Unlocking Possibilities: the AI-Web3 Convergence [and what it means for the cinema industry]

September 19, 2023
Martin Berg
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In recent years, two technological juggernauts have emerged: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Web3 (blockchain). Both have already made waves in their respective domains, so their convergence will eventually have significant impact or even reshape entire industries. Including the entertainment industry. 

One of the core values we have at DX is creating future-proof technology that empowers next-gen cinema — so exploring how AI is already transforming our industry or how parts of the blockchain technology can support better moviegoing experiences were on our radar for a while now.

What’s next, though, might be something that some have termed, not too long ago, the domain of speculative fiction.

Why? Mostly because it’s not about choosing one or the other.

It’s not either or

AI, with its vast capabilities, represents automation and creation innovation. From chatbots to deep learning models, AI is revolutionizing how tasks are performed and content is created. 

On the other hand, Web3, underpinned by blockchain technology, is an infrastructure innovation which ensures transparency, security, decentralization, and digital ownership.

But here's the catch: technological innovations aren't zero-sum games. They don't just add; they multiply. When AI and Web3 combine, they create a synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, leading to unprecedented possibilities.

This is important to understand, and it’s contrary to what a lot of news articles online allude to. The public eye is really good at holding focus, but a very singular focus. In the past year, that swiftly shifted from web3 technologies, digital collectibles and crypto to AI. 

Although technological advancements work in exponential leaps and it’s hard to pinpoint what this will eventually look like, we can already see some potential (maybe even probable?) use cases from that synergy.

Let’s explore them one by one!

New Avenues for Fan Engagement

Imagine a world where intellectual properties (IPs) aren't just static entities. They're broken down into small, digital, and ownable assets. Fans don't just consume; they participate, signalling their belonging and even shaping the narrative. 

We already know that the power of fandom lies in the force of sentiment towards a certain cultural product or narrative combined with the force of creativity. 

Generative AI takes this a step further. With engines pre-trained on the visual style and direction of the IP, fans can remix, expand, and co-create. It's not just about passive viewership; it's about active participation. At a scale beyond what’s been happening so far, as AI lowers the time to production and the barriers of entry — with more fans now being able to create, not just the “traditionally” skilled ones (in fan art, fan fiction, etc.).

Just look at the Character.AI example — The Verge documents this initiative that lets people talk to AI-generated characters which sounds like a dream project for fans. Now imagine how this could connect with a web3 community! 

Verification and Authenticity in the Age of Generative AI

Generative AI is monumental. It's arguably the most significant creation innovation in entertainment since the inception of moving pictures. But with its capability to produce vast amounts of content comes a challenge: the proliferation of "false content."

In a world awash with content, how do we distinguish the genuine from the fake? Enter blockchain. With its ability to provide verified authenticity and authorship through public ledgers, blockchain offers a solution. In the realm of entertainment, it can trace how different atomic units of content combine, ensuring that fan contributions and original content remain distinct and verifiable.

You get the best of both worlds.

Blockchain as the Future Payment Rails for AI Agents

This one might sound the most like a page out of a sci-fi novel, but autonomous AI agents are closer to reality than we think. These agents, when given a task, can determine the necessary steps, initiate other specialized "AI helpers," and combine results for the desired outcome. 

Just look at the creativity ChatGPT presented in order to deliver a task. Going beyond the way the story is framed, it’s a good example of what’s possible.

Imagine a future where AI agents "hire" other AIs for specific tasks. An AI tasked with creating a website might employ another AI specializing in front-end development. In such a world, these AI agents would transact, and blockchain provides the perfect, transparent platform for these transactions. It’s also a safety and security net. 

The convergence of AI and Web3 is not just a technological marvel; it's a beacon for the future of the cinema industry. As we stand at this intersection, it's imperative for cinema industry insiders to embrace and harness the potential of these technologies, ensuring a future that's not just technologically advanced but also rich in engagement and authenticity.

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