''People who fell into the ''home-work-home'' routine will die out in 100 years''

Dmitry Bulychkov, Sberbank over smart contracts, quantum computers and people’s place in the new world

Bitcoin mining can be compared with a mover's job: it is a difficult and low-income work, Project Director of Sberbank's Centre For Technological Innovations Dmitry Bulychkov believes. Before his lecture about the basics of blockchain in Grow Up co-working, he told Realnoe Vremya how smart contracts would change relations, quantum computers would destroy Bitcoin mining and robots would make people rethink their existence.

Quantum computers will break mining

Let'st start with the basics. What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a general version of the truth that a distributed community of participants use to perform its goals. First of all, blockchain is a community. There is a set of people, fragments that communicate peer-to-peer, send money, values, information. They need to trust each other. They need to have an opportunity to find out if problems arise while working.

When we exchange something, especially physical things (for instance, money), I give you a 100-ruble note. You are completely sure that I did not use this banknote before to pay. Taking it, you legally suppose that you can go and exchange it somewhere (Editor's Note: for a good).

When we come to the digital world, it turns out we don't have physical entities. There are records in databases. I can have a record I have 100 rubles. I can show this record to you, other people. I can do so endlessly. This is why tools that could prove I legally spent these 100 rubles and you can use them are needed. At this moment, the payment system is such an intermediary. It proves that these e-100 rubles are given legally. It is about the scheme without blockchain.

Blockchain has a general roster of all transactions that allows to confirm that I did not spend this coin earlier. When the transaction joins the block, and the block joins the chain, it is accepted by all system participants and considered performed. But there are nuances. There may be a situation when I'm able to use the money twice, then I need to meet some conditions. For instance, there must be over 51% of the computing network. However, with the appearance of quantum computers, this protection principle from abuse (Proof-of-Work) will lose its importance, other principles that are already used somewhere will take its seat — Proof-of-Authority, Proof-of-Stake, etc. I tell about it all in my lecture in detail.

''Blockchain is a general version of the truth that a distributed community of participants use to perform their goals. First of all, blockchain is a community.'' Photo: cryptocurrency.tech

As we started to speak about quantum computers, can you presuppose when a smoothly running quantum computer appears?

My colleagues from IBM think that a computer to perform the first level tasks will appear in 5-7 years already. Now we can try experimental models, raise a technical question of capacity expansion or correction of mistakes.

History repeats itself in a very similar way. Our classic computers were just born in the 1930-40s. Then the first lamps, triodes, diodes; people tried to make some schemes with them. They worked badly, showed errors. Nevertheless, the sum of 1+1 could be done – it was a magic. Now we all have a supercomputer in our pocket. Quantum computers are going through the same road now.

Does it mean we will have quantum computers in our pockets?

Yes, maybe. Their tasks are different. Parallelism is the amenity of quantum computing. They fit tasks for the parallel search of different numbers (which the algorithm of Proof-of-Work is) or tasks of artificial intelligence. Now it all is more or less effectively performed by graphic maps. If our colleagues who deal with equipment support, solve problems (and the progress of the last five years allows to hope for it), yes, we will be fine.

People will need to look for their place in the world of robots

A Google futurist stated that a legal regulation of relationship of people and robots would appear in 30 years. What do you think about it?

I think it will appear much earlier. But we'll certainly have it in 30 years. The problem is different here. Intelligence, in itself, is an ability to perform tasks. Robots are doing it better and better. But should it be regulated somehow? We have a crane that carries out its task well. It is unknown whether some physics should be regulated. The same thing happens to AI.

Meanwhile, a person has consciousness except intelligence. We set goals and perform them. The question will be what we will need to remain humans. We will need to focus on the ability to set goals, move forward, develop as a person more.

People who fell into the ''home-work-home'' routine, pass papers at work will die out quickly, in 100 years. As for legislative regulation… I'm afraid everything will change too quickly. We won't open the Constitution to see some article. There will be smart contracts or something else.

What should we get ready for: that a robot can be hurt and we will need to cooperate as equals?

Hurt is such a thing… Many people like when they are hurt. We try to apply our human concepts to what is just born. Is intelligence needed to perform tasks? It's the question. What about consciousness? For instance, I realise I'm hurt. It's the organism's reaction, in fact. It can please me perhaps, maybe not. Here a pile of ramifications starts.

''Intelligence, in itself, is an ability to perform tasks. Robots are doing it better and better. But should it be regulated somehow?'' Photo: militaryarms.ru

Robot is likely to remain a mechanism like it was. Consciousness will remain people's prerogative, I think. Perhaps, there will be a set of smart contracts that won't enable robots to do something with people. And a set that will enable to turn the robots off in some cases.

We'll need to go through it. It is absolutely normal. The example with cars comes from here: the first cars killed several people. Automobiles could have been banned. But, thank God, they weren't. Not cars but those who drive them were the point.

Now we have as many fantasies as we can. Another story appears here as well. For instance, biomedicine seriously develops. It is said that it is possible to programme genes almost on a living person. It is said the problem of a human life maintenance is also already solvable, and people will live 500 years soon. If we sum up it all, it turns out that a person goes to work that he doesn't like, his wife always criticises him at home – and it continues so for the 500 years. And philosophic thoughts start here. Will the robots win us? There is Elektronik and Terminator films in cinematography. The things are not so bad in Terminator: there is a fight, achievements, some story. While in Elektronik, one needs to look for oneself every day, the meaning of life is questioned every day, friends don't want to be friends – the story is different.

What is the future of the Internet of Things?

It is a robotised future. We'll have a house, we will talk to it. It will have intelligence. It will be able to perform some tasks. We can say it has already happened.

The problem is that our infrastructure is old, it is almost 150 years. It is difficult to build something in it. But new facilities will be built as time goes by. IoT will be entering our life more and more because robots are ideal: they are never ill, they don't sleep, they don't ask to raise their salary. And again we came to a conclusion that people in the existing form aren't much needed.

By Yulya Krasnikova