Alan Turing (1912-1954) committed suicide at the age of 42. He was brilliant, arguably the best computer scientist of the twentieth century. He is perhaps most famous for his code-breaking work at Bletchley Park during WWII; but he also made enormous significant contributions to the emerging fields of artificial intelligence and computing. And Alan Turing was gay.More prose details will follow -- but first a poem for Turing by UK poet Matt Harvey :
Alan Turing by Matt Harvey
here’s a toast to Alan Turing
born in harsher, darker times
who thought outside the container
and loved outside the lines
and so the code-breaker was broken
and we’re sorry
yes now the s-word has been spoken
the official conscience woken
-- very carefully scripted but at least it’s not encrypted --
and the story does suggest
a part 2 to the Turing Test:
1. can machines behave like humans?
2. can we?
During 2012, the centenary of his birth, mathematics and computer science organizations around the world are acknowledging and publicizing his work. For example, a Turing Centenary Conference will be held in Manchester on June 22-25, 2012, hosted by The University in Manchester, where Turing worked in 1948-1954. It aims to celebrate the life and research of Alan Turing and to further this work by convening a group of distinguished scientists, to understand and analyze the history and development of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.