Now now, this blog is not meant to be controversial, but we are an inclusive bunch here and this blog is about a man who revolutionized the whole tech world. Chances are you would not be on your phone, iPad or laptop with out this man. This man, also happened to be a gay man. And he paid the ultimate price, with his life. In a time when being gay was not accepted he fought his demons and was subjected to "shock therapy" and other "treatments". Now that we got that out of the way, let's get to what he did do for all of us.
Ever heard of WW2, well Alan and his team (which included many women) were the ones who were credited with breaking the German Enigma machine. And helped bring an end to the atrocity that was WW2. The Enigma machine was the crypto machine that the Germans used to encode plain-text into what they thought was cypher-text. They broke many codes, not just the Enigma machine. On a side note, if someone wants to butter me up, buy me one, they are really rare and accordingly, are expensive. Moving on.
So what else was he known for? He had a thought about a machine, which became to be known as the Turning machine. It was an early form of an general purpose computer. If this wasn't enough, he was also a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Which of course is revolutionizing our world as I write. Who has used CAPTCHA? Well this is a "reverse" form of what is called the "Turing Test". A Turing Test is "a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human (Source Wikipedia)". Whereas the CAPTCHA is to prove you are human, the Turning Test is to demonstrate that a computer is equivalent to a human and therefore can pass for a human. If you are interested in the AI topic and the turning test, do checkout a great book called "The Most Human Human".
To think of Dr. Alan Turing as the grandfather of computing would be appropriate. A life cut way too short, imagine what he could have done. He was all of 41 when he took his own life, if you know how (hint an apple was involved), then perhaps you would know the urban myth behind the partly eaten apple on all Apple Inc. products; now think about that for a second. He was posthumously pardoned and a formal apology was issued in the UK for Alan. We salute all those who make a positive difference everyday, no matter who you are. Stay tuned next week for our regular blog topics.