Saturday, 6 December 2014

Alan Turing Institue for Data Science opened

Plans have recently been announced for a new Alan Turing institute for data science, to be based at the British Library. The institute will form part of London's 'knowledge quarter' and will aim to make Britain a world leader in the area of big data research. The world-class institution will work alongside universities across the country, in order to focus on new ways of collecting, organising and analysing large sets of data.

The Alan Turing institute will receive £42 million in funding over 5 years, a stark contrast to the £100,00 Turing had to fight to get during the war in order to build his decoding machine. Part of the institute's role will be to use big data to help businesses enhance their products and manufacturing processes, target their marketing better and provide more efficient services.

A timely announcement following the recent release of the film depicting Alan Turing's life, 'The Imitation Game', where many will have seen the work he did and how unjustly he was treated in the following years because of his personal life. Being described as a 'fitting tribute' to Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science and a national hero, the institute will help ensure that Britain remains at the forefront of and leading the rest of the world in this important field.

The amount being dedicated to the institute seems very high, with £42 million seeming a lot to be spent on research when there is so much else needing money across the country. However, the centre for Economics and Business research estimates that the UK economy could be benefitted by £216 billion as a result of the big data marketplace and create 58,000 jobs by 2017. Taking that into account, £42 million doesn't sound like a bad investment, if it all goes to plan and the projected figures are correct!

As mentioned previously, don't forget there is a year-long exhibition dedicated to the new film 'The Imitation Game' currently at Bletchley Park, where the film was set, right on our doorstep here in Milton Keynes. 

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