Alan Turing : The Man who cracked the Enigma Code

To honor the Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing, the Bank of England has chosen him to feature on Britain s new GBP 50 note.

Who was Alan Turing?

  • Alan Mathison Turing was a highly qualified English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist.
  • His work was heavily cited in the development of theoretical computer science which provided for a formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine.
  • The Turing machine is considered a model of a general-purpose computer.
  • Alan Turing is also considered by many to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
  • He, along with a secret team of cryptologists and code breakers, cracked the German codes in the Second World war, saving countless lives.
  • However, his contributions were never recognized at that time because of his homosexuality and he committed suicide at a young age of 42.
  • A movie on his life “The Imitation Game” was released in 2014 and won an Academy Award for best-adapted screenplay.
  • In 2009, the British PM Gordon Brown made an official apology on behalf of the British Government for the maltreatment of Alan Turing and he was granted a posthumous pardon by the Queen in 2013.

What is the Turing Test?

The Turing test was developed by Alan Turing in 1950 as a defining test of a machine’s ability to evaluate its intelligent behavior and ascertain if it is equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. For this, Turing had proposed the use of a human evaluator who would judge the natural language conversations between a human and a machine designed to generate human-like responses.

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