Robots Driven by Blockchain and Not AI Could Be More Trustworthy

8 Jul 2024

We might be poised to trust simple intelligences in blockchains like Bitcoin more than many big artificial intelligences.

It will not fully replace AI; it will only augment it. Replacing what must be replaced without turning back.

With this, it may be possible to build a blockchain to manage a bunch of robots. Manage them in a decentralized way using a majority of user nodes. Unlike AI today, where one individual could sit on the power of an ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence) all by themselves.

Really, we fear AI because all the control is in one hand. The nascent way to decentralize AI, is to control it using the blockchain.

In the future, we may indeed have some robots driven by blockchain intelligence, not artificial intelligence. Because a publicly verifiable blockchain is more trustworthy than a closed-off AI pre-trained behind closed doors.

We could start by putting the AI’s paywall payments along a blockchain like Bitcoin. Later, code changes and more.

Blockchain Intelligence explained

In the Bitcoin blockchain, if a transaction has not been approved by all Bitcoin nodes, it will not pass.

But what is a transaction if not a bunch of instructions approving a certain change in Bitcoin’s code?

Indeed, if Bitcoin was a robot, then the evolution of its code would be transactions. And they would only be added to its core in a blockchain if majority of node-running Bitcoiners had approved it.

Certainly, one might wonder if Bitcoin is not too simplistic to manage a behemoth of code like that behind the phenomenon that is ChatGPT.

And yes. Not ChatGPT if we are to manage the AI’s codebase as a collective.

Something simpler, but still able to do a great job.

Bitcoin does a great job, but high school maths can explain a lot of its mathematical bells and whistles.

The answer is carefully crafted autonomous systems that are not AI.

Not all autonomous systems are AI

In the novel Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, a medical robot awakes the protagonist - Ryland Grace - from his medically induced coma, in a spaceship 12 light years from Earth, and the story begins.

What is interesting is that even though this robot is so well-designed to be capable of taking care of a human being’s physical and communication needs, it is fully autonomous, not artificially intelligent.

Here is an opening conversation with the robot after it wakes him up and tries to evaluate if his math skills are still intact;

What’s the cube root of eight?” the computer asks.

“Where am I?” I say again. This time, it’s easier.

“Incorrect. What’s the cube root of eight?”

I take a deep breath and speak slowly. “Two times e to the two-i-pi.”

“Incorrect. What’s the cube root of eight?”

But I wasn’t incorrect. I just wanted to see how smart the computer was.

Answer: not very.

“Two,” I say.


Two pages later, we get a feel of how this med bot works. Its job is simple:

  1. Keep the patient fed, and keep them peeing and defecating healthily through the three tubes going into the respective holes.
  2. Keep the patient clean and shaved.
  3. If the patient wakes up, do a simple cognitive exam. If they fail the exam, sedate them back to sleep.
  4. Repeat.

Granted, its robotic arms must have needed a truck load of code to navigate around a human body with precision, lifting it like a real doctor (with some serious muscle) to turn it around on the medical bed, clean the body, the sheets, clean the tubes, insert them back, and so on.

But that is the thing. It is long and complex. But it is not … drum roll .. artificial intelligence in the sense of something like ChatGPT.

Blockchain automation works for us; AI works for big corps

One of the things I like about robots vs. disembodied chatbots is the fact that they occupy space and have weight. Give a chatbot a body, and it will feel 2x more interactive to a human than a bot on their smartphone screen.

In the blockchain world, transactions come first, so a chatbot that broadcasts to a user their incoming transaction is pretty more interesting than a ping on one’s screen. Like if I went to a hotel and the robotic receptionist cared to inform me of my private incoming transactions, the way receptionists of old warned people of their incoming phone calls, I think I would like that.

To step it up a notch, imagine you need to buy groceries, and you automate them with the robotic receptionist, who automates them with the grocery store receptionist. If the bots have decentralized code for their physical bodies, this will move us a step closer to having an affordable personal assistant operating off-cloud where they could not be spied on for the benefit of big data corps.

I have nothing against centralized, big-data AIs. These have their place wherever solid productivity gains are required on millions of dollars of capital. But these AIs do little for individual creativity, the ballpark of the small-time players in the world economy. Meanwhile, these creative players freely share their insightful data with these big corps. Who make even more millions and billions.

The last straw shall be if we freely give them as well interaction data from our robotic assistants. That will be like creating a derivative of our personalized interaction value, and still giving it away freely so that big corps can make more billions while they return peanuts (AI prompts) that simply channel us to their stores once again.

Big data AI has taken our data freely. It shouldn’t take our interactions as well which we outsource to our robots. That will be the end of individual self-sovereignty, no matter how much we might wish to fight it.

However, if the robots are owned by us because their code is our blockchain code (albeit pseudonymized so that the beneficiaries of code transactions are not known), then this is precisely how blockchain robotics will fight back to make our productivity ours.

Self-driving (robotic) cars might need this

One real example that might need the majority voting of blockchain intelligence instead of the brute force intelligence-hacking that is artificial intelligence is self-driving car technology.

Elon Musk has tried to bring FSD (Full Self Driving) to his Tesla cars but in vain. He keeps promising, and the goalpost keeps receding.

Perhaps what is needed is some way to treat self-driving like a blockchain problem.

Currently, self-driving cars operate as individual systems that do not synchronize their data unless this data goes to a central server. But if data synchronization is added for each car, then localized intelligences could be built to create a simple but effective hive mind of a bunch of cars.

Car accidents could also be drastically mitigated if all cars within some vicinity are blockchain synchronized say over a 1 minute window. Auto-braking technology in one car trying to avoid an accident with another is all good. If you put it into the two cars in sync, now on a collision course, that is a way better auto-braking idea.

Redefining online games

Imagine playing pong against an AI opponent - Yeah. Been there.

Imagine playing pong against another human player on an online platform managed by a central server - the usual. Been there as well.

Now imagine playing pong against another human player across 2 blockchain nodes, with no central server but a sync of the two games across the two gaming machines - this is the future I hope to create on the bitcoin blockchain, with singular satoshis and zero-fee transactions.

Check out my prototype HTML game here.

Hoping to build a true decentralized pong for the Bitcoin blockchain. Maybe one day, a decentralized MMOG (massively multiplayer online game).

Space Robotics

Would you prefer to have robots mining on the Moon and Mars courtesy of one or two big corporations on Earth as owned by one individual or one country, or by the majority of shareholders pseudonymously spread out all over the Earth, who directly control via blockchain where each person’s coded instructions can be seen, debated, cheered or reversed (with an update/fork) when need arises?

To me, blockchain intelligence is much safer than centralized artificial intelligence. Hence, more trustworthy.

Bitcoin may be crashing, but my money is still largely on Bitcoin, not ChatGPT or Nvidia.

Trustworthy decentralized robotics is the future of not just our planetary economy, but even the way we interact as a species. It will take time to build these autonomous robots on the blockchain, but each one we build shall be tremendously treasured. Because it will be ours, interacting with us, for us, by us. The ‘cloud’ has hung above our heads enough already, while giving back little rain. Let’s not add to it, shall we.