London, Oct 13 (IANS) Facebook has announced a donation of 1 million pounds ($1.3 million) to Bletchley Park, a heritage attraction and museum that served as the British code-breaking hub during World War Two.
Now considered the “birthplace of the computer,” the wartime code-breaking centre in Milton Keynes has been hit hard by a drop in visitors and revenue this year due to Covid-induced challenges, pushing it toward difficult decisions about its future.
The donation by Facebook is aimed towards keeping the centre open to the world.
“By figuring out how to crack the Nazis’ secret communications, the almost 10,000 people who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II – 75 per cent of them women — changed the course of the war and saved millions of lives,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer, wrote in a blog post on Monday.
“They did it by building the world’s first programmable digital computer and laying the foundations of modern computer science,” Schroepfer wrote.
Ideas developed at Bletchley Park remain at the heart of cutting-edge research in fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI), online security and cryptography today, more than 80 years after the first codebreakers set up shop there.
Facebook said that it simply would not exist today if not for Bletchley Park.
“The work of its most brilliant scientist, Alan Turing, still inspires our tens of thousands of engineers and research scientists today, and is foundational to the entire field of computing, which has and will continue to shape the lives of billions of people,” Schroepfer said.