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Ian Watson is an Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where he researches in machine learning and Game AI.Ian has just written a popular science book called The Universal Machine - from the dawn of computing to digital consciousness.Car satellite navigation systems and Google search algorithms use AI.
Slowly word spread about Turing’s genius, his invention of the computer and artificial intelligence, and after a petition campaign in 2009, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a public apology that concluded: June 23, 2012 is the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth.
I’m happy to say that finally Turing is getting the recognition he deserves, not just for his vital work in the war, but also for inventing the computer—the Universal Machine—that has transformed the modern world and will profoundly influence our future.
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In it Turing presented a theoretical machine that could solve any problem that could be described by simple instructions encoded on a paper tape.
There code-breaking became an industrial process; 12,000 people worked three shifts 24/7.
Although the Polish had cracked Enigma before the war, the Nazis had made the Enigma machines more complicated; there were approximately 10 possible permutations.The British also needed mathematicians to crack the German Navy’s Enigma code.Turing worked in the British top-secret at Bletchley Park.There will positively be no internal alteration [of the computer] to be made even if we wish suddenly to switch from calculating the energy levels of the neon atom to the enumeration of groups of order 720.It may appear somewhat puzzling that this can be done.Car manufacturers are developing cars that drive themselves; some U. states are drafting legislation that would allow autonomous vehicles on the roads. In 1952 Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency, as being gay was then a crime in Britain. It’s believed that this caused depression, and in 1954 Turing committed suicide by eating an apple poisoned with cyanide.Outside of academia Turing remained virtually unknown because his World War II work was top-secret.How can one expect a machine to do all this multitudinous variety of things?The answer is that we should consider the machine to be doing something quite simple, namely carrying out orders given to it in a standard form which it is able to understand.” ; they were excited by the potential the new silicon chips had to let them build their own computers.Ian blogs about the history and future of computing at The Universal Machine.You can follow him on twitter @driwatson, Google , or Facebook.