Cryptocurrency miners are leading the next stage of AI

There is an increasingly pressing requirement for compute resources to power all of this machine intelligence as artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly works its complex magic on one sector of the economy after another.

The initial ChatGPT demonstration costs OpenAI approximately $100,000 per day to run, even before usage reached its current level, and training a model like ChatGPT costs more than $5 million. Furthermore, AI is more than just text generation; Similar, large neural models that have been trained on a variety of data types—such as medical, financial, customer information, geospatial, and so on—are necessary for applying AI to practical problems across multiple industries. It will almost certainly be even more computationally intensive to move beyond the limitations of the current neural net AI and toward systems with higher levels of artificial general intelligence.

A small but growing number of crypto miners are naturally looking into how to use their computing infrastructures to advance the AI revolution.

Mining bitcoins continues to be a lucrative industry. Mining other cryptocurrencies can still bring in money, but the landscape is changing quickly. When the Ethereum network switched from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake at the end of last year, for instance, Ether miners suffered a significant setback.

Over the past two years, the crypto industry’s economic and technical conditions have prompted a growing number of crypto mining companies to investigate the possibility of using their facilities for other uses, such as AI and high-performance computing.

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High-performance computing (HPC) or AI processing typically requires different kinds of computing hardware than crypto mining. However, the most difficult part of setting up a mining farm is typically not purchasing servers. Whether one is hosting RAM-light GPUs suitable for ETH mining or RAM-heavy GPUS suitable for AI model learning, establishing the electrical power, cooling, security, and other physical infrastructure takes a significant amount of effort and costs.

Utilizing its formerly mining-dedicated compute facilities for machine learning and other HPC applications, mining company Hut 8 has set an example. Hive Blockchain has been doing the same thing for some time, putting processor cards in its servers that “can be used for cloud computing and AI applications, and rendering for engineering applications, in addition to scientific modeling of fluid dynamics.”

The possibility that miners could use AI processes hosted in decentralized blockchain-based networks to run on their compute resources while remaining entirely within the blockchain space is perhaps the most intriguing. (FET), Ocean (OCEAN), Matrix AI Network (MAN), Cortex (CTXC), and my project, SingularityNET (AGIX), as well as its various ecosystem projects, such as NuNet (NTX) and the brand-new ledgers blockchain HyperCycle, provide this opportunity. As the market has come to realize the potential of decentralized AI software, altcoins related to AI have performed well in the first half of 2023.

Before Bitcoin’s white paper, it was abundantly clear that the combination of distributed computing, robust encryption, and decentralized control has numerous non-financial applications. We have blockchain projects in nearly every vertical market, including gaming, robotics, medicine, and supply chain, among others. Decentralizing the software and hardware that underpin AI will be a crucial part of decentralizing the global economy as each of these business domains becomes dominated by AI. The story will increasingly include the repurpose of crypto mining hardware for AI processing, some of which are wrapped in AI-oriented crypto networks.

This could have repercussions that go beyond finance if crypto mining facilities perform a significant portion of global AI processing. Various parties own crypto mining rigs, which are based in various legal jurisdictions. An AI network centered in Big Tech-owned server farms—the current standard for AI—would be significantly more difficult for governments or other parties to centrally control than a globally distributed AI network spread across crypto mining rigs. Depending on how you judge Big Tech and Big Government, this may or may not be ethical for AI.

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