Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI)

The convergence of blockchain and AI brings new value to business

Defining blockchain and AI

Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that provides an immediate, shared and transparent exchange of encrypted data simultaneously to multiple parties as they initiate and complete transactions. A blockchain network can track orders, payments, accounts, production, and much more. Because permissioned members share a single view of the truth, they gain confidence and trust in their transactions with other businesses, as well as new efficiencies and opportunities. 
What is blockchain? 

Artificial intelligence leverages computers, data and sometimes machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind. It also encompasses the sub-fields of machine learning and deep learning, which use AI algorithms trained on data to make predictions or classifications, and get smarter over time. The benefits of AI include automation of repetitive tasks, improved decision making and a better customer experience. 
What is AI? 

Combined values of blockchain and AI

Blockchain’s digital record offers insight into the framework behind AI and the provenance of the data it is using, addressing the challenge of explainable AI. This helps improve trust in data integrity and, by extension, in the recommendations that AI provides. Using blockchain to store and distribute AI models provides an audit trail, and pairing blockchain and AI can enhance data security. 

AI can rapidly and comprehensively read, understand and correlate data at incredible speed, bringing a new level of intelligence to blockchain-based business networks. By providing access to large volumes of data from within and outside of the organization, blockchain helps AI scale to provide more actionable insights, manage data usage and model sharing, and create a trustworthy and transparent data economy.

AI, automation and blockchain can bring new value to business processes that span multiple parties — removing friction, adding, speed and increasing efficiency. For example, AI models embedded in smart contracts executed on a blockchain can recommend expired products to recall, execute transactions — such as re-orders, payments, or stock purchases based on set thresholds and events — resolve disputes, and select the most sustainable shipping method. 

Use cases for blockchain and AI

Across industries, bringing AI into blockchain delivers new opportunities


From surfacing treatment insights and supporting user needs to identifying insights from patient data and revealing patterns, AI  can help advance almost every field in healthcare. With patient data  on blockchain, including electronic health records, organizations can work together to improve care while protecting patient privacy.

Life sciences

Blockchain and AI in the pharmaceutical industry can add visibility and traceability  to the drug supply chain while dramatically increasing the success rate of clinical trials. Combining advanced data analysis with a decentralized framework for clinical trials enables data integrity, transparency, patient tracking, consent management and automation of trial participation and data collection.

Financial services

Blockchain and AI are transforming the financial services  industry by enabling trust, removing friction from multiparty transactions, and accelerating the speed of transactions. Consider the loan process. Applicants grant consent for access to personal records stored on the blockchain. Trust in the data and automated processes for evaluating the application help drive faster closings and improve customer satisfaction.

Supply chain

By digitizing a largely paper-based process, making the data shareable and trustworthy, and adding intelligence and automation to execute transactions, AI and blockchain are transforming supply chains across industries and creating new opportunities. For example, a manufacturer can track carbon emissions data at the product or parts level, adding accuracy and intelligence to decarbonization efforts.

Case studies

IPwe uses AI and blockchain to discover and transact IP

IPwe has created the Global Patent Registry (GPR), the world’s first blockchain-powered patent platform to manage intellectual property, increasing visibility and flexibility for both buyers and sellers.

Heifer International and IBM aiding coffee and cocoa growers

Blockchain technology from IBM Food Trust and powerful AI from the IBM Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture are improving farm-level decision-making and speeding transactions.

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Next Steps

Explore our informational guides to gain a deeper understanding of various aspects of blockchain such as how it works, ways to use it and considerations for implementation.

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