Alan Turing was a leader in Artificial Intelligence before the human race could fathom computers as we know them today. His famed Turing Test has been the standard for measuring Artificial Intelligence for the past 50 years. He is often referred to as the father of computer science.
Alan Turing was born in 1914 and died in 1954. His early fascination with science often found him at odds with his teachers in high school. It wasn’t until he entered King’s College that he was able to experiment and explore his interests freely. He earned a degree in 1934 and a Fellowship at King’s College in 1935, after which he worked in isolation at Princeton University to complete his PhD. Following his doctoral degree, he returned to King’s College to study the relatively new mathematical areas of logic and number theory. He secretly worked part-time for the British crypt-analytic department as World War I broke out and was the first scientific person to work on cracking the German Enigma cypher. After holding several other mathematical and computer-related positions, he apparently committed suicide following his arrest under British homosexuality statues.
Learn more about Turing at the Alan Turing Home Page: http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/
The Turing Test was published in Turing’s 1950 paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence. He developed the test years after proposing the Turing Machine Theory while engaged in the study of computer science. He wrote the paper shortly after leaving a position at Manchester University. In it he expanded upon many of his earlier ideas from his 1936 paper On Computable Numbers. The test itself likened Artificial Intelligence to a parlor game in which a man and a woman go into separate rooms out of sight from the judge. The contestants and the judge pass handwritten notes back and forth, and the judge has to figure out which room contains the woman. The Turing Test works similarly—if a human judge cannot tell the difference between a computer and a human, the computer passes the Turing Test and is said to be intelligent. Turing’s paper was not accepted immediately, particularly in the Americas, though it later became the most accepted criterion for determining if a machine possessed Artificial Intelligence or not. The Turing Test is still not a universal standard however, since it still faces objections such as the Chinese room argument and the Blockhead argument.
1936: Turing published a paper entitled "On Computable Numbers" which defined the concept of a Turing Machine, a way to determine if a mathematical or real-life problem was solvable. It basically states that if a problem can be solved by any computer, it can be solved by a theoretical machine that can perform certain precisely defined operations.
1939: He worked full-time at the wartime cryptanalytic headquarters. Turing actually cracked the Enigma cypher at the end of the year, but he needed more material captured by the Navy before full-scale decoding began in 1941.
1945: Alan Turing joined the National Physical Laboratory in London, where he helped to design and construct the Automatic Computing Engine, which was essentially a large computer.
1950: He developed the Turing Test to determine whether a machine possessed intelligence.
1952: Turing published a paper on the development of living organisms.
Turing won a Smith’s Prize for work in probability theory in 1936.
In 1945, Turing was awarded the O.B.E. for his vital contribution to the war effort. In 1951, Turing was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.Alan Turing