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After the World-Wide-Web, blockchains and distributed ledgers are the second great revolution in commercial information technology. Despite disparagement from some purist software developers, distributed ledgers are here, and they are here to stay.  Shared data systems are currently under prototyping, or in development, or already deployed in production, in almost every global enterprise.  

In this seminar, Peter will discuss the reasons for this trend and its consequences.   As so often in the history of computer science, actual practical deployment precedes articulation of theory.  Peter will explore the questions and challenges presented to academic research by these working systems.

About the Speaker


Peter McBurney is Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Informatics at King's College London, where he was also Head of Department between 2013 and 2017. He has a first degree in pure mathematics and mathematical statistics from the Australian National University in Canberra, and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Liverpool. Since his PhD, his research focus has been on the design of artificial languages and protocols for automated machine-to-machine communications; in agent-based simulation modelling, particularly in finance and economics; and more recently, in distributed ledgers and blockchain systems. McBurney was PI of the the AgentLink III Network, a major networking project funded by the EC to co-ordinate research and development in autonomous agent software and multi-agent systems across Europe. He initiated and ran the Trading Agent Market Design Competition (aka CAT Competition), an international computer science research tournament designed to support research in automation of marketplaces. He is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Knowledge Engineering Review, a refereed AI journal published by CUP.

At this event


Professor, Lingan University

Crawford Spence

Professor of Accounting

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