The science fiction reality
Alan Turing exhibition
This coming Saturday (23 June) marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. During his short and ultimately tragic life, Turing became one of the pioneers of early computing. In 1936, at the age of 24, he published a paper which described the concept of a 'universal computing machine'. He went on to design one of the very first computers.
Turing also laid the foundations for the modern science of artifical intelligence - his 'Turing test' remains a core element of the philosophy of 'thinking machines'.
He is, however, perhaps best known for his wartime codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, where machines and processes were used to crack the German 'Enigma' messages. The work performed by Turing and the rest of the site's cryptoanalysts is commonly held to have shortened the second world war by up to two years.
To celebrate the centenary of Turing's birth, the Science Museum has opened an exhibition on his life. MSN paid a visit to see what is on show.
related stories on msn
Why isn't this brilliant man in the list of New Elizabethans ?
Turin and his team at Bletchley Park definatley shortened the Second World War , who's pioneering work, not exclusively, opened up the world to modern computing technology and his theoretical work is now being implemented and used in modern smart phones tablets and PC's.
Trust the BBC to stuff the New Elizabethans list with the Arts when this man made the greatest contibution to the new Elizabethian age
Now heres a cause needing support
This country is a disgrace. It lionizes "celebrities" who don't deserve their accolades (Garry Barlow, latest tax doger) and ignores the true heroes who gave them the opportunity to exploit their freedom to dodge their duties to society. Turing was a true hero and was persecuted after the war. His contribution to the successful outcome of WW II and later society in general was incalculable, even with the first electronic computer which he invented. Other forgotten heroes who have not been given adequate recognition for their contribution and bravery are the men of Bomber Command and the Merchant Navy. The Bomber Command memorial to be opened next week is a start. But when will the few remaining survivors set their campaign medal??? Winston Churchill was NOT the saviour of the nation everyone thinks he was. He was an arrogant, pusillanimous aristocrat who forgave no one who disagreed with him, particularly people like Hugh Dowding , the architect of our success in the Battle of Britain, and Arthur Harris, the Bomber Command chief who took the fight to the Germans when Stalin was badgering Churchill for a 2nd front. Result: 55,547 dead aircrew.
this guy was a genius, he should be put on a pedastool right up there with winston churchill, if it wasn,t for alan turing we would most likely have been invaded by the crouts. What a shame he committed suicide because of the treatment he received because he was gay, the sadest thing of all was when he died nobody knew or cared who he was because all of his work during ww2 was so covert, the same goes for all the brilliant men and women who worked in bletchley park, along with radar, churchill and the raf, these are the four key things that saved our island and people from the worst tirrany this world has ever seen, Hitler you were a TOTAL nob, but because of your hatred and twisted ideals the best of all decent people were brought out, rather than evoke an "ayrean" uprising, you enraged a decent , common society! how did you think you could ever win??? you ****! ( i suspect you had hangups from your childhood, like your mother used to toss you off or something)
its an absolute disgrace that this man was allowed to slip by death and covert operations in to obscurity for so many years!! Alan Turing, you are a legend!!! God bless you.
The fear of Homosexuality and of Communism (especcially in the fifties) stopped the people on the winning side of WW2 from truly recognizing the huge role that the REAL war-winners had to make; The Red army and the patrotic civilians of the western world who vollunteered for annonomous work saving the blundering military leaders from costly losses of conscripted boys. Alan was a great man and more importantly he would never have claimed to be such. And never would have wanted a stone efigy of himself forced upon us. Happy birthday.
Oh, by the way I hate computers, I vote labour and I'm a boring straight... But then I have the freedom to be all these and more. V
Today we stand on the shoulders of Giants, few of whom are truly celebrated. The half eaten apple found by Turing's bed spawned the Logo for one of the most successful computer companies today.
It's ironic however that the working conditions in the Taiwanese owned factories making these products in China for the American parent company see basic human rights and dignities relegated to the conditions of victorian slavery prompting suicides among the work force as the only way to escape persecution.
NotYour Business. You are quite correct in pointing out that Rejewski and co. were indeed the first to crack the Enigma cypher, which Turing and others then exploited. Also, all the Allies, not just the British, let Poland down during the Warsaw uprising and did indeed agree to hand it over to the Soviet Union's "sphere of influence" at Yalta in 1945. You can thank Churchill for that betrayal too, just as the shameful way he allowed Poland to be left out of the victory parade. That was as big a disgrace as his treatment of Bomber Command's contribution to winning the war. However, it nonetheless remains true that this country entered the war against Hitler by honouring its commitment to fight if Poland was invaded. That much we did. Sadly, it would have been militarily impossible for Britain do have done much more to help the Polish underground, and how culd we have "coerced" Stalin to send the Red Army to the rescue? Should we also have started WW3 immediately after WW2 was at an end, simply to prevent Poland from falling under Soviet domination? Do you really believe that was a serious political option? Even though there was more than one general (Patton among them) who believed we shouuld have done!! Poland is finally free and a sovereign nation once again, so less ot the western betrayal please!!
Whilst I do not agree with 'gay' behaviour or lifestyles,I fully agree with those who say that Alan Turin was a 'genius',more so for the circumstances under which he had to perform over a long period.
Equal to Turin's efforts,was that of the Post Ofiice engineer,who created the world's first electronic computer,Colossus','mechanical' computer's are over a couple of thousand years old in practice.
Again,I fully agree with Keith Caladine's comments on the issue.
Many people used their 'brains' during the war, I knew the person who 'invented' the 'coaxial' cable,as used on the 'Chain-Ho' radar stations(my father worked on one down on the south coast),for feeding the signal'echo',electronically,from the antenna-display,even though,it's invention is claimed by an American,as usual.,nowadays,we think nothing of it's purpose in connection with TV usage.
Talking to very intelligent men or women,yes, there are plenty of very intelligent ladies around,within the scientific world,many young people would be inspired for life by meeting such people.
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