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  • I think one of the most interesting ideas that Blockchain is surfacing

  • is the idea of computational contracts.

  • You know, normally when one sets up a contract,

  • it's something that's written in, well, almost English but actually it's legalese

  • because it has to be a bit more precise than English.

  • And it says, you know, this part is gonna do this,

  • and that part is gonna do that.

  • What if we could write that contract in code?

  • What if we could write a computational contract that isn't written in legalese

  • but is written in some computational intelligence language,

  • which could actually be just executed by a computer, if we chose to,

  • as well as understood by humans?

  • Well, our Wolfram Language, that I've been developing for the last 32 years,

  • is sort of the ideal language

  • in which to describe things about the world of the kind that you want to talk about in contracts.

  • This idea of writing computational contracts,

  • this is not a new idea.

  • I mean, for example, Gottfried Leibniz,

  • back in the late 1600s,

  • he very definitely had this idea.

  • In fact his reason to try to invent a bunch of what are now computational concepts,

  • was he wanted to turn all legal arguments into matters of pure logic

  • that could potentially be resolved by a machine.

  • Well, he happened to be 300 years too early.

  • Now I think it's kind of the right time to actually execute things like that,

  • and so we're very well-positioned with our technology to actually set up computational contracts,

  • which can describe how things should happen in the world in a way that computers can execute.

  • And so some of those things will be pure sort of symbolic logic-like things.

  • Some of those things are more like automated human judgment.

  • They're more like the kinds of things that one can do with machine learning

  • where one says, you know,

  • "We'll consider it a grade A peach,

  • if it has this characteristic with respect to this machine vision classifier."

  • So that's one thing that we've been interested in.

  • Another thing that's, in a sense, more direct

  • is whenever you're going to set up a smart contract or computational contract,

  • I view sort of computational contracts as kind of a generalization of the traditional

  • "let's put something on the Blockchain smart contract" idea.

  • But as soon as those contracts are going to be about real things in the world,

  • they have to know something about what actually happened in the world.

  • And so there's this idea of well, we needed some kind of smart oracle

  • that can be connected to the contract

  • that can be not just something that says, "Well, this piece of cryptocurrency was transferred from this address to this address,

  • "but you know, it rained yesterday."

  • And so we, in terms of sort of knowledge about the world

  • with our Wolfram Alpha Technology Stack,

  • we have simply the unique system that has kind of, across thousands of domains,

  • kind of computable knowledge about the world.

  • For quite other reasons,

  • we've kind of built this thing that allows you

  • to just ask a computer some fact about the world and have it returned in computable form.

  • And that's exactly what one needs if one wants to know whether this smart contract that referred to something in the world

  • should be executed, should go this way or that way.

  • And so we've been involved with rather a wide spectrum of the cryptocurrency folk

  • in providing sort of the connection to the real world, so to speak,

  • for things like smart contracts.

I think one of the most interesting ideas that Blockchain is surfacing

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Stephen Wolfram Explains How Smart Contracts Will Work

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    Jessieeee posted on 2018/10/22
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