D-Lab: Blockchain and AI

Smart digital data and digital currencies.

Blockchain graph

What is distributed ledger technology (blockchain)

  • Distributed ledger technology is a special kind of database that can guarantee the provenance of data (i.e. tamper-proof data)
  • Blockchain makes those guarantees without relying on a centralised authority (e.g. Bitcoin has no central bank)
  • Blockchain is the record keeping of the future
  • We have £2million EPSRC funding to explore the intersection of AI and blockchain in diverse domains: Identity, digital records, and healthcare.


TAPESTRY (EPSRC, £1.1m) with cyber security

ARCHANGEL (EPSRC, £487k) with CoDE

  • Archives are the lens through which future generations will see today – their integrity and objectivity is fundamental to society
  • Trusted Archives of Digital Public Records (ARCHANGEL) fuses AI and blockchain to ensure the integrity and sustainability of digital public archives e.g. The National Archives
  • Computer vision/AI used to derive ‘digital fingerprints’ from archive documents and store in blockchain
  • Smart contracts for sustainable digital business models
  • A collaboration with The National Archives, and Tim Berners-Lee’s Open Data Institute (ODI) and Guardtime.

CoMEHeRe (EPSRC, £425k) with CoDE

  • If you wear a FitBit or a similar wearable, your personal healthcare data is being hoarded in a data silo and sold
  • Co-operative Models for Evidence-based Healthcare Redistribution (CoMEHeRe) combines AI and blockchain to create a new economic model for that data e.g. users broker data to healthcare providers
  • Users gain agency over their data and ability to commoditise it
  • We have a live trial – 100 students currently wearing our prototype wearable, and AI algorithms being developed to predict stress/anxiety.

Future focus

  • Combining trusted data (blockchain) with sense making of that data (AI) is a Surrey USP (blockchain and AI) with £2million of EPSRC backing
  • Opportunities to leverage in: Living Lab/Learning Hotel, Digital Space Campus, 5GIC, Vet School, EPSRC Programme Grant.
  • Cross-faculty blockchain testbed for AI and blockchain with our centre, Surrey Centre for Cyber Security and Centre for Digital Economy (CoDE).


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