Meet Alan Turing

Is it really only Tuesday?? We can't believe it here at #WeCanZone, where we're convinced that tomorrow should be Friday (all the time!). Either way, here's a pick me up: you get to meet another awesome person from the world of computing today! This week's celebrity is Alan Turing, aka "the father of AI (Artificial Intelligence)." 

Alan made some really amazing strides in computer science. Remember Ada Lovelace from last week? While she's credited with creating the first algorithm, Alan Turing took it a step further and formally defined what algorithms and computation really were. He did this by building something that's now called a Turing Machine, which basically followed a set of rules (an algorithm) to perform a computational task. While this machine was still mechanical, it was a step up from Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, and is considered the proof that for any given algorithm, a computer can be built to simulate that algorithm's logic. 

Another area Alan is famous in is codebreaking. During World War II, he helped Britain crack intercepted German codes, and is credited with helping the Allies win the war and saving over 14 million lives!

Last but certainly not least, if you ever take read more on artificial intelligence, or take a class at school or in college, you will learn about the Turing Test - one of Alan's biggest contributions to the field. The idea behind the Turing Test is that if a human can tell that they're talking to a computer, then that computer is not truly intelligent. The day that humans can't tell the difference between whether they're communicating with a computer or another human being is the day that computers will actually be deemed capable of "thinking." Pretty cool, right? 

We hope you've enjoyed meeting Alan Turing! He's definitely one of the most important figures in the field of computing, and his work is more applicable than ever today. If you're interested in learning more, we encourage you to dip your feet into the world of AI - it's one of the fastest growing spaces in STEM! Remember, if you've ever talked to Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, you're already on the way to being friends with an AI ;) Check back in tomorrow for some links we're loving, as always! Until next week, #WeCanZone. 

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