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Blockchain has opened up countless opportunities for organizations to work together in a smarter and more transparent way. But only when novel technologies are combined, true efficiency surfaces. Nowadays, disruptive digital technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain impact not only finance and payments but other aspects of society as well. This is further demonstrated by the new IBM Watson and LTO Network collaboration, who will be joining forces to transform public services. The alliance will start with a technological redesign of criminal justice cases for the Dutch District Attorney’s office.
Hybrid blockchain platform LTO Network solves the global inefficient information exchange problem through decentralized workflows. These so-called Live Contracts are designed for multi-stakeholder collaboration. Live Contracts provide a dynamic method for defining logic on the blockchain. Their purpose is not to just determine the process state, but to actively instruct humans and computers about steps in a workflow.
Together with IBM Watson, LTO Network is developing a framework for the Dutch District Attorney’s office to optimize the so-called ZSM-processes on the blockchain, while maintaining GDPR compliance and data privacy compliance. ZSM stands for zo snel mogelijk, Dutch for ‘as soon as possible’. These ZSM-processes are entirely administrative processes, where the accused simply has to pay a fine or perform a simple action, without extra steps like a court hearing.
You can find the official mission statement here.
Using LTO Network’s technology, the ZSM-processes are run on the blockchain, based on the predefined logic at the core of each process. All parties involved can participate in the process using their own systems, as process data is automatically exchanged between these systems. This prevents status bubbles, errors, deadlines and high lead times on files.
IBM Watson, in turn, will further reduce the manual labour required in a ZSM-process, using a cognitive computing system to instantly understand questions and respond with the correct answer, based on the input of stakeholders in the decentralized workflow. It does so by using a combination of sophisticated language recognition and machine learning. Watson drills through thousands or even millions of documents, looking for patterns, and begins to rank the results. It then looks for evidence to either confirm or refute the results and adjusts its rankings until it arrives at the best answer to the question. In the case of a ZSM-processes, this answer would be a punishment proposal for the perpetrator.
Combining LTO Network and Watson will drastically reduce the administrative burden of all parties involved in the process, aiming to ‘solve’ these criminal cases up to four times as fast. This eventually frees up knowledge and expertise for other important tasks that cannot be performed without human assistance (yet).
“Reducing processing time by 4 times! That’s time saved not only for the offender, but for prosecutors who probably want to be spending time on bigger cases.”
Above, the decentralized process is pictured, in which all stakeholders participate with their own systems connected to an LTO Node.