Alan Mathison Turing

"A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal Turing Machine."[1]

Considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence,

Alan Turing (1912-1954)

is one of the most influential British figures of the 20th century. With his timeless contributions to computing, artificial intelligence, and cryptography, his Turing machine is the model for a modern general-purpose computer.Also made major contributions to mathematics, cryptanalysis, logic, philosophy, and mathematical biology, as well as to new fields later known as computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and artificial life.

With the invention of the Turing machine in 1936, solving algorithmic problems, using this model, Turing determined that there were some mathematical problems that could not be solved by algorithms, which set a fundamental limit on computing power.[2]

In 1945, Tulling was recruited to the National Physical Laboratory to build an electronic computer. As a computer designer, its automatic calculation engine designed the first complete specification for an electronically stored program universal digital computer. His early conception of the theory of Universal Turing Machines had a fundamental impact on the Manchester Computer Project from its inception. After Turing arrived in Manchester, his main contribution to computer development was the design of an input-output system using the Bletchley Park technique, and the design of its programming system. He also wrote the first-ever programming manual in 1951, and his programming system was used in the Ferranti Mark I, the first best-selling electronic digital computer.[3]

In addition to his remarkable contributions to computer science, Turing was the founder of artificial intelligence and modern cognitive science, and he was a major early advocate of the hypothesis that the human brain is largely a digital computer. He speculates that the cortex at birth is an "unorganized machine" that is "trained" to be organized into a "universal machine or something like that." Turing came up with what came to be known as the Turing test as a criterion for whether artificial computers were thinking.[4]

  References1: BrainyQuote. 2022. Alan Turing Quotes - BrainyQuote. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 October 2022].

  References2: Aron, J., n.d. 2008, Alan Turing, The father of modern computer science. New Scientist.

  References3: “Computer Designer.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

  References4: Turing, Alan M. Mechanical Intelligence(Volume 1) (Collected Works of A.M. Turing, Volume 1). 1992, Place of publication: North Holland.