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Alan Turing at 100

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Alan Turing, illustration

Credit: Dino Gravato

Harvard University is celebrating Alan Turing's 100th birthday with a new exhibit titled, "Go Ask A.L.I.C.E., Turing Tests, Parlor Games, and ChatterBots," which will run through Dec. 20, 2012.

Turing's work in computational science was "a turning point in modern civilization," says Harvard professor Gerald Holton. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity, and ChatterBot describes a program designed to allow computers to engage in small talk. The exhibit follows Turing from his boyhood, through his landmark theories of the 1930s, and into his wartime science, when the Bletchley Park researcher helped to shape modern computer science.

Turing also conceived the Turing Test, designed to gauge the likelihood of a machine having artificial intelligence (AI). "The Turing Test was a way to take thinking out of the domain of the metaphysical and make it into a communication act," says Joseph Pellegrino University professor Peter Galison. The Go Ask A.L.I.C.E. exhibit's interactive stations are designed to test Turing's idea that computers can simulate intuition, emotion, and consciousness, and to demonstrate its iterations through time. Viewers also can browse some of the ways that AI has been used in the mainstream media.

From Harvard Gazette 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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