The Alvey Programme was a British government sponsored research program in information technology that ran from 1984 to 1990. The program was a reaction to the Japanese Fifth Generation project, which aimed to create a computer using massively parallel computing/processing. The program was not focused any specific technology such as robotics, but rather supported research in knowledge engineering in the United Kingdom. It has been likened in operations to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Japan's ICOT.
During the early 1980s, Japan invited the United Kingdom to become a part of the Fifth Generation Project. In response, a committee was created and was chaired by John Alvey, a technology director at British Telecom. The report generated proposed a different course of action to the Japanese initiative and became the basis for the UK's rejection of the Fifth Generation and the creation of its own Alvey Programme. The program's fundamental goal was the improvement of the advanced information technology in the UK to address the declining performance of this sector. It operated in 1984 until 1990.
Alvey was not involved in the program itself.
Focus areas for the Alvey Programme included:
- VLSI (very large scale integration) technology for microelectronics
- Intelligent Knowledge Based Systems (IKBS) or Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Software Engineering
- Man-Machine Interface (including Natural Language Processing)
- Systems Architecture (for parallel processing)
- Aleksander, Igor (2013). Decision and Intelligence, Volume 6. London: Kogan Page. p. 185. ISBN 9781850914075.
- Kakas, A. C.; Sadri, F. (2003). Computational Logic: Logic Programming and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Robert A. Kowalski. Berlin: Springer. p. 11. ISBN 3540439595.
- Dodgson, Mark (2018-03-26). Technological Collaboration in Industry: Strategy, Policy and Internationalization in Innovation. Routledge. ISBN 9781351265584.
- Brian Oakley and Kenneth Owen, Alvey: Britain's Strategic Computing Initiative, MIT Press, 1990. ISBN 0-262-15038-7
- Chris Rigatuso, Takeshi Tachi, Dennis Sysvester & Mark Soper, Collaboration between Firms in Information Technology, Berkeley, EE 290X Group G.
- Richard Tyler, The Daily Telegraph, Feb 9th 2010. 
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