Quick question re. the intersection of EA, AI, and crypto: 

Apart from the concept of an 'AI Oracle' (from Nick Bostrom), has anyone in EA written about a quite different kind of oracle:  oracle protocols (e.g. Chainlink) in the crypto industry? I'm interested in oracle protocols as possible tool for AI systems to get reliably 'aligned' -- not with human values, in this case, but with what's really going on out there in the real world, through highly reliable, cryptographically secure, consensus-based data inputs.

The concepts of 'definitive truth' and 'cryptographic truth' from Chainlink founder Sergey Nazarov seem potentially relevant to helping AI systems get reliable, hard-to-fake, high-security input data from real-world sources. A Lex Fridman podcast interview with Nazarov is here. More on this topic here  and here

As epistemically humble folks, the issue of reliable inputs to AI decision-making seems like something we might be concerned about -- especially given the very high incentives (financial, military, political, etc) for biasing AI decisions through feeding them false, partial, or misleading data.




Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

This is a helpful comment; thanks. 

I'm also somewhat skeptical about whether Chainlink & other oracle protocols can really maximize reliability of data through their economic incentive models, but at least they seem to be taking the game theory issues somewhat seriously. 

But then, I'm also very skeptical about the reliability of a lot of real-world data from institutions that also have incentives to misrepresent, overlook, or censor certain kinds of information. (with Google search results being a prime example)

I take your point about the difficulty of scaling any kind of data reliability checks that rely on a human judgment bottleneck, and the important role that AIs might play in helping with that.

Thanks for the suggestion about looking at data poisoning attacks!

I'm also very much interested in this topic though I've not done any formal research and haven't come accross any specific writing on the subject in the EA communities, but there are a handful of AI related projects in the crypto world that may be doing something like this, one of the most notable is Fetch.ai (which is more or less a blockchain with AI capabilities) which uses the chainlink oracle to obtain real-world economic data that is used by it's AI algorithm to effect AI-driven processes on their blockchain. More about this here.

Thanks for this suggestion about fetch.ai; I'd vaguely heard of them, but wasn't sure what they were up to. 

I know that SingularityNet (by Ben Goetzel) is building some kind of AI blockchainy thing on the Cardano protocol, but I haven't ever understood quite how it works.

Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities