Blockchain can be the “bouncer” that generative AI needs, guarding IP, mitigating cyber and regulatory risks, and opening new revenue streams.
All those companies racing to adopt generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology platforms such as ChatGPT and DALL-E to drive innovation—you know, basically every company today—are also still chasing one fundamental question: How do you translate AI into real business results?
Sure, generative AI has been great at generating buzz, and there’s clearly significant potential. But unlocking that potential while also navigating AI’s equally significant risks are now the pressing concerns for business leaders as AI strategy has graduated from the innovation lab to the C-suite.
Make no mistake, though, executives seem to be universally optimistic that AI will drive innovation for their businesses, as we detail in a new report, “2023 KPMG Generative AI Survey,” which captures feedback from 300 executives across a wide range of industries. Among the survey’s key insights:
of the executives see generative AI as the most impactful emerging technology they will use
believe generative AI will increase workforce productivity
plan to implement their first generative AI solution within two years
believe generative AI will help their business gain a competitive advantage.
Even so, it’s hard to ignore the gigantic legal elephant in the room. Because AI learns by scraping all available data—including yours and, potentially, that of your competitors—how can you protect your intellectual property (IP) and avoid the unwitting infringement of IP that others own?
That answer is still unknown, which is why 92 percent of leaders we surveyed think generative AI implementation is a moderate- to high-risk endeavor.
However, one solution may be emerging—ironically enough, from another widely hyped, often misunderstood technology. Allow us to reintroduce you to blockchain.
Has blockchain found its killer app?
Blockchain—a decentralized, distributed technology that’s primarily been used to develop and manage cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs)—is being seen increasingly as the AI “bouncer” the business world needs now.
By harnessing blockchain’s immutable and transparent nature, companies can seamlessly integrate valuable IP guardrails into generative AI chatbot training, not only shielding it from misuse but also opening new revenue channels, as we outline in another new KPMG report, “Blockchain and generative AI: A perfect pairing?”
Here are some of the key benefits of leveraging blockchain to protect against AI misuse, detailed further in our new report:
In many ways, blockchain is generative AI’s ideal technology complement—the grounding rod for AI’s lightning. But, much like AI itself, blockchain is not some silver bullet that, on its own, will unleash AI innovations. The “tech” certainly matters, sure, but so too do the “people” and “process” components.
The work to do ahead is significant. Organizations must adopt and enforce a responsible AI framework—an approach to designing, building, and deploying AI systems in a safe, trustworthy, and ethical manner that will need to include all parts of that people-process-technology equation. That means, for example, ensuring data integrity, statistical validity, and the accuracy of the predicative models—three top concerns cited by executives in our recent “2023 KPMG US AI Risk Survey Report .”
And there’s still much work to be done on that front, as we note in the report, with some apparent gaps in expectations. In one example, somewhat surprisingly, 82 percent of respondents in our AI risk survey said their company had a clear definition of AI and full understanding of their predictive models—except that many of the companies surveyed are also using “blackbox” solutions developed by third parties that simply don’t offer that optimistic level of transparency.
On a related, and also conflicting, note: 19 percent of the respondents said their companies have the expertise they need today to manage many AI risk management tasks.
To successfully manage AI risk, companies must consider their entire AI ecosystem and the complete lifecycles of everything within it—and then design an operating model and processes that reflect leading governance practices for establishing a responsible AI framework.
Blockchain and generative AI: A perfect pairing?
Blockchain’s ability to decentralize identity and verification could prove invaluable as artificial intelligence carves out a bigger role in content generation.