Alan Turing is widely considered to be the father of computing science and artificial intelligence. His wonderfully insightful work, which gave meaning to previously nebulous concepts such as "algorithms" and “computation”, laid the foundations on which our modern computers, tablets and mobile phones are based.
Turing was born on 23 June 1912, and his legacy has rightly been celebrated this year — not least of all by commemorative lectures given at the University of Oxford earlier this year. Now, these fascinating talks have been made available online as a series of podcasts.
What’s most exciting is the broad range of topics the speakers cover. While Turing is best-known for his work at Bletchley Park — those pioneering days which ushered in the modern era of practical computing — he’d made a name for himself well before 1939 with his applied mathematical theories. In fact his work spanned everything from artificial intelligence to mathematical biology, covering plenty in between.
But there was more to the man than computing. An Olympic-class marathon runner, his refusal to conform to the narrow-minded sexual standards of his day led to persecution and an early death. This series of podcasts draws a full and rounded portrait of one of the twentieth century’s finest minds, whose end came all too early — and without an equation in sight.