Episode 131: Alan Turing–Math versus Nazis!

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the life of Alan Turing—the father of the modern day computer and the man who broke the Nazi Enigma Code and helped win World War II. Born in London, Turing was a mathematical genius at a young age and loved school so much, he once rode his bicycle 60 miles to make it school the first day (when he was only thirteen years old!). Turing attended Cambridge and Princeton and started working for the British Government Code and Cypher School, but when the war broke out, he reported for duty at Bletchley Park to work on encryption and decryption.

At Bletchley Park, Turing used his theoretical invention of the Turing Machine (which was the spiritual forefather of the modern computer) to create Crypto Bombs that would eventually break the impossible Enigma Code. The Nazi Enigma Code had over a million million possible solutions, so it took a true genius and the might of modern day computation to crack it, and Turing provided both.

After the war, Turing was the first to theorize about Artificial Intelligence in his seminal 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.” In this paper, he proposed the Turing Test, which even today is the benchmark by which we judge whether or not a computer has achieved intelligence.

Turing was a homosexual, and sadly, the British government saw this as a crime back then. In 1950, he was arrested, tried, and convicted for being gay, and he had to face either jail time or chemical castration. What did this do to his later years of life? What other inventions did Turing make? How did he use a crossword puzzle to win World War Two? How did Turing die, and how does this tie to the famous Apple logo? Listen, Laugh, Learn.

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