Chris Dixon, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto founder and general partner, joined CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss his new book ‘Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet.’ The crypto evangelist examined some of the ideas in the book, including the role of blockchain technology in the future of the internet and a possible path for Artificial Intelligence (AI) content regulations.
Blockchain Technology Is The Future of The Internet In the interview, Dixon reviewed some of the ideas proposed in his book. When asked about the utility of blockchain technology, the entrepreneur affirms his belief that, despite its importance, the financial side of it has been “overplayed” in the overall discussion. While payments, DeFi, and Bitcoin are important applications, blockchain technology has much more to offer, as he views it.
Blockchains as an expansive technology. It’s a new way to build internet services. Those can be games, they can be social networks, they can be financial services.
Regarding adoption, Dixon sees the recent spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a positive signal for the crypto industry. He considers any crypto acceptance by traditional investors to be “a good thing” after years of crypto being seen as “controversial.”
Following the spot ETF approval discussions, he believes that more acceptance of ETFs and other financial instruments using digital assets will increase because blockchain technology “is inevitable, it’s the future of the internet.”
Should The Government Regulate AI Technology? During the interview, Dixon highlighted his enthusiasm for AI technology, “I’m very excited about AI. Our firm invests in a lot of AI. It’s a very powerful new technology.” However, he acknowledged the need for clear regulations regarding the technology’s use as it has been involved in many controversies in recent years.
Lately, concerns about the use of AI technology have increased after a wave of AI-generated deepfakes has flooded the internet. This month, crypto users were alerted of AI-generated scam videos using MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor’s image to promote Bitcoin-related scams.
Saylor went on X to inform him that his team had been deleting 80 fake videos using his likeness daily. Similarly, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko’s image and voice were used for fake videos, offering a giveaway through a QR code to thank the community for a “historic day.”
Anatoly Yakovenko’s deepfake Ad promoting the fake giveaway on January 16, 2024. Source: Youtube.com The entrepreneur sees AI-generated deep fake videos as an increasingly common problem that continues to affect the crypto community and the general public due to the advanced technology behind it, as he explained:
You are also going to see very advanced phishing and very advanced counterfeit people. It’s going to be very hard to tell on the internet what’s real and what isn’t.
He affirms that “blockchains are an important countermeasure” to the AI-generated fake videos problem since blockchains create “an immutable audit trail” that can be used to give a provenance record to content.
“You can have an immutable audit trail saying this video came from CNBC, it came from the New York Times,” Dixon explained.
Dixon believes that this approach should be considered. However, he also thinks it would be challenging to implement “without some sort of government action” and without social networks having “some enforcement so they don’t show fake videos.”
Last week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the US Congress should take legislative action to address fake AI-generated images after sexually explicit AI-generated images of singer Taylor Swift started circulating the X (formerly known as Twitter) platform.
These images amassed 45 million views on the platform and were mass-reported by users. The X team took the AI-generated content down and restricted the search for them on the platform. It remains to be seen if blockchain technology can be implemented to resolve these issues.
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