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

— Alan Turing

The most mind-blowing Alan Turing quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

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


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


Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good.

Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes hollow.


One day ladies will take their computers for walks in the park and tell each other, "My little computer said such a funny thing this morning".


A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal machine.


If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent.


Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.


Programming is a skill best acquired by practice and example rather than from books.


No, I'm not interested in developing a powerful brain.


It seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers… They would be able to converse with each other to sharpen their wits. At some stage therefore, we should have to expect the machines to take control.


Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child's? If this were then subjected to an appropriate course of education one would obtain the adult brain.


Unless in communicating with it one says exactly what one means, trouble is bound to result.


About Alan Turing

Quotes 35 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Mathematician
Birthday 23 June 1912

We are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge.


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.


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.


My little computer said such a funny thing this morning.


In attempting to construct such (artificially intelligent) machines we should not be irreverently usurping His (God's) power of creating souls, any more than we are in the procreation of children,” Turing had advised. “Rather we are, in either case, instruments of His will providing mansions for the souls that He creates.


These disturbing phenomena [Extra Sensory Perception] seem to deny all our scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming.


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


A very large part of space-time must be investigated, if reliable results are to be obtained.


Instruction tables will have to be made up by mathematicians with computing experience and perhaps a certain puzzle-solving ability. There need be no real danger of it ever becoming a drudge, for any processes that are quite mechanical may be turned over to the machine itself.


The Exclusion Principle is laid down purely for the benefit of the electrons themselves, who might be corrupted (and become dragons or demons) if allowed to associate too freely.


We may hope that machines will eventually compete with men in all purely intellectual fields. But which are the best ones to start with? Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English.


The idea behind digital computers may be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer.


Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.


Codes are a puzzle. A game, just like any other game.


I'm afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.

Turing believes machines think Turing lies with men Therefore machines do not think Yours in distress, Alan


I am not very impressed with theological arguments whatever they may be used to support. Such arguments have often been found unsatisfactory in the past. In the time of Galileo it was argued that the texts, 'And the sun stood still... and hasted not to go down about a whole day' (Joshua x. 13) and 'He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not move at any time' (Psalm cv. 5) were an adequate refutation of the Copernican theory.


The original question, 'Can machines think?' I believe to be too meaningless to deserve discussion.


Up to a point, it is better to just let the snags [bugs] be there than to spend such time in design that there are none.


Bell Labs Cafeteria, New York, 1943: His high pitched voice already stood out above the general murmur of well-behaved junior executives grooming themselves for promotion within the Bell corporation. Then he was suddenly heard to say: "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."


When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first.

.. Of course, to observe is not its real duty, we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed...Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it suspicious.


Mathematical reasoning may be regarded.


We may hope that machines will eventually compete with men in all purely intellectual fields.