The key aim is to pull people's awareness towards specific key problems which are thought to be very difficult, but achievable in a decade or two.
The sheer scale and scope of the problems caused by 20-60 million different items of content to be viewed simultaneously from the BBC, potentially online is a challenge that should be undertaken, but should not be undertaken lightly.
There are BBC projects underway looking at these challenges, but the scope of this document is larger. The challenges laid out in this document will exist, and need resolving - whether the BBC does it or asks industry to help. Clearly the ultimate solution will be a mix of both in areas of appropriate expertise.
BBC R&D projects exist that seek to address some of the issues laid out here. The Kamaelia & Dirac projects are aimed specifically at the some of the challenges in this document. BBC and Industry collaborations such as Share It! have been looking at issues related to these challenges. Some of these challenges naturally fit elsewhere with other groups.
However, the reality is that the BBC and industry cannot assume that the public will follow. P2P has shown that the Internet Community - that is anyone competent, willing and connected to the network - will go their own way if the public is not involved. There is almost always a better way.
The style of this document is inspired by the "Grand Challenges in Computing" documents produced by UK Academia. These grand challenges have a long history. One notable success in recent times has been the Human Genome Project. A project that was successful at driving forward state of the art, but that which ultimately failed in it's original goal was Hilbert's Grand Challenge to Mathematics around 1900.
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