Each technology we use offers some type of benefit. However, advantages rapidly increase by integrating numerous technologies.  While Superman can save the day, there is no chance for evil to win when he joins the Justice League.

In this case, the blockchain, which is the decentralized ledger behind cryptocurrency and smart contracts, is the superhero. It can seemingly accomplish impossible by providing solutions to long-standing security and efficiency issues. Yet, its powers can be strengthened by combining it with other technologies and tools, such as artificial intelligence and bots.

Here’s what integrating these technologies can mean for industries, companies, and cities.

A Retail Powerhouse Platform

Even when a technology offers solutions that previous tools did not, it still may not be able to address every issue. However, when combined with other technologies, the synergies tend to cover more of these problem areas. For example, OSA DC is an AI-driven blockchain that helps by collecting real-time data from multiple channels, including retail, manufacturing, and consumer, to provide insights for better decision-making. The machine learning-enabled system takes all this data to quickly uncover patterns. However, it goes beyond this benefit with other services.

Consumers can receive more transparent product information so they know exactly what they are buying and more about its origins. Smart contracts keep retailers honest about what they are doing, which builds trust and holds everyone to a higher standard. Additionally, the AI mechanism collects consumer feedback that retailers can immediately incorporate into their strategy.

Service, Marketing, and Customer Engagement

Then, certain combinations of technology provide a more universal benefit like when you combine AI, chatbots, and blockchain. And, more businesses and consumers are becoming accustomed to the idea of interacting with a chatbot. According to Chatbots Magazine, “Chatbots that operate in various immediate message exchange systems is a growing tendency, which doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down in the nearest future. A Facebook IQ research presents the following data: 67% of pollees expect to communicate with vendors and service providers via chat more often in the future. The clients and the business on the Facebook Messenger platform reportedly exchange over a billion messages a month.”

As these chatbots become increasingly more knowledgeable through being put through the paces of assisting with customer service requests and marketing interactions, they will be able to do more and become more seamless in their communication capabilities. For example, the current natural language processing is still rudimentary, but the future shows the promise of more sophisticated conversations. Chatbots will be able to handle complex requests from prospects and customers. That means more satisfied customers. They get answers to their questions or concerns on their terms rather than between set hours.

Smart Cities: IoT, Blockchain, and AI

With more companies looking to undertake digital transformations, cities have also started considering what this same process might mean for key issues related to infrastructure, crime and security, energy consumption, and social issues. As The Hill explained, “Smart cities can reduce resource consumption, using IoT devices to optimize the use of electricity and water; reduce traffic congestion and air pollution through smart coordination of traffic lights, parking availability, and public transportation; and harness the power of big data and ubiquitous IoT devices to enhance the efficiency and livability of the urban environment.” Adding artificial intelligence to smart city development has allowed for the implementation of distributed computing for real-time data analysis and immediate actions.

A new group is working toward getting 100 cities to implement the same smart city standards and connect with each other for further benefits.  Coin Telegraph offered four case studies on how blockchain, AI, and connected devices are helping develop the cities of the future. For example, “Dubai is considered one of the most digitally progressive cities in the world. With unmanned trains, automated sensors, flying taxis, solar panels, and Wi-Fi benches, perhaps it has everything that an avid futurist needs. The authorities of the Emirates are not stopping at what has already been reached and are actively implementing the most innovative ideas in order to turn the city into the first blockchain-based smart megapolis by 2020.” This is just one example of what can change thanks to the blockchain, AI, and IoT

Addressing Blockchain and AI Limitations

Although the blockchain can do some amazing things, there are still limitations to this relatively new technology. A Medium article on these limitations listed some of the blockchain’s limitations. These included significant energy consumption during the mining process, scalability problems, and some security vulnerabilities. Other problems include privacy, efficiency, hardware, and a lack of talent that understands the real power of this technology. Enter AI. Integrating machine learning to the blockchain can efficiently power the blockchain in a cost-effective way. Plus, it adds virtual talent to improve on what this technology can do.

Also, blockchain can help AI progress. As the article stated, the blockchain can help AI explain itself. “The AI black-box suffers from an explainability problem. Having a clear audit trail can not only improve the trustworthiness of the data as well as of the models but also provide a clear route to trace back the machine decision process.” Additionally, the blockchain has already proven it can add efficiency and speed to transactions. Therefore, it can do the same for AI, propelling it to learn at a faster rate. The blockchain’s model offers a good benchmark for organizing information in a more efficient way.

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.