In theory, AI could solve one of the largest problems facing distributed protocols: a reliance on centralised administration.
Federated protocols concede that some central administration is necessary to defeat spam and other platform abuse.
I suspect that the corporate tyrant Cloudflare's monopoly is not as unassailable as it may appear.
Their services probably rely on software as much as they do hardware, even though they must obviously have some serious infrastructure to allow them to MITM such a staggering proportion of the entire internet.
I say this having run into Cloudflare's protections against web scraping:
They use machine learning to classify web requests and can block some automated scraping tools (I suspect this is just a matter of not sending perfectly humanlike headers/cookies/etc. and tools will catch up, but it is inconvenient).
There is not necessarily any reason why this service could not be replaced by an open source solution that could run locally.
I do not think obtaining the required dataset would necessarily be difficult when even smaller websites are frequently sent malicious web requests.
If this problem were solved, it could remove another existential roadblock obstructing our utopic vision of true decentralisation.