The Very Slow Time Machine

Jan 21, 2019 · London, United Kingdom

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SPEAKER: Jez Higgins

ARCHANGEL is a joint project involving University of Surrey, The National Archive, and The Open Data Institute, investigating how we might help ensure the long-term integrity of digital documents stored in public archives.

When an archive produces a physical artefact, its relatively easy to establish that it is indeed the original document, preserved unaltered since it was first deposited.

/But a digital artefact?/

A digital document can be infinitely copied without degradation, but can also be undetectably altered, inadvertently or deliberately, both with benign or malign intent.

How can we be confident that what we've presented with is, in fact, identical to the document that was first stored in archive?

ARCHANGEL is trying to address this problem, and in this talk I'll describe some of the approaches and technologies we're using.

Spoilers: Yes, it includes blockchains, but it's about the only blockchain application you'll hear of that doesn't immediately make you
feel dirty. It also includes machine learning, but it's machine learning for justice.

ARCHANGEL is funded by EPSRC Grant EP/P03151X/1.


Earthlet Jez wrote the Letter of the Week in Prog 2114 of 2000AD. Any
and all other perceived achievements pale next to this.


After the talk we will probably head towards a local hostelry for further chat over drinks.

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