1912 – Turing – bio

Alan Turing was born in London, England in 1912 and was a mathematician and one of the first computer scientists. He did work on probability theory, number theory and cryptography, but is best known for creating the concept of a computer, which became called, the “Turing Machine”.

While Babbage had designed a mechanical “analytical engine”, Turing postulated that it was possible to break down many different problems into abstract pieces and compose algorithms to solve them. Then, he said, it should be possible to create a “universal machine” that had the ability to solve any problem, simply by changing the parameters and algorithms being used. In effect, he had described for the first time, the modern programmable computer.

Turing also pondered the concept of “intelligent machinery” or artificial intelligence and created the idea of a test for such intelligence using normal conversation as a standard. This is known as the “Turing Test”.

PRECURSOR:
1170 – Fibonacci
1232 – Llull
1643 – Newton
1791 – Babbage
1815 – Boole
1862 – Hilbert
1872 – Russell

CONCURRENT:
1879 – Einstein
1887 – Schroedinger
1889 – Wittgenstein
1890 – Bush
1897 – Newman
1903 – Atanasoff
1903 – Church
1903 – Von Neumann
1904 – Flowers
1906 – Godel
1910 – Zuse
1916 – Shannon

SUBSEQUENT:
1948 – Kurzweil

SEE ALSO:
Turing Test
Beyond Turing
Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Section – [maths.surrey.ac.uk]
ALAN TURING INTERNET SCRAPBOOK – [turing.org]

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