On the 23rd of June 1912, computer science pioneer, mathematician and Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing was born in Maida Vale, London. Providing a formalization of concepts such as algorithm and computation, he had an undisputable influence in the development of theoretical computer science. His ingeniosity and intelligence also proved invaluable during the World War II while he worked for Britain’s codebreaking center, as he devised several techniques of breaking the German ciphers. It is estimated that his work, along with his colleagues’, has greatly contributed to shortening the war in Europe by more than two years and to saving over fourteen million lives.
To bring an homage to the one who is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, we have created the Alan Turing Timeline, which pinpoints some of his most notable life events, accomplishments and works.
Turing displayed signs of genius since an early age, beginning to study Einstein’s work by himself when he was only 16. The young Alan was so committed to his academic interests that, when the first day of his term at a boarding independent school in Dorset coincided with the 1926 General Strike in Britain, he simply rode his bicycle unaccompanied 97 kilometers, although he was 13.
In 1950, Turing published Computing Machinery and Intelligence, a complex seminal paper that addressed the notion of artificial intelligence and presented an experiment to establish a standardized test based on which a machine could be called “intelligent”. This test would later be known as the Turing test, and a reversed form of it (CAPTCHA test) is now widely used to determine whether the user is a human or a robot. Turing’s paper on computing machinery brought a significant and lasting contribution to the debate revolving around AI.
The Alan Turing chronology was designed with the help of Office Timeline, an easy-to-use add-in for PowerPoint that helps users build elegant timelines, project schedules, Gantt charts and other similar visuals with ease. The image is free to copy and share, and can be easily updated or restyled using the Plus edition of the tool.
Download the Alan Turing Timeline for PowerPoint here.