Home Crypto News Ben Goertzel & Stephan Nilsson on Blockchains, Supply Chains, & COVID-19

Ben Goertzel & Stephan Nilsson on Blockchains, Supply Chains, & COVID-19

16 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging all through the world for upwards of 4 months, and whereas the epicenter of the disaster could have handed, the storm left severe injury–and the revelation of a lot essential data–in its wake.

The pandemic appeared to have a very sturdy knack for exposing systemic weaknesses; nations all over the world noticed failures of their healthcare and social welfare methods; corporations have been compelled to rapidly rethink and overhaul their each day operations.

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One of essentially the most vital weak spots that the pandemic uncovered, nonetheless, was the provision chain sphere: because the virus continued to unfold, communication breakdowns, an absence of workforce, and different issues triggered severe interruptions within the world provide chain movement.

Through SiGMA’s AIBC Digital Conference in June, Finance Magnates reporter Rachel McIntosh spoke to SingularityNet chief government and chief scientist Ben Goertzel, in addition to UNISOT founder and chief government Stephan Nilsson, about how the pandemic affected provide chains and the way blockchain and AI can be utilized to construct a greater provide chain system.


This is an of that excerpt. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Ben Goertzel and Stephan Nilsson, introduced and carried out via SiGMA’s AIBC Digital Conference, go to Soundcloud or Youtube.

“Multiple levels” of drawback within the world provide chain system

Why are provide chains notably weak at this explicit second in time?

Ben Goertzel defined that offer chain methods are rife with many factors of failure: “you have multiple levels of problems here.”

For instance, “in terms of what we see in Hong Kong–when you order something made in China from an English-language website that’s based in the US, that website may have been put online by someone in Hong Kong; but how does this stuff get there?”

Ben Goertzel, SingularityNET chief government and chief scientist.


“Often, there’s someone in Hong Kong who will make a physical trip across the border every week or two to China,” he stated. “They go into some city in remote China, and they bring back what could be a bunch of suitcases or a truck across the border into Hong Kong; they put the stuff in boxes in a warehouse in Hong Kong, and they ship it out.”

However, the pandemic has triggered congestion in provide chains: “for one thing, that border hasn’t been operating for a while,” he stated. “Hong Kong has limited warehouse space: you don’t want to [store] things for too long there; [typically], things are stored in China and then brought over as needed.”

A vastly outdated system

Stephan Nilsson added that communications in provide chains are nonetheless extraordinarily low-tech: “what we see when we are talking to customers is that even today, in 2020, the digitalization level is very low [in supply chains], actually,” Nilsson defined. “A lot of companies are still using Excel or Google Docs to share documents, or even down to pen and paper to store temperatures.”

Additionally, “all of the transport documents in trucks and boats and so on are still paper-based,” he continued. “Because they are paper-based and manual-based, they are hit very hard if there is a situation like this, when people are not allowed to go to work, or they are simply sick and cannot go to work.”

“What many people don’t think about is that everything, more or less, is supply chain-based today. Everything you buy–your phone, your clothes, your computer, your food–comes from a supply chain, which has all of these manual steps.”

For blockchain and AI, “the raw capacity…is certainly there”

In different phrases, “you’ve got very basic, low-brow, on the ground problems,” Ben Goertzel stated. “People can’t get from A to B, or things are sitting in a warehouse because the guy who has to [stamp] the form isn’t in the office.”

However, “once you bypass those problems, then you get to the higher-end problems.”

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What are these higher-end issues?

Stephan Nilsson, UNISOT founder and chief government.

For instance, “ok, when one thing isn’t working, can an automated system figure out how to route around it?,” Ben Goertzel identified.

“Often, it probably could…in electronics, for example, in South China–it’s amazing how many spires there are, and how many different ways there are to fulfill a certain need,” he stated.

In different phrases, “the raw capacity in terms of diversity is certainly there for AI running on a blockchain to do amazing automated fulfillment; to dynamically figure out the best way to get what is needed along multiple chains.”

Improving provide chain movement with blockchain

How precisely might blockchain and AI work collectively to enhance provide chain movement?

“Blockchain is a distributed system that nobody owns,” Stephan Nilsson defined. “If you look at supply chain, it’s the same thing: it’s a number of companies loosely connected. That’s why we have a very good fit between blockchain and supply chain,” he continued.

However, “we have to get to a certain level of digitalization of the companies and the people in the supply chain just to get it going,” he continued. “…And we see that the digitalization speed it getting quicker; more and more companies understand that they have to digitalize and get more automated.”

“But as soon as we have more digital tools–just to report things, to have transport documents: electronic forms, and so on–when we can put that in the blockchain, when we have that, then we can start implementing machine learning and AI on this to ‘route around’ problems.”

This expertise may be used to “verify information from IoT sensors and so on.”

Indeed, “when you get values like temperature, weights, locations, and so on–then you can use machine learning or AI to give that a value on how accurate the information is. It can also help us automate between companies,” he continued. “Here also we get into the smart contract functionality of blockchain.”

Trust is an integral a part of each blockchain and provide chain

Ben Goertzel added that blockchain is a superb match for provide chain purposes as a result of “the most obvious strength of a blockchain solution is that you have multiple counterparts in transactions” that you could be not be capable to fully belief, however with whom there may be nonetheless a must cooperate.

“You have that very exactly in this supply chain–you’re passing stuff from entity to another, to another, to another, to another, and there’s reasonable trust between each of the parties in this supply chain, but they each have their own motives and their own records: there’s not total trust.”

Ben additionally identified that “it’s also the case that you don’t have thousands of transactions every second, like you would in high-frequency trading,” and that due to this fact, “in a supply-chain context, it’s ok that transactions today are on blockchains today are not as fast” as another, centralized transaction platforms might handle.

“The performance requirements are not the same as in fintech applications, which has been a big focus in the blockchain world,” he stated. “So, I think that the current technology could basically ‘do it’–and it actually solves an extremely present, glaring problem, which is that records are kept inconsistently and not updated properly; there’s not really a coherent record of what’s going through a whole supply chain, in many cases.”

Building a system that works might be a problem

Ben additionally identified the truth that getting corporations alongside any given provide chain to undertake a blockchain answer–and even a number of interoperable blockchain options–will probably be a problem.

However, Stephan Nilsson stated that what his firm is working on is constructing a blockchain answer that “will make it very easy for companies to start using blockchain.”

“Companies shouldn’t have to learn about blockchain,” he stated, drawing a parallel to the truth that all corporations “are using the internet today for communication.”

“Even sensitive information to your bank and to your suppliers and customers and so on are going to the public internet, but everything is encrypted,” he stated. “We do the same thing with an open, public blockchain: we are communicating on an open, public blockchain, but everything is encrypted and secure.”

This is an of that excerpt. To hear Finance Magnates’ full interview with Ben Goertzel and Stephan Nilsson, introduced and carried out via SiGMA’s AIBC Digital Conference, go to Soundcloud or Youtube.

Special due to Ben, Stephan, and the SiGMA group.

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