Alan Turing is widely regarded as the founder of modern computer science. One of his inventions, the Turing computer, served as inspiration for the algorithms and calculations he created. His efficiency for numbers and science was obvious.
Turing released a paper in 1936 that is today regarded as the origin of computer science.
Turing studied what it meant for a person to follow a certain technique or procedure to complete a job. To that end, he developed the concept of a ‘Universal Machine,’ which could decode and execute any set of instructions. He would transform this groundbreaking theory into a feasible proposal for an electrical computer capable of running any program ten years later.
In this article, you will learn why Turing is called the Father of Computer Science and his major contributions.
Bringing the Universal Turing Machine to Life
Alan Mathison Turing was a significant figure in British history throughout the 20th century. Turing created the computer in 1936 as part of his quest to solve a perplexing puzzle known as the Entscheidungsproblem.
This mouthful was a major source of consternation for mathematicians at the time, who were striving to discover if any given mathematical statement could be demonstrated to be true or incorrect using a step-by-step approach – what we would call an algorithm today.
Turing approached the problem by picturing an indefinitely long tape. The tape is filled with symbols that provide the machine with instructions on how to alter other symbols. This so-called universal Turing machine is a mathematical model of the current computers we all use today.
Using this standard, Turing determined that some mathematical problems cannot be solved by an algorithm, imposing a fundamental restriction on computational capability. This is known as the Church-Turing thesis, named after the work of US mathematician Alonzo Church, under whose supervision Turing earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University in the United States.
Alan Turing’s Contribution to Computer Science
Alan Turing, a man far ahead of his time, began working on whether machines could think. In 1950, when computers were still in their infancy, and the phrase “artificial intelligence” had yet to be created, Alan was already wondering if a machine might think like a person.
An idea must be supported by evidence, and Turing was well aware of this. As a result, Alan Turing released a paper in 1950 in which he proposed an idea or test called “The Imitation Game,” now known as the Turing Test. This test aimed to determine whether or not machines have intelligence.
Turing suggested the Imitation Game, which would have two participants, one human (of either gender) and one machine. There would also be a judge or interrogator whose duty is to determine which of the two participants is human and which is a computer. He would accomplish this by asking the participants a series of questions. In this game, if the Judge’s accuracy was less than 50%, he was likely to select any of them. This would imply that a computer is an excellent imitation of a person and hence intelligent.
The Turing test has recently been updated to include only one competitor, who might be either human or computer, and the interrogator must determine whether the contestant is human or machine.
When Turing devised this test, there were few believers, but as we can see now, Artificial Intelligence does exist. AI has recently gained great attention, and every business, whether banking, information technology, sports, or education, is attempting to employ it somehow. Apps like Siri, Cortana, and Google Now are the most basic examples of AI in action. These applications, aided by AI, have become an essential part of our daily life.
Alan Turing’s Turing Test was one of his greatest achievements and significantly contributed to the science of Artificial Intelligence. He started the Artificial Intelligence revolution by proposing that robots, like humans, can be intelligent.