The Turing Paradox

“An unstable particle if observed continuously will never decay”

Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine. Trust me, it takes a minute or two for normal folks to decipher it. But, am not normal. Are you? **Victory Dance**

Assuming that you have deciphered it, let me get to the point. Computers have fascinated me all along. It continues to fascinate me and it will continue to fascinate me until I meet my maker. Guess, I have landed in the right profession after all. Well…That’s debatable. Let me keep that as a topic for another day.

If we were asked to explain about computers in laymen terms, we start with Charles Babbage who is acclaimed as the ‘Father of Computers’ and end up explaining about modern world gizmos like the iPhone, the iPad etc. What if I mean to say that there is a forgotten hero who is responsible for the Artificial intelligence of today? What if I tell you that Siri and Cortana are actually the great great grand kids of that guy who had worked far ahead of his time?

The story of Alan Turing is something which is not greatly exaggerated (It should have been) but modestly appreciated. Alan Turing was granted a ‘Royal Pardon’ in 2013 for his conviction of Homosexuality in the year 1952. That makes up almost 60 years. I neither champion the cause of LGBT nor am I against it. I would like to take a neutral stance but I strongly believe that everyone has a place in this world and it’s certainly not upto one person to judge another. He/She can be judged not by one’s sexuality but by their deeds. After all, it’s the uniqueness of each human being that collectively makes up a society.

Winston Churchill has acclaimed Turing to be the one who shortened World War-II by a span of 2 years and yes he really did. Imagine the countless lives that would have been lost had the war extended for 2 more years! Turing played a pivotal role in breaking Enigma – The German cipher. The Enigma machines were a series of electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. Alan Turing is said to have saved millions of life by breaking Enigma and intercepting German communications during World War II. It proved to be greatly advantageous to the Allies ultimately leading them to Victory. He achieved an impossible feat racing against time.

enigma
The Enigma Machine which was nicknamed as the unbreakable cipher but was deciphered by Alan Turing.

 

The life of Alan Turing is itself a paradox. He was considered an Intelligent fool. He was a Great mind yet he was Shunned. Although he was considered unstable by many, his legacy never decayed. (“An unstable particle if observed continuously will never decay”). Alan Turing died of Cyanide poisoning when he accidently bit an Apple laced with Cyanide. The mysterious circumstance of his death still remains at debate.

On a lighter note, it is said that Alan Turing was the inspiration behind the Apple logo although Apple has denied it forthright. (Yet another topic for debate?)

turing_primary

The paradoxical nature of Alan Turing’s life reminds me of how paradoxical our world is.

The crooked rule the World while the brightest remain obsequious. We claim to live in a world which is real but ain’t it just a paradox?

Yet, I strongly believe that the Power of change lies within Oneself and We as an unified set of like minded individuals might be able to bring about change in the near future.

Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.

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