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Monday, January 02, 2012

Alan Turing Year 2012

Alan Turing, one of the founders of modern computing concepts, and creator of the Turing machine and his famous Turing test, was born June 23, 1912 in London. Turing is most famous for his work cracking the Germans enigma machine during WW2.
2012, is the Centenary of Alan Turing’s birth and will be a celebration of Turing’s life and scientific impact, with a number of major events taking place throughout the year. Most of these will be linked to places with special significance in Turing’s life, such as Cambridge, Manchester and Bletchley Park.
Can a Machine Think?
In 1950, in the article Computing Machinery and Intelligence which appeared in the philosophy journal Mind, Alan Turing asked the question "Can a Machine Think?" He answered in the affirmative, but a central question was: "If a computer could think, how could we tell?" Turing's suggestion was, that if the responses from the computer were indistinguishable from that of a human,the computer could be said to be thinking. This field is generally known as natural language processing.
The Loebner Prize Turing Test
In 1990 Hugh Loebner agreed with The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies to underwrite a contest designed to implement the Turing Test. Dr. Loebner pledged a Grand Prize of $100,000 and a Gold Medal (pictured above) for the first computer whose responses were indistinguishable from a human's. Such a computer can be said "to think." Each year an annual prize of $2000 and a bronze medal is awarded to the most human-like computer. The winner of the annual contest is the best entry relative to other entries that year, irrespective of how good it is in an absolute sense.

Bruce Wilcox has won the 2010 and 2011 Loebner Prize for Artificial Intelligence with his chatbot Rosette.

A form of the Turing Test is currently used on the internet called CAPTCHA which determines whether or not a user is a human or a computer.

The Turing Year is coordinated by the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee (TCAC), representing a range of expertise and organisational involvement in the 2012 celebrations. For more information here.

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