Alan Turing (1912-1954)

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“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.”

Turing played a significant role in code breaking during the Second World War by designing systems that could break codes of the German Navy. This work saved lives and contributed in no small part to the war effort.

He is also thought of as the Grandfather of computers. He formalized the concepts of algorithm and computation, through his conception of Turing Machines, a model that would compute and manipulate data, in a similar way that computers do today.

His ideas gave rise to the field of computer science and paved the way for advanced computation, without which, our world, from maintaining the shifting configurations of the stock market to the way we communicate with each other online and access a world of information, would be slower and less accessible.

His work went a step further and opened the door to artificial intelligence, which, started with the formalization of algorithm and computation, which conceived of a way to design a computer that could teach itself to think.

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