21/06/2012 12:34 | By Nik Taylor, editor, Tech & Gadgets
Alan Turing 'Codebreaker' exhibition opens at Science Museum

Alan Turing exhibition

Alan Turing exhibition (© Science Museum)
  • Alan Turing exhibition (© Science Museum)
  • 'Codebreaker' (© MSN)
  • Pilot ACE (© MSN)
  • Pilot ACE: uses (© Science Museum)
  • Comet crash (© Science Museum)
  • Enigma (© MSN)
  • Bombes and codebreaking (© MSN)
  • Cyber-tortoise (© Science Museum)
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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.

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