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How to Create Traceable Generative AI in an Era of Untraceability

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How to Create Traceable Generative AI in an Era of Untraceability

ChatGPT’s mainstream introduction in 2022 kicked off an era of Generative AI that has brought both awe and apprehension. Its ability to generate human-like text, images and music has undoubtedly reshaped industries and opened new possibilities. However, with these advancements comes the pressing concerns of untraceability, where the origins of AI-generated content and training data remains obscured, raising ethical and accountability issues. 

Though much of the mainstream discussion surrounding Generative AI has been focused on limiting its sentience, a more pressing undiscussed issue is the blurring boundaries between human and AI creations and the need for more traceability and transparency. One year later, the situation on the surface surrounding Generative AI remains largely the same. We don’t know if what we are viewing is human or AI generated.

In the midst of this technological excitement, Numbers Protocol has been working behind the scenes to serve the provenance needs of anything digital so when Generative AI came into the picture, we were more than ready to accommodate. Today we are going to showcase how Numbers Protocol works in tandem with AI platforms to create traceable Generative AI content.


We will not be writing any code in this showcase as we will be using Instill AI’s Versatile Data Pipeline (VDP) to construct our traceable Generative AI. Instill AI provides no/low code tools to convert unstructured data into meaningful data representations. If you're interested make sure to check them out here.

You will need to create an Instill AI account in order to create the data pipeline and a Capture Account to create on-chain records. Since we are interacting with the Numbers blockchain to create on-chain records we will need NUM token to facilitate these transactions. New Capture accounts are credited with 12 NUM Credits which equates to 120 registrations at no cost.

Here's our tutorial video, if you prefer to watch a video.

Create a Capture Account

Navigate here, click on “Create an account” and fill in username, email and password to create an account. Alternatively you can utilize the Numbers API to create an account. 

Create a Free Instill AI Account

Navigate to Click on “Try Instill Cloud Free” and follow the prompts to create a free Instill Account. 

Add New Pipeline

From the Instill Dashboard navigate to Pipeline & Click on “Create pipeline”

Set up Pipeline Properties

Instill AI will automatically assign a Pipeline Name. Rename to something more descriptive.

Set up Source & Destination

Click on add component to add

Adding AI & Blockchain Components

From the components bar click search for Instill Model and Numbers Protocol and drag it onto the pipeline editor

Create and Configuring Connectors

For Connectors to be functional you will need to input in required API keys or tokens. On each component click “Create Connector” and fill in the required information. We will need the Capture Authorization token for the Numbers Protocol connector. Since we will be using the Instill Model Connector we do not need any additional information, however if you select other AI connectors such as OpenAI, you will need to gain access to an API key.

Set up the connections

Configure your pipeline like shown above. Text-to Image takes in text input which is fed into Stability AI to output an Image. This Image is stored along with metadata inputs onto the Numbers blockchain. Since we are interested in also recording our prompt we can also feed the text input Numbers. As a final output we are interested in seeing our final image and the metadata stored on-chain

Configuring the on-chain records

To ensure the on-chain commits are comprehensive you will need to set the values. Do so by navigating to the Numbers Protocol connector component and clicking on “more”. Doing so will open up a window with commit parameters such as license, mining_preference, generatedBy, etc. Fill these with the appropriate values and be mindful that as on-chain records they will be immutable. To learn more about each of these parameters and what they represent in terms of digital provenance see here.


Click “save” in bottom right to save and initialize our pipeline. Open up the pipeline properties window to view details on how to trigger the pipeline

This pipeline creates an API endpoint that we can initialize by sending a POST request. Before we do that we will need to set up a free API token by navigating to Settings > API Token

Executing the Pipeline with Instill Editor

The pipeline can be executed with an API call utilizing your preferred API platform or sending a curl request. For simpler execution of our pipeline we can utilize the in-editor “Run” function. Enter in the inputs (prompt and other defined parameters) in the start operator and click “Run”. If the execution is successful we will see our results in the end operator. For our pipeline our outputs are the final image and the asset-profile link. The asset-profile link is where we can view the assets full history and most importantly its on-chain records.

Viewing the Asset Profile 

You can think of the asset-profile as the LinkedIn profile of AI Generated image. It's here where you can see the full information summary of the image including creator, license, generatedBy. All of this information is gathered from on-chain records which we can access from the bottom commit table. Feel free to check out this image asset profile for yourself!

Reviewing On-Chain Records

From the commit table click on the transaction opens up the transaction record on Numbers Blockchain. We can click on UTF-8 under Call Function to display the metadata that was recorded on-chain.

For a better view of the metadata we can click on the Asset Tree link from the asset profile commit table. The Asset Tree is a formatted file standard containing the assets information. It contains information like license, creator, encoding format, etc.

That’s It!

In this walkthrough we were able to set up a fully operating data pipeline that takes a text prompt and generates an image utilizing Stable Diffusion AI model. Unlike other AI generated images, it was also registered with a unique ID onto the Numbers Blockchain creating an on-chain record defining the images license, creator, and most importantly how it was created. In other words, we have created a fully transparent and traceable WEB3.0 AI Generated asset that is able to standout in a sea of untraceability.

Next Steps

If you are interested in learning more about Numbers Protocol check out our documentation. Also consider joining our Telegram and Discord Community to get the latest news on Numbers Protocol. If you're a developer and have questions, we would love to hear from you! We have more developer related content coming soon. So stay tuned!

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