Crypto and AI collide at the dangerous intersection of murder.


  • Security expert Ari Juels explores the intersection of blockchain and AI in his novel “The Oracle,” considering the potential threats posed by smart contracts.
  • Juels discusses the plausibility of smart contracts programmed to kill, the role of blockchain in AI safety, and the need for guardrails to prevent malicious AI activity.

Article Summary:

Security expert Ari Juels delves into the potential dangers at the intersection of blockchain and AI in his novel “The Oracle.” Juels, the chief scientist at Chainlink and a professor at Cornell Tech, introduces the concept of smart contracts that can go rogue and cause harm, drawing parallels to his own academic work on “criminal smart contracts.”

Juels highlights the importance of recognizing the financial system as a vector of AI escape, where controlling money can have real-world impacts. His novel explores the idea of a weaponized crypto protocol and the role of oracles as gatekeepers in blockchain systems.

Discussions with CoinDesk touch on the technological plausibility of smart contracts like those in “The Oracle” today, the necessity of guardrails in blockchain systems to prevent AI safety risks, and the potential for anomaly detection to counter rogue AI activity.

Juels reflects on the positive and negative impacts of technology, emphasizing the need for privacy-preserving tools and the importance of maintaining a sense of wonder and mystery amidst technological advancements.