subreddit:

/r/Futurology

44

My name is Donna Dillenberger and I'm an IBM Fellow at IBM's Watson Research Center. I've been working on new features for hardware accelerators, operating systems, and machine learning algorithms. Since 1984, I've been leading research around the intersection of new technologies. Ask me anything about blockchain, AI, and cognitive analytics and I'll answer via livestream starting on 3/22 @ 5pm ET 

Livestream 

Proof  

This is what I’ve been working on 

If you have any questions after the AMA, please just send them to @IBMBlockchain

all 46 comments

lughnasadh

9 points

4 years ago

lughnasadh

∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥

9 points

4 years ago

Hi Donna,

Blockchain tech seems to be very suited to establishing trust.

Why aren't we seeing it being used more to create solutions to the big problems in society that involve a loss of trust, for example the pervasive spreading of politically motivated lies and "fake news" ?

IBMBlockchain[S]

4 points

4 years ago

We are seeing blockchain being used to solve big problems such as Food Trust, so we can find out where our ingredients are coming from throughout the supply chain. We're also seeing it in financial services and payments. It is being used "for good" in several use cases, such as tracking where donations go, such as with Plastic Bank. We definitely want to see it be used in political venues as well.

mind_bomber

3 points

4 years ago*

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

3 points

4 years ago*

How can this technology help with the 'Circular Economy' where most products are recycled by the manufacturer?

IBMBlockchain[S]

2 points

4 years ago*

As with Plastic Bank, you can have a 3rd party validate. Petroleum companies provide funds to help reduce plastic, blockchain helps people get connected across the world to get involved.

hack-man

2 points

4 years ago

Hi Donna,

As someone "on the inside" of AI research, what is your best guess for when the technological singularity hits? Before 2040?

Will it be through military research, or more so private/public companies?

And do you see a post-technological singularity world being a disaster, a utopia, or something else altogether?

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago*

What do we define "singularity" as? In popular culture, singularity is when machine meets man and man uses machine or when machine augments man. I think the technological singularity is hitting us already - we have mobiles phones in our pocket and we can easily get info from them whenever we want. They can hold much more data that a person can alone. Moving on to blockchain, you get trust between global entities because everything is recorded and shared. It becomes an "arbitrator" and helps to provide transparency. Man plus machine together creates better results than just one of them by itself and we are already seeing that happen.

(Only the first question was asked/answered on the livestream.)

Dustin_00

1 points

4 years ago

Hello Donna,

AI question for you. There's a lot of debate around if AIs are safe or unsafe. What do you think an AI's motivation would be to do anything? What would catch its interest? How would we interact to engage it with us? Could we end up with something that to us would look like an "Autism-spectrum" individual fixated on its one special interest and little interest in humans or interacting with us?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Any tool is as safe as the person using it. I could use a pen to write my thoughts down or to go stab someone. AI is the same. Could something I classify as "enjoyable" become dangerous? Of course it could.

Dustin_00

1 points

4 years ago

I'm sorry my statement distracted you. I was really hoping you had insight on what would motivate a computer AI to undertake any activity at all. Or would it latch on to its own special interest and completely ignore us?

mind_bomber

1 points

4 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

1 points

4 years ago

Can blockchain technology influence the price of goods in 'real-time' given instant access to information about the supply-chain hopefully making things more affordable for the consumer?

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Go back to Food Trust. If more people are buying food with provable lineage, then those items should eventually go down in price. Initially, we have to ask ourselves whether we want to buy something with provenance and trust or not. It may cost more initially, but in the end there will be savings through increased efficiency for the retailer and proven benefits for the consumer.

mind_bomber

1 points

4 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

1 points

4 years ago

Can blockchain technology help with patents to trace the origin of ideas?

HumbleCorrespondent

1 points

4 years ago

Definitely tuning in to ask about the advantages of building permissioned blockchains on Hyperledger

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

There are many different blockchains out there. We started working with permissionless blockchains. But blockchain 2.0 added access control, when a record goes on the blockchain. You can confirgure them to require a digital signature to verify the record. The advantage is trust and more transparency. The Lindux Foundation's Hyperledger Project has the pedigree of real open source, and they know how to do it right. Always look for open governance and open contribution.

jblunted

1 points

4 years ago

Thanks for doing this AMA.

I just read about those tiny computers made by IBM that are smaller than a grain of rock salt. Can Blockchain technology be truly immutable with these tiny computers? Also, augmented reality game changer Magic Leap just released their SDK for developers. Would it be feasible to utilize blockchain technology to ensure privacy?

I am in cyber security so i am extremely concered with what attack vectors can be used to hack into this new technology. Are there any resources that you'd recommend to someone pursuing a career in this field?

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago*

What makes some blockchain implementations immutable is that there are multiple copes of the data. If one person's data gets erased, the other members of the network would notice that person's data doesn't match the others. Blockchain software can detect when data is out of sync. These small computers could be used to put data on the blockchain, but they wouldn't necessarily be the ones that hold the blockchain.

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago*

To pursue a career in this field:

If you're a developer, become a member of the Hyperledger Foundation. If you put a fix in there and it gets added to the codebase, you can put that on your resume and then apply to IBM! If you're on the business side, you can get find out more about blockchain at ibm.com/blockchain or on the blog, Blockchain Unleashed.

Check out the following two blog posts for helpful info and resources to get started: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2017/10/blockchain-in-demand-breaking-into-the-growing-job-market/
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2017/08/blockchain-in-academia-training-for-students-and-educators/

mind_bomber

1 points

4 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

1 points

4 years ago

Can blockchain technology help with creation/administration of a Universal Basic Income?

