The three leading enterprise technologies currently are without doubt Blockchain, IoT, and AI — and the key factor behind them is data; people even go so far to claim that “data is the new oil.” Innovative technologies enable the collection, sharing, analysis of data, and automation of decisions based on them in ways that have not been possible before.
Data Value Chain
Out of these three technologies, blockchain technology is what assembles the pieces, and there is an entire ecosystem of data-driven blockchain projects emerging. This decentralized ecosystem is set to help incentivize people to contribute data, technical resources, and effort:
- 1st generation projects have been focussing on creating the data infrastructure to connect and integrate data.
- 2nd generation projects have been working on building data marketplaces.
- 3rd generation projects have been working on the fine-tuning and computing resources for AI training.
A recent report showed that the amount of compute used in the largest AI training runs has been increasing exponentially with a 3.5 month-doubling time, meaning we have seen a 300.000x increase since 2012.
The immediate consequences of this are:
- Higher costs, as used compute is increasing faster than supply
- Longer lead times for new solution, as model training takes longer
- Increased market entry barriers based on access to funding & resources
These consequences can prove to be terrible for smaller firms and researchers, limiting their capacity to create competitive models without significant funding. And even with funding, they might be blacklisted from resources if they are considered to be competition by the providers.
But big companies will feel the expenses as well considering both the growth rate of resources and the growth rate of their AI efforts are being multiplied.
The beauty of blockchain ecosystems is that they allow tapping into otherwise unused resources, trade resources that would not have been tradable, and enable people to participate in a market that otherwise could not attend. From an economic perspective, it improves the leverage on existing resources.
Where 1st & 2nd generation data blockchain solutions utilized this to lower the barrier for access to annotated quality data, 3rd generation is trying to close the gap that would have prevented the proverbial chain from snapping, as it is only as strong as its weakest link.
Together, the solutions in this blockchain data ecosystem create new opportunities, and they lower cost. Especially the second is vital as it lowers the entry barriers for innovation, allowing more people to contribute and therefore potentially accelerate our progress as a society.
However, access to data and high costs create an entry barrier, which would limit the examination of new solutions to incumbents & other big players. The blockchain data ecosystem changes and increases our chances of finding the right solutions in time.