The Risks and Benefits of Worldcoin: Balancing AI and Identity Verification
In the not-so-distant past, the idea of scanning your eyeballs for identity verification seemed like something straight out of a dystopian science fiction film or an episode of the popular Netflix series, Black Mirror. However, this seemingly absurd concept has recently become a reality through the new Worldcoin (WLD) project, with over 2 million people already signing up for iris scanning.
Should we be concerned about this new project? Or is such a venture necessary with the rapid rise of super-intelligent artificial intelligence (AI) systems?
What is Worldcoin Crypto Trying to Achieve?
AI, or artificial intelligence, has recently become the talk of the town in the technology world. You may have heard of ChatGPT, the language program that utilizes AI. Worldcoin is created by the same developers behind ChatGPT. While AI solves certain problems, it also creates new ones.
AI systems are becoming so intelligent that they may soon be able to masquerade as human beings in the digital world. Worldcoin aims to solve this problem by verifying the humanity of its users. The Worldcoin project describes itself as follows:
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“If successful, we believe Worldcoin can dramatically increase economic opportunities, distinguish people from AI systems without violating privacy, facilitate global democratic processes, and ultimately create a path towards an AI-funded universal basic income.”
The Risks of Worldcoin and AI
Now that’s quite a mouthful. It is understandable to have fears and concerns about this entirely new and unfamiliar concept. While the ambition and good intentions behind Worldcoin are commendable, it ultimately comes down to execution. Is Worldcoin safe? Or are there worrisome risks associated with it? Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), has already expressed his unease.
According to Worldcoin, the scans it performs on irises are not stored but rather encrypted versions. But Buterin argues that this is not 100% secure and that there is no guarantee this information won’t grant access to even more data in the future. Another issue is the lack of decentralization. While the software may be decentralized, the “scanning orbs” used by the Worldcoin project are not. In theory, someone could modify the hardware to steal identities.
These are just two of the numerous concerns voiced by critics. However, Buterin also acknowledges that the problem Worldcoin is attempting to solve is a real one. He hopes that the development of such proof-of-personhood projects continues and eventually culminates in a well-executed product.
The Worldcoin project presents both risks and benefits in its quest to balance AI advancements and identity verification. While some worry about the security and centralization aspects, others see the potential for economic growth and improved democratic processes. It will be essential to address the concerns raised and ensure that user privacy and data security are prioritized throughout the development of projects like Worldcoin.