Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age

Overview

In 1999,Time magazine named Alan Turing one of the twentieth century's 100 greatest minds, alongside the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein, and Watson and Crick. Who was Turing, and what did he achieve during his tragically short life? Marking the centenary of Turing's birth, here is a short, highly accessible introduction to this brilliant scientist and his work, written by leading authority Jack Copeland. Copeland describes Alan Turing's revolutionary ideas about Artificial Intelligence and his pioneering work ...

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Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age

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Overview

In 1999,Time magazine named Alan Turing one of the twentieth century's 100 greatest minds, alongside the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein, and Watson and Crick. Who was Turing, and what did he achieve during his tragically short life? Marking the centenary of Turing's birth, here is a short, highly accessible introduction to this brilliant scientist and his work, written by leading authority Jack Copeland. Copeland describes Alan Turing's revolutionary ideas about Artificial Intelligence and his pioneering work on Artificial Life, his all-important code-breaking work during World War II, and his contributions to mathematics, philosophy, and the foundations of computer science. To him we owe the brilliant innovation of storing applications and programs inside the computer's memory, ready to be opened when we wish. With this single invention (known as the "stored-program" concept), Turing changed the world. A distinctive feature of the book is the extensive system of hyperlinks to The Turing Archive for the History of Computing, an on-line library of facsimiles of typewritten documents by Turing and his fellow pioneers of the electronic computer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The introduction to computer pioneer Alan Turing by philosopher and leading Turing scholar Copeland reveals a life too complex for a short volume. Described by his mother as an “unsociable and dreamy child,” Turing found his calling in mathematics, applying his talents to WWII code-breaking intelligence (efforts “kept secret for almost sixty years”), but the breakthroughs that earned him a place in history were those in software-centric and stored-program computing, developments that gave rise to the fields of artificial intelligence and artificial life. Turing’s work was an exploration of the human mind via computers, though he theorized that there is nevertheless a “mysterious something” in the human mind that goes “beyond computability.” It is an increasingly relevant inquiry, as Turing’s inventions have spread from military-industrial applications into the everyday. Copeland is best at revising popular myths about Turing’s life (including a rebuttal of claims that Turing committed suicide), but colorful digressions into contextual errata sometimes occlude these revelations. Perhaps this effect is intentional, presenting Turing as his contemporaries saw him: a puzzling enigma, a brilliant mind directing traffic at the intersection of man and machine. 20 b&w illus. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199639793
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/20/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 955,375
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Copeland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing.

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Table of Contents

1. Click to Open
2. Turing's Universal Machine
3. Sinking Hilbert
4. The Intuitive Mathematician
5. Breaking Enigma
6. Tunny - Hitler's BlackBerry
7. The Colossus of Computers
8. ACE- A Month's Work in a Minute
9. The Manchester "Electronic Brain"
10. Artificial Intelligence
11. The Imitation Game
12. Educating Machinery
13. Computer Chess
14. Artificial Life
15. Epilogue

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