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Alan Turing: Cracking Codes and Taking Names


Every time you see a ridiculous movie scene where someone cracks a complex code, think about Alan Turing. He was born 100 years ago today and he's left an impressive legacy. He helped design early computer circuits, including his own Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), which was one of the fastest in the world. Famously, it helped to perform the many precise measurements needed to analyze plane wreckage of the time. He helped cracked the German Engima codes to hamper communication between our enemies in World War 2.

Just in case the machines that he helped design happen to take over the world, Turing also designed his own test to help distinguish between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. If we have a text only interaction with a human and a computer, would we be able to distinguish the two from one another? We incorporate Turing's ideals unconsciously whenever we delete a spam email message for looking too robotic.

Besides, if Google does a Doodle about Turing, he has to be something, right?