The biggest advances in technology today are driven by blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning in particular. Machine learning algorithms, fed with data, are replacing source code as the most valuable asset of technology companies and, by extension, today’s economy. Global giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google have honed tools for aggregating vast pools of data, allowing their researchers to build more effective and powerful AI systems. Google Duplex passed the Turing Test in May 2018 effectively crossing the line to being indistinguishable from a human.
The realities which emerge from this are complex and challenges loom as individuals and governments become increasingly alarmed by the depth and volume of personal and private data being collected. Legislation such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) disrupts corporate tracking and collection systems, but laws and policies only obstruct and fail to address the core issue: the structure of data ownership today is fundamentally flawed.
Mycroft AI has built the world’s first privacy-led open source voice assistant. More than 13,000 Mycroftpowered devices are online globally. Voice technology is the nexus of artificial intelligence and human interaction, the gateway to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the source of massive amounts of data. In our collaboration with Mozilla, we created an approach to ML that does not compromise individual privacy. As we designed this system, a new structure of data ownership emerged which serves the user while allowing for research and AI evelopment to continue at an accelerated pace.
Blockchain technology, introduced by Bitcoin, provides an immutable, publicly auditable record of activity and provable ownership. Blockchains and public-key cryptography enable visible – yet completely secure and private – data sharing. Combining these with innovative mechanisms to incentivize collaborative software development and dataset cultivation, we’ve solved the tructural problem of today’s nascent data economy.
Individuals regain ownership and full control of their data, researchers gain sources for the exact kind of data they need, and organizations of all types and sizes gain access to ever-growing datasets. Designed to incentivize and serve the interests of all participants voluntarily and transparently, the Mykrosystem will usher in the next stage of human/machine evolution.