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Turing's 'universal Machine' Voted Top British Innovation

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A Lego representation of a Universal Machine.

The Universal Machine devised by Alan Turing was voted the top British innovation of the past century in an online competition.

Credit: maricellico

Alan Turing's Universal Machine has been voted the top British innovation over the past 100 years, according to the website Great British Innovation.

More than 50,000 people voted in the online competition, which featured 100 British industrial and technical triumphs. Voters chose Turing's thought experiment over innovations such as the Mini automobile, X-ray crystallography, genetic fingerprinting, and the discovery of pulsars.

In a paper in 1936 titled "On Computable Numbers," Turing outlined a device that would read symbols on a paper tape, and he proposed that the tape could be used to program the machine. His ideas would become practical machines, starting with his work at the secret code-breaking center, Bletchley Park, during World War II.

The work of Turing, British father of computer science, mathematician, and an early artificial intelligence philosopher, has been praised as the foundation for all modern information technology.

From InformationWeek
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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