IBM Research 5 in 5 Science Slam: Crypto-anchors

IBM Research 5 in 5 Science Slam: Crypto-anchors



our first speaker today is going to be ondrea's kind he comes from our Zurich laboratories and he works on a technology that you probably haven't heard too much about crypto anchors however this technology is going to be critical to underpin our food materials and personal data safety in the next five years so without further ado I'm gonna welcome Andreia stew the stage I brought something for you something really heavy and something shiny so you can see it also from the very last row flown in straight from Switzerland airport security asked me is this real and I said sure it is you also might wonder if it's real and you have good reasons to ask from cinnamon to Footwear from headphones to boiled eggs almost everything has been copied the total value of counterfeit goods was estimated in 2015 to be one point in trillion dollars and it's not just the Gucci bags and polo shirts product Paris includes the things that are critical for health and for safety so let's take your car you bring it to the garage it turns out the brakes are rundown when you get your car back can you be sure that the new brakes are actually original can you be sure your car will break on the highway as its supposed to in certain regions of the world 40% of the parts in the automotive aftermarket are actually fake 40% a second example in 2008 certain batches of a blood thinning drug that only fifty percent of the active ingredient the rest was a counterfeit substance 80 over 80 deaths and many injuries could actually be linked to this counterfeit substance drugs have been recycled after bad storage after expiry drugs have been contaminated with toxins and they have been made with weak or no active ingredients how can we change this the root of the problem is actually the global supply chains have become very complex with many participants across many regions in the world the products around us have parts that are produced in one country but in another and sold in a third also ecommerce has made it very easy to sell fakes so a provenance database that would record everything that is happening with a product when it is shipped across the world might help and we do have now technologies such as blockchain to build a trusted version of such a provenance system and actually in IBM we're doing this already we do it for food and trade documents but this is not enough the trust has to reach into the physical world we need anchors to link the cryptographic entries in these provenance databases and the business processes that we define there with the physical objects in the real world and we actually believe we need what we call crypto anchors we're saying in the next five years crypto anchors will have the number of counterfeit goods that are linked to health and safety issues so now I'm a computer scientist I like to open Emacs write some code write a program make it bigger rewrite it again eventually turns into a system that does something or with the world or compute something about the world we're living in but somehow it will always stay on the other side in the digital world and so do most IT systems they live in the realm of the digital world that takes something digital and they return something digital but now Gucci bags and polo shirts they exists in the real world and so does my French colleague Amano air is a technologist and he has this serious look on his face when he talks about chemistry and bio science together we work on these kind of things that you see on the display this is actually a crypto anchor embedded in the paper of a malaria test the coat that you see here is made of ink dots deposited on them on micro pillars when serum is attached to the paper the test is applied is performed but at the same time our first code is washed away in a second initially hidden code is visible scanning these codes with a smartphone a doctor can now verify that this malaria test is actually original and that has not been used before sometimes we actually don't need these crypto anchors to be embedded in a product sometimes we don't have to really add them sometimes they exist already think about a rice corn a sheet of paper or this gold bar the DNA on the rice corn the weaving on the paper or the molding of this gold part is highly unique and cannot be cloned with a bit of AI it is actually possible to recognize this uniqueness so now you wonder is this gold bar indeed real well that's for the blockchain to know and for you to find out thank you very much [Applause] you

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