There is a global debate on whether IT systems and other complicated networks, including AI systems, should use a centralized or decentralized system structure. Both carry different pros and cons regarding functionality, user control, security, and capability, but which is best for businesses now and in the future? What do the differences between the two mean to people in the real world? Is one methodology more sustainable than the other? Which structure does blockchain operate under? Where can we look at some examples of the two for a simple comparison?
As you will see, decentralization offers myriad improvements in security, sustainability, and scalability (among others) in comparison to centralized system software. Businesses, institutions, and governments that adopt a decentralized approach to critical infrastructure and defense spending have a marked advantage over those still using centralized legacy systems.
The two can produce similar results on the surface, but the underlying structure could not be more different.
Centralized Network: In a centralized network, every user is connected to a central server that stores and processes network data and various user information. In centralized computing, most functions are obtained and carried out from a remote centralized location, like a server center or building control room. In the beginning, all communications systems were centralized in nature. It was easier to manage and control the various parts of a system when everything was under one roof or in a single consolidated place where a manager could easily oversee all of the system operations.
On the other hand, a decentralized network uses P2P (Peer to Peer) user groups and separated nodes and/or servers that store information and data of the particular user group, application, etc.
Decentralized Computing: a growing trend in modern business and infrastructure, decentralized computing allocates hardware and software resources to each node, computer, workstation, server, or office location. This contrasts with a centralized network where all system resources pass through a single point. They use a P2P model (peer-to-peer), which allows various nodes or "peers" to handle and crunch system resources and data without using a central operating system. It offers added security and provides developers with substantial cost savings as there is no need to create a centralized system control point.
A decentralized computer system has numerous advantages over a traditional centralized one for most businesses in the modern age.
Decentralized Artificial Intelligence (DAI) is a form of AI (artificial intelligence) that uses Blockchain technology to process and store data running on a network. A consensus-based decision-making process gets employed among multiple nodes instead of a single central decision-making authority in DAI systems. The approach makes AI more transparent, secure, and trustworthy than traditional AI systems, as the outcomes must be based on a consensus of all the nodes throughout an entire system and not just a decision coming from a single entity.
AI has made many headlines recently, and its use has exploded in popularity across all industry verticals and even day-to-day life. The future of AI is decentralized and autonomous, only time will tell how far AI embeds itself into our daily life, but it will likely be under the surface just about everywhere over the next few years and decades.
Decentralized AI, or blockchain-based AI projects, benefit from the traceability and openness of their shared ledger structure. This is because all of the data on a blockchain system must be verified by every other block on the chain (node in the system). Furthermore, decentralized structures can allow for faster innovation to take place.
A decentralized AI using blockchain technology is far more transparent than a centralized closed system. Only authorized users can access network controls and data sets on a blockchain network, preventing unauthorized or bad actors, like hackers, from seeing anything. This structure makes detecting and preventing attacks from malicious actors or programs like malware far easier. Once a single point or node on the blockchain recognizes any anomaly, it is quickly quarantined and removed from the network by the other nodes in the system.
This offers a significant improvement to security compared to a centralized system structure where a single point of attack is a singular target to access an entire network. For large systems like banks, or energy utilities, this is a significant risk that allows cyber-terrorists and hackers a more accessible option to corrupt a system, steal information, or shut it down entirely. In a world more interconnected than ever, proper cyber-security protocols are necessary to prevent major disruptions in daily life, industry, and economics.
Artificial intelligence, particularly AI running on blockchain, can potentially transform many industries. The world will change by leveraging blockchain with enhanced machine learning to create an autonomous, self-learning, self-healing, decentralized system that can take action and make decisions based on massive amounts of data without human interaction.
When we consider the amount of data the world produces, particularly through the Internet of Things (IoT) and billions of connected devices, the magnitude of data systems need to process is ever-increasing. No human mind can take this data, analyze it in real time, and make a decision based on it. The brain is an incredible piece of evolution, but DAI does what it cannot.
Here is an example where we are already seeing DAI applied today.
In the past, wastewater facilities could only optimize their flows and water consumption based on the time of day. The idea was simple, "more people use the shower between 5 am and 7 am, so the system needs more water at that time". But this led to a wasteful time-based water utility management system that was not very efficient at all. What happens during the holidays when people don't get up early for work? Or, what about during the pandemic when offices were closed for weeks, and people could work from home? A time-based approach to water management was no longer viable.
AI and machine learning, on the other hand, can analyze all of the data sets a wastewater facility produces, and there are many of them. Sensors around a system provide data to the AI, which uses machine learning to understand how to optimize system consumption. The blockchain verifies the data as accurate and uncorrupted, so managers know the AI's actions are correct.
This lowers the operational costs to the wastewater facility as the system only uses the precise amount of water it needs. There is no excess and little waste, which reduces energy costs and overall operational expenses. Extrapolate this out over time, and what we have is a better functioning and lower cost water facility system, which helps the utility save money and lower their carbon emissions while at the same time passing along lower water prices to their customers. It is a win-win scenario.
(Take a look at the IoE Eden Informed WasteWater Infrastructure White Paper)
There are a lot of different benefits that come with establishing a decentralized IT structure over a centralized one. The right decentralized AI using blockchain provides end-users and product owners with many beneficial enhancements.
Ioe Corp has developed the Eden system, a decentralized, autonomous, portable, secure, virtual infrastructure for managing clustered workloads over decentralized pods (depos) and services facilitating declarative configuration and automation. It offers some clear benefits to all customers who install it:
Other benefits come with using the Eden system, and partnering with IoE is the way forward for your organization's digital transformation.
Utilizing advanced decentralized AI for your business or institution requires high technical expertise in the relatively new field of Artificial Intelligence. Most places, like a wastewater facilities, don't have a resident AI expert or team of AI specialist IT managers. This means working with a qualified technology partner is necessary to get the most out of decentralized AI at a fraction of the cost it would take to train staff and build an AI from the ground up.
Eden, the first of its kind, is now open for partnership applications. Please fill out the short Eden application form, and an IoE Corp Partner Concierge will reach out shortly to learn more about your needs and where AI can enhance your day-to-day operations, IoT systems, and more.