2012: The Year of Alan Turing

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing‘s birth, 2012 has been declared Alan Turing Year. Centenary celebrations of Turing’s life and work are well underway and will continue throughout 2012 at locations around the world. Turing, a mathematician, logician, and early computer scientist, is probably best known within the history of psychology for his proposal of what has come to be known as the Turing Test. The test proposes that a machine may only be considered truly intelligent if, in the course of a conversation, a human judge can not tell it apart from another human being. It has become a something of a standard within the field of artificial intelligence, in which Turing was a pioneer.

The tragic end of Turing’s life is also well-known. After serving as a codebreaker for the British military in World War Two, Turing was prosecuted by the British government for engaging in homosexual acts and submitted to chemical castration. In 1954, at the age of 41, he died from cyanide poisoning in what was apparently suicide. In 2009, British government issued an official apology for the treatment Turing received.

Full details on the various events to be held in 2012 in celebration of Turing’s life and work can be found here.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.