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"Because something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?" --Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man
This book is a wake-up call to all game changers, alerting them to the impending collision of the two largest foundational technologies for the coming decades: artificial intelligence and blockchain. AI has had a long history with brief interludes of hype and excitement, seeking to do nothing short of expropriating and externalizing the cognitive skills locked away in our skulls. Blockchain is the newer technology that is motivated largely by the social unrest and backlash from authoritarianism, control, and big brother. AI is seeking to displace individuals while blockchain is seeking to displace a controlling team of individuals. AI is disrupting and will continue to disrupt society in many ways, leading to job loss and rendering irrelevant many human cognitive skills. Blockchain too is challenging and will continue to challenge the position of trust of central authorities, whether in the government or in big business.
However, both these technologies have enormous potential to confer positive changes in the commercial world as well as for society as a whole. AI, rightly engineered and deployed, has the potential to become humanity's best and most indefatigable servant, freeing up humans from wage slavery. Blockchain, responsibly governed and deployed, has the potential to truly democratize society in spirit and not just in name, by eliminating friction in the world's transactions and eliminating usurious middlemen, and by facilitating a more equitably distributed internet of value. The most efficient and effective ways for this to happen is through a partnership between these two powerful technologies, where blockchain delivers trusted and immutable information for AI, and AI delivers cognition and automation to business processes.
None of this will happen automatically, since the law of social entropy is as inexorable as the law of physical entropy, leading to chaos by default. It is up to the game changers to understand, tame, engineer, and deploy these two technologies as an integrated whole for both commercial value and for social benefit.