Professor Barry Cooper
School of Mathematics - University of Leeds
2012 saw the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing - mathematician, Bletchley Park decoding genius, father of computer science, and seminal figure in artificial intelligence and developmental biology. Celebrations of the Turing centenary continue around the world, with over 40 countries holding special events, coordinated by a committee chaired by our speaker.
Alan Turing was only 41 a the time of his mysterious death in Manchester in 1954, which makes the extent of his legacy doubly amazing. Every stored-program computer today is an embodiment of his 1936 Universal Turing Machine. Turing was specially driven by a need to understand the human brain and mental processes. Involved in building early computers in
the 1940s, he is quoted as saying "I am building a brain". But Turing's own investigations, and the later history of artificial intelligence, have led to a much better understanding of the challenges.