The Jury Talks Back


Alan Turing: Face Of The New 50-Pound Note

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 12:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From the Washington Post:

Alan Turing, a founding father of computer science and artificial intelligence, was revealed Monday as the face of Britain’s new 50-pound bank note.

Turning was also famed as a World War II codebreaker whose work was widely credited with hastening the end of the war and saving thousands of lives. He committed suicide after he was convicted of engaging in homosexual activity, then a criminal offense in Britain.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said that “as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and pathbreaking.” He called Turing “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

The new note, expected to enter circulation at the end of 2021, will include an image of Turing, ticker tape of his birth date in binary code, and a table and formulas from a 1936 paper that introduced the concept of how computers could operate.

It will also include a quote from Turing, given to the Times of London newspaper in 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

The shortlist included 12 candidates from the fields of mathematics and science.

Note: Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a royal pardon for his “crime” of homosexuality in 2013.

Here is the concept image of the new Turing 50-pound note:


Here is a rundown of what is included in the image:

A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry which is part of the Photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers…

The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine which was developed at the National Physical Laboratory as the trial model of Turing’s pioneering ACE design. The ACE was one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.

Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during WWII.

A quote from Alan Turing, given in an interview to The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

Turing’s signature from the visitor’s book at Bletchley Park in 1947, where he worked during WWII.

Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing’s birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape featured in the Turing’s 1936 paper.


1 Comment »

  1. Saw “The Imitation Game” last week with my wife (who loves Cumberbatch), a movie about Turing’s work to decode Enigma during WW2 and although they did touch on his “crime” of homosexuality it was done very well, didn’t tread into preachy, and ended up being an overall a solid movie.

    Comment by Sean — 7/15/2019 @ 1:37 pm

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