level, blockchain technology and artificial intelligence are transforming the economy and many aspects of everyday life. They are two of the technologies that lead the way and guide the growth of the global digital economy.
The potential of both is enormous and can change the world in ways that cannot even be imagined yet. The future belongs to blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Geoffrey Weli-Wosu is the founder of Domineum.io, a blockchain solution provider, and co-founder of Voguepay.com, a payment processing company, headquartered in Level 39, Canary Wharf, London and making strides in African markets.