The internet is becoming a playground for artificial intelligence and there is an increasing need for proof of humanity. Technology leaders have warned us about the rise of AI and its impact on the world, but continue to use it.
Deepfake technology and fraud are getting smarter, making it harder to tell the difference between bot and human, especially on Web3 where everything is decentralized. We need disruptive technologies that can verify humanity.
The growing challenge of distinguishing humans from bots
For years, bots were simple: chatbots had pre-determined answers and didn’t enter our world via the uncanny valley. But generative artificial intelligence is changing this. With the further development of AI, bots are becoming more and more interactive and communicative.
AI-based scams, scams and deep fake technology are becoming more sophisticated.
With access to an eternal source of data – the internet – AI will continue to sound more human, nuanced and sophisticated.
If the spread of AI is inevitable, we must address these concerns head-on as soon as we see them. Web3 aims to fix the disadvantages of Web2. It won’t be worth it if those actually using this decentralized space are mostly code-based automatons.
At first it was easy to show humanity in technology
For Web3 to give humans an advantage over bots, we must build, create and extend on what makes us more than code, namely humanity.
Proof of Humanity is a way to prove that online interactions are being conducted by real people and not AI bots. In the Web2 world, CAPTCHA technology is an example where humans differ from machines in our ability to identify objects in images, ultimately creating accountability and trust in digital interactions.
There were also more rudimentary ways of identifying people on Web2: from suspicious accounts with egg avatars on Twitter to looking for signs of a newly created social media account. While it wasn’t foolproof, the humanity, or lack thereof, was easily recognizable.
It’s different in Web3. With the focus on privacy and personal control, there is a greater interest in remaining anonymous and still being trustworthy. The crucial part is verified in the chain, be it a message, a name or a transaction.
Decentralized Identities as Building Blocks of Humanity
Checking humanity on the chain is nothing new. Recognition of this need is already found in protocols such as Proof of Humanity and Kleros. These projects create the necessary basis to be able to verify the person behind the wallet address. However, there is one more area we need to focus on at Web3: recognizing that we are human.
The main disadvantages of Web3 keep coming up – high gas fees or transaction costs and poor user experience due to incredibly complex and decentralized app contracts (dApps) and frontends designed by technical experts. This is how we got to wallet addresses that are 40 characters long and tools that require basic software development skills to use. But if we want to increase adoption of Web3 technologies and resources, we need to be guided by humanity, not code. We must allow people to be human, to build their identity and ultimately to prove their humanity.
Effective decentralized identities with human-readable names are central to this effort as we need people willing to participate in Web3. Proof of humanity and decentralized naming systems in Web3 improve accountability, anonymity and trust in online interactions. It empowers people to own their digital identity while simplifying cross-platform interoperability.
Proof of humanity can start as simple as an NFT attestation associated with a specific wallet and evolve from there as part of a broader Web3 layer of human identity. These advances promote a secure and user-centric Web3 environment, affirming the importance of humanity while promoting transparency and individual control in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
As AI evolves and gets smarter every day, the need for human identity becomes even more important in the digital world so that we can prevent Web3 from becoming a bot zoo. This means we need to focus on improving the human experience in Web3. Building decentralized digital identities with human-readable names is one way to prove our humanity and make Web3 human-friendly.
As we build the next generation of Internet technology, we are putting humanity first. Making decentralized identities human-friendly, incorporating our recognized identifiers into names, and creating ways to differentiate human from AI is a critical part of building a safer, easier, and more secure internet experience.