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Man who threw away £150m in bitcoin hopes AI and robot dogs will get it back

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theguardian.com

A computer engineer who accidentally threw away a hard drive containing approximately £150m worth of bitcoin plans to use artificial intelligence to search through thousands of tonnes of landfill.James Howells discarded the hardware from an old laptop containing 8,000 bitcoins in 2013 during an office clearout and now believes it is sitting in a rubbish dump in Newport, south Wales.The council has previously denied the 37-year-old’s repeated requests to search the site due to environmental concerns but he has hatched a £10m hi-tech scheme backed by hedge fund money to find the digital assets.His new proposal would utilise AI technology to operate a mechanical arm that would filter the rubbish, before then being picked by hand at a pop-up facility near the landfill site.Under the plans he will hire a number of environmental and data recovery experts, and while the search is ongoing employ robot dogs as security so no one else can try to steal the elusive hard drive.Howells said: “Digging up a landfill is a huge operation in itself.

The funding has been secured. We’ve brought on an AI specialist. Their technology can easily be retrained to search for a hard drive.“We’ve also got an environmental team on board.

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