Anish Mohammed, Head of Research – IIS, SRH Berlin on Blockchain/AI Foundations and Ethics

Anish Mohammed, a technologist and blockchain researcher and Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin is the main guest in this new series interview by Dinis Guarda called:  Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics Blockchain Researcher. 

Intro Anish Mohammed

Technologist with a multidisciplinary background who is passionate about technology. Over the years have been involved in architecting/building micropayments, insurance hubs, big data platforms for banking among other things. Have worked as researcher in security/cryptography both in industry and academia, with deep expertise in Blockchain and Cryptography. Currently focusing on Blockchain and Cryptoeconomics.

Anish Mohammed is also the co-founder of Ethics Net – Ethics of AI, co – founder of Poligon Protocol and Advisory Board Member of the Institute for ethics and emerging technologies Inc.

Interview focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career highlights
3. Your work history
4. Blockchain inception and status of the technology
5. AI and status
6. Blockchain and AI relationship
7. AI and ethics
8. AI challenges and development
9. AI Singularity
10. What are your work priorities at the moment
11. With Covid-19 how can you look at this as a way to redesign our society
12. Future vision

Quotes And Highlights

  • In my time at the Singularity University I had the opportunity to collaborate with top-notch experts in AI and be part of multiple projects. It gave me the chance to learn and work with top people in the industry. They helped me grow as a technologist.
  • About the singularity concept. I really think singularity in AI will happen sooner rather than later, likely in 25 or 30 years. The impact of it is still unknown and will be interesting to watch and study the new relationship that will be created between humans and these advanced AI.
  • There has been so much progress in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in the last few years. However we have real challenges today in the blockchain space. All these progress comes with risks and challenges that need to be addressed and we need to proceed with caution. People need to understand what the DeFi protocol really means. A decentralized system means that that system is open and as such new cybersecurity issues show up. It is here where the focus should be put now. We can avoid further complications by doing simulations before going real with blockchain technology.
  • Most of the software and technology in cloud, blockchain, etc are open source. What open source allows to do is a collaborative project between people all around the world. In the blockchain space I hope to happen is a collaboration between players to create functional blockchain systems with strict boundaries about what it is allowed and whatnot.
  • Example of Cathedrals and bazaars and the history cycle paradigm: people build systems (castles) that are safe and protected with a set of rules and the it comes innovation that breaks many things apart so people need to rebuild again their castles with the innovative ideas and technologies that have disrupted the old system. Blockchain is going through a similar process.
  • Technology goes really fast but government officials aren’t so much so most of the time they can’t keep up. They need to take a look at things in-depth and normally they take the stance of the “catastrophic failure” when regulating things as data, emerging technologies, innovation, etc
  • There was a shift in technology regulation in 2016 with Brexit and other major geopolitical issues. The same is happening now with COVID-19.
  • People say Data is new oil. And as the same as oil, it is complicated to reach agreements between governments to regulate data and other technologies that gather data. A good example is oil in fact. Oil can be found underground anywhere in the world and sometimes it is shared between nations so both of them fight to get the rights to extract it and commercialize it.
  • Is there a way to better allocate resources, technology and having better equality around the world? The question is there is but not at the moment, and mostly because there are still a bunch of people in seats of power in governments and companies that don’t want that to happen. They use their massive resources to keep themselves in power and in control of these resources.
  • About ethics on AI. The questions around AI are still open and simulations help developers to see different outcomes when applying AI algorithms. That helps us overcome different challenges that arise in AI and ethics, especially because AI is mostly applied to create biases from people and organize them regarding their characteristics. Creating an AI that follows ethical paradigms is our major challenge.
  • Blockchain and AI are our best tools in fact to create frameworks to promote business and education intelligence across the world.
  • About his current projects and work.
  • The world after COVID-19 will be much different from the world we left before. Supply chains are going to be completely redesigned due to this pandemic, including major industries in between like manufacturing, transports, etc. COVID-19’s impact will be more noticeable in global supply chains for every sector -healthcare, finances,etc and in global markets. Resources will be differently allocated after this crisis in the mid and long term after the crisis.
  • COVID-19 is also changing our mindsets regarding access and use of technology to communicate, work and socialize. It highlights the potential opportunities of technology to break the physical boundaries of the real world and the possibility to stay together through the digital world.

Anish Mohammed Biography

Anish Mohammed is an accomplished multi disciplinarian who has worked as a medical doctor, bioinformatician, strategy consultant and cryptographer. He has spent half his career researching cryptographic algorithms and protocols at three different research groups. He has also worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture and Capgemini. He is one of the founding members of the UK Digital Currency Association . His research interests include AI and Ethics of AI, and he is also a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies. These days he more focussed on projects that involve security vs scalability vs consensus of Blockchain and using smart contracts for AI safety. He also advices various start ups including Adjoint, Arteia, Collider-X, Privacy Shell, Ripple Labs, Hyperloop Transport Technologies , EA Ventures, IEET and Chain of Things.He is currently the chief science officer for Blockchainsmokers and Dean of Blockchain technologies at Exosphere Academy.

Anish Mohammed has been working in the security and cryptography area for the past 18 years, as a researcher and as a consultant. Over the past few years he has become more involved in the Blockchain ecosystem as one of the founding members of UKDCA . He has advised and worked for various banks and financial institutions including AIB, HSBC, Lloyds and Zurich. He is also on the advisory board for Adjoint, Arteia, Hyper-loop Transport Technologies, Privacy Shell, Ripple Labs and Chain of Things. These days he more focussed on projects that involve security vs scalability vs consensus of Blockchain and using smart contracts for AI safety. He is a regular speaker and contributor in the areas of AI, cybersecurity, fin-tech and blockchain.


Of the various areas of interests, some of the ideas that originate end up being projects. These are true in terms of topics such as UAV/Robotics, Ethics of AI etc

OpenEth is a machine ethics research company established for public benefit. They are creating the first dataset for machine ethics, alongside various co-creation tools necessary to curate and develop it.

Machine Intelligence requires large, well-documented datasets for it to be trained upon. Datasets often matter more than algorithms per se, though they rarely get credit for the value that they can create. Datasets such as Fei-Fei Li’s ImageNet has enabled the recent expansion in capability of machine intelligence in powerful ways that otherwise would be impossible.

They want to do the same for the space of ethics; a living dataset that can expand in scope and nuance over time, and empower socially-aware thinking machines for generations to come.

Computational Ethics is a revolutionary new field of AI and computer science research. Obol is a revolutionary protocol layer for ethics powered by blockchain-derived technologies.


The danger of drones not sticking to regulations have been a challenge that has been recently in the news. An attempt is being made to see if it would be possible to produce notification when regulation is breached. The plan is to use ArduPilotMega and use a modified version Arducopter so geofencing could be achieved in various areas and a GSM interface is going to be used communicate to the ground monitoring station. The modification of flight controller and ground controller in future would involve the ability to verify authenticity of the geofencing and update the geofencing over the air using GPRS/3G/433 MHz link and usage of TPM to verify the changes to the code applied.


The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) is a “technoprogressive think tank”​ that seeks to contribute to understanding of the likely impact of emerging technologies on individuals and societies by “promoting and publicizing the work of thinkers who examine the social implications of scientific and technological advance”. It was founded by philosopher Nick Bostrom and bioethicist James Hughes

Sources / links