The University of Surrey introduces blockchain and AI for data storage

By Bruno Reis

The University of Surrey has begun using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to store digital government records of national archives.

The university has been working with the UK’s Open Data Institute and the National Archives to develop ARCHANGEL.

ARCHANGEL is a decentralised computer vision and blockchain-based system, designed to safeguard long-term future of digital video archives.

“Archives across the world are amassing vast volumes of digital content, and it is important that they can prove their provenance and integrity to the public in a secure and transparent way,” stated Prof John Collomosse, leader of the project at the University of Surrey.

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“By combining blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies, we have shown that it is possible to safeguard the integrity of archival data in the digital age. It essentially provides a digital fingerprint for archives, making it possible to verify their authenticity.”

Despite blockchain technology often being used for cryptocurrencies, the university has decided to explore how the technology can be used for non-financial services.

“Exploring blockchain technology together with some of the world’s leading archives, the ARCHANGEL project has shown, for real, how archives might combine forces to protect and assure vital digital evidence for the future,” added John Sheridan, Digital Director of the National Archives.

“ARCHANGEL has been an outstanding partnership that has delivered ground breaking research into the practicalities of using blockchain to assure trust in large scale digital archives.”

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