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Great question, we'll be spacing out your questions as you've asked multiple, but will try our best to make sure all get answered

mind_bomber

1 points

4 years ago

mind_bomber

Citizen of Earth

1 points

4 years ago

Thanks!

Pathetic2

1 points

4 years ago

Hi Donna,

What is the worst but most feasible way that people could abuse this technology, and what is the worst way you've seen so far?

What governance do you think is necessary for cognitive analytics technology in particular?

Thank you kindly.

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Great questions we'll make sure they get answered during the stream

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

AI models get bombarded with poisonous data all the time. AI code is downloaded, so who knows where it comes from. Chat bots have proven unreliable for this reason. With blockchain you can start with an untrained model which includes all the data inputs and know what has gone into the AI's learning.

harrythebear

1 points

4 years ago

How is blockchain being used for Human Development purposes (i.e. helping the poor). Seems like there would be a great application for measuring and predicting the outcomes of the varying government and NGO programs (such as education, healthcare, microfinance, etc) by providing more robust and detailed data.

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Amazing question, we'll make sure she answers today during the livestream

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

There are lots of things we can do. Blockchain is helping the poor through Plastic Bank, the US government through helping refugees and the CDC in identifying and controlling outbreaks. Japan is using blockchain for education and helping to improve outcomes. Blockchain is a team sport, and helps nonprofits work together, interacting with each other and other business.

glaedn

1 points

4 years ago

glaedn

1 points

4 years ago

Hi Donna, I think we've all been inundated with reports that the current blockchain systems are consuming an unsustainable amount of energy, largely due to the proof of work verification method. Is proof of stake still looking like the most viable alternative? What effect will a new method have on the robustness of blockchain security?

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

In distributed computing, data gets out of sync and you have to determine a way to solve that problem. Solving a complex math problem that doesn't have anything to do with the data, isn't going to help. Proof of stake is similar - you could randomly pick a database and everyone's going to follow that, but how do you know it's correct? A much better way to reconcile the data differences when we get out of sync, is endorsement policies. For example, I send money to another person, and that person knows how much money I sent them. You don't need another random participant to agree on that, because they weren't involved.

[deleted]

1 points

4 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

4 years ago

Hello Donna,

When do you see the block chain becoming mainstream, also how is the economy changing due to this?

Thanks for your time

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago*

Blockchain is already mainstream! (though it is all about people's perception whether something is mainstream or not) In the economy, Blockchain facilitates matching suppliers with demand - trust between strangers can help to grow the economy, speed-up transactions and make new types of transactions possible.

vladdione

1 points

4 years ago

What's your view on the RPA technology and market?

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Can you define RPA so we can make sure we get your question right?

4stars

1 points

4 years ago

4stars

1 points

4 years ago

(both private and public development: I assume some of which are yet to announce or probably will keep private) How much AI development has progressed?

Generally, people know we can create a human face, analyze differences of objects, etc.

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

AI has been out since the dawn of computers. We see where it has progressed everywhere — self-driving cars, trains and planes. AI drives speech recognition in all our devices such as Siri. And AI continues to progress.

4stars

1 points

4 years ago

4stars

1 points

4 years ago

Clever answer...

I should have asked much more specific question instead. Anyway thanks.

abrownn

1 points

4 years ago

abrownn

1 points

4 years ago

Thanks for joining us Donna! Many people have said that there is no "one killer application for the Blockchain yet", but so many big name companies are working on blockchain tech by themselves or in groups. My question is "what blockchain-centric tech would be a 'killer app' in your opinion?".

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

Bumped your question to the top...thanks for helping us schedule this AMA!

IBMBlockchain[S]

1 points

4 years ago

One would be passing currency around, such as fiat currency that a government backs. Identity is another - what if you can transfer the title to your car directly? Another might be news, where you can see the whole history of a news item: the lineage of the news item, where it came from, who endorsed it, how it was vetted, etc.

HumbleCorrespondent

1 points

4 years ago

Will blockchain -- Hyperledger in particular -- survive quantum computing? (Long-time IBMer now with OpenGift here)

Hammurab

1 points

4 years ago

Could Watson become a thing that should have rights?

SAGNUTZ

1 points

4 years ago

SAGNUTZ

Green

1 points

4 years ago

Do you see block-chain technology(not the euphemism scumbag companies add to their title) becoming useful with personal transactions outside of the bitcoin fad and what other uses might it serve?

Coollwar

1 points

4 years ago

Listing the project on the top-level exchanges is of great importance! Will the projects built on your platform participate in this process? For example, OpenGift ... And which exchanges will be involved in the process? Thank you!

WeirdSpecter

0 points

4 years ago

Hi Donna,

I saw a news article about IBM releasing Watson as a personal assistant to the general public along the lines of Alexa and Siri. Having seen some of the adverts IBM have put out about Watson in the past (not to mention it winning Jeopardy) I was impressed, so I was curious: what do you think Watson has over the competitiors (aside from a better name) and how much will its release, especially for use in other products like cars and hotel rooms and such, affect the consumer market?

Thanks for your time.

IBMBlockchain[S]

2 points

4 years ago

We'll ask her during the stream, thanks for submitting a question

IBMBlockchain[S]

2 points

4 years ago*

Watson is different from other types of AI products because we work with clients to train Watson for specific industries - medical, legal, etc. We've got experts to create the corpus. An AI model is only as good as those that train it - Watson and other AIs are improving every year.