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Budget: Turing Institute will research big data

The Chancellor George Osborne said in today’s Budget that the government would make funding available for a new software research institute which will be named after Alan Turing, the founder of modern computing.

Rt Hon George Osborne MP

Rt Hon George Osborne MP

The target for the research at the Turing Institute will be “big data”. This refers to the vast amounts of digital data being created by systems and networks.

The government has identified “big data” as a business opportunity and skills challenge for UK firms.

Last year, the government announced a £189m investment in its ‘big’ data infrastructure.

It is also working with employers, e-skills UK, Nesta, Universities UK and the Open Data Institute to address a skills shortage in data analytics.

What is big data, Mr Osborne?

The storage and processing of the data presents new challenges to companies and research is needed to develop techniques and algorithms to process and store such large quantities of data.

It will use massively parallel software running on networks of servers.

It has been suggested that 2.5 exabytes (2.5×1018) of data was created each day in 2012.

Five years of government support for the centre could total £42m.

The new Turing Institute will be created in a university campus, and universities will be invited to bid for hosting the Institute.



One comment

  1. This is outrageous. Alan Turing did more than anybody else to defeat the Nazis and the possibility of world fascism forever, and his name is being associated with an institute which could (collaborating with PRISM in the USA) actually bring about world fascism forever!

    The idea is to gather huge amounts of information about us and try to use computer software (algorithms) to analyse it, in order to model organisations and individuals in the world, predict what we are going to do (particularly if it involves trying to change society) and interact in various ways to bring about some sort of police state so that socialist change is impossible. Algorithms would virtually remove the need for human intervention, so there wouldn’t be whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

    I am an artificial intelligence expert who was the main designer and sole implementer of an AI/simulation language called SDML, so know this in theory is possible (although my language did it on a small scale, some of the ideas and code could be used in a serious attempt to maintain capitalism or indeed bring about change – perhaps that’s the meaning of dialectics.org drawing on ideas elaborated in the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov).

    Check out my blog entry http://thatcheroftheleft.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/copsoffcampus-demos-against-police-clampdown-on-student-protests-infiltration-prism-possible-uk-police-state/.

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