New national prize for AI named in University’s honour
The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt has today announced a new prize for artificial intelligence named after The University of Manchester’s invention of the first stored program computer in 1948.
The prize of £1m will be awarded every year for the next ten years, to encourage AI research in the UK.
At 11am on 21 June, 1948 the Small Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), nicked named ‘The Baby’, started running its first program. It took 52 minutes, running through 3.5 million calculations before it got to the correct answer.
In that process, the Baby became the first computer in the world to run a program electronically stored in its memory, rather than on paper tape or hardwired in.
The world’s first stored programme computer was built at the University of Manchester in 1948 and was known as the Manchester Baby. 75 years on the Baby has grown up, so I will call this new national AI award the Manchester Prize in its honour.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Chancellor said: “The world’s first stored program computer was built at The University of Manchester in 1948 and was known as the Manchester Baby. 75 years on the Baby has grown up, so I will call this new national AI award the Manchester Prize in its honour.”
Artificial intelligence research has gone from strength to strength at the University since then, building on the legacy of that achievement. Today the University works on fundamental AI, robotics and autonomous systems, advanced manufacturing systems and neuroscience.
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