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What is a Zero Knowledge Proof?

A zero knowledge proof is a method to prove that you know something without revealing what you know. They have benefits such as privacy and security, and they also have been used in voting, medical records, and much more.

Zero knowledge proofs operate by having a prover (who is trying to prove something) and a verifier (who is trying to authenticate the proof). The prover sends information to the verifier; the verifier checks this information with other sources of information (such as public records or other people's statements); if there's no discrepancy, then the proof is successful. If there is a discrepancy, then it means that either the prover was untruthful or confused—implying that they might be lying about other topics as well.

In a zero knowledge proof, the prover uses some form of encryption to hide their input values prior to sending them to the verifier. The verifier then receives the encrypted message without knowledge of what was actually sent. When they decrypt it, they assess whether or not they were given the correct answer. If so, they give back the correct answer; if not, then they tell us what number was wrong.

One real world application of zero knowledge proofs is voting. Voting systems like electronic vote counting machines use them as a way to ensure that no voter can manipulate election results by changing their vote from one candidate to another before it's counted at all. Say there's an election coming up. Candidates A and B want their supporters to vote for them so that they win; candidate C wants his supporters to vote for him so that he can beat A and B on election day, but neither A nor B wants C elected because they don't trust him or think he'll make good decisions as president.

Zero knowledge proofs work by having two parties interact in a series of rounds, where each round involves one party sending data to the other party and receiving back a response. After each round, the two parties will compare their responses to each other and check to see if they match up. If they do, then both parties believe that they have the same understanding of the data that was sent over time thereby ensuring no misconduct has happened.

In a zero knowledge proof, the prover uses some form of encryption to hide their input values prior to sending them to the verifier. The verifier then receives the encrypted message without knowledge of what was actually sent. When they decrypt it, they assess whether or not they were given the correct answer. If so, they give back the correct answer; if not, then they tell us what number was wrong.

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Comments (1)

Guest
Dec 13, 2023

As a small clinic with limited resources, what are the most practical and cost-effective ways to leverage AI and blockchain to improve our information governance without overwhelming our staff or compromising patient privacy and security?

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