AI, robots, and several experts from various branches of the industry may allow James Howells to achieve his ends.
Last year, the misadventure of James Howells had made the rounds of the world; many Internet users have followed the wanderings of this Welsh engineer who explains that he threw a hard drive containing no less than 8,000 bitcoins in the trash. A small fortune that the interested party intends to recover. And according to Business Insider, he recently returned to the charge with a major plan whose total price is around $11 million.
The price of the operation is staggering, but the person concerned considers it perfectly justified. And for good reason: even if the cryptocurrency star is now far from its peak of last November ($58,323 against 22,338 at the time of writing), this digital stock market is still worth more than 175 million. of dollars ; the kind of sum that transforms a life.
An army of experts to gut an entire landfill
If he consents to such an expense, it is because the task awaiting him is anything but easy. The famous hard drive ended up in a huge landfill of so-called ultimate waste, that is to say they are not intended to be recycled. And he intends to go through this mountain of trash cans with a fine-toothed comb!
But no question of doing it alone. To support him, he has assembled a team of eight experts in areas such as AI, waste management, and data mining. The Business Insider specifies that one of them even participated in the recovery of data from the space shuttle Columbia after its catastrophic crash.
Together with their respective companies, they were tasked with devising a plan of attack that would allow them to review the approximately 110,000 tons of rubbish accumulated on site. And to help them, they can count on Spot, the famous robot-dog from Boston Dynamics. This machine capable of leading sheep, dancing like Mick Jagger or even standing guard in Pompeii will serve as a leg scanner whose role will be to report any element that could betray the presence of the hard drive.
The idea would be to let AI-powered machines excavate the waste. These would then be transported to a temporary sorting center specially built for the occasion. Humans would be hired there to review all this material. To assist them in this task, they can count on machines equipped with an AI specialized in sorting and recognizing objects.
And with all these efforts, the height would be that a clever little guy comes to search the dump on his side and leaves with the precious sesame. Howells therefore plans to use Spot again. During the night, his role will be to ensure that no one approaches the site.
The City Council does not want to hear anything
If he manages to get his hands on the disc, Howells intends to keep around 30% of it – or around fifty million euros at the current rate. The rest would be shared between the investors who offered him this 11 million dollars, the team in charge of the project… and each of the 150,000 residents of Newport, up to 50 pounds each.
This last point is not insignificant, and it is surely a way to garner public approval. And this is not an insignificant detail, far from it. Because there is still an obstacle, and not the least: the reluctance of the local municipality, which has systematically refused him access for almost ten years.
It must be said that its representatives are not really delighted to see an army of contractors brewing their discharge for three years. He hopes that his new project will convince them, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.
“ Nothing that Mr. Howells could present to us “Would not make the Council change its mind, insists one of its representatives. “ His proposal presents significant ecological risks that we cannot accept, and in any case cannot even consider within the scope of our permit. “, he says in an interview with the Insider.
It therefore remains to be seen whether the Council will end up validating this crazy project. Case to follow!