Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (23 June 1912 â€“ 7 June 1954) was a pioneering British computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he led Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method and an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic; it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by as many as two to four years. After the war, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he designed the ACE, among the first designs for a stored-program computer. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman's Computing Laboratory at the University of Manchester, where he helped develop the Manchester computers and became interested in mathematical biology. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousovâ€“Zhabotinsky reaction, first observed in the 1960s. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behaviour was still a criminal act in the UK. He accepted treatment with DES (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as suicide, but it has been noted that the known evidence is equally consistent with accidental poisoning. In 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for "the appalling way he was treated". Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013.

Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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- #combination

No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain. All I'm after is just a mediocre brain, something like the President of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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We are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
Alan Turing, mathematician

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