Quotes of Note
“The fact remains that everyone who taps at a keyboard, opening a spreadsheet or a word-processing program, is working on an incarnation of a Turing machine.”
Time magazine, Time 100 People of the 20th Century
“Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, the greatest scientists in history. To me though, he (Turing) is number one, he’s on the top. There’s no question in my mind.”
Dr. Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England
“Alan Turing’s life story reads as if it were a tragic fiction. A great mind, an athlete, an eccentric, a hero of the Second World War, father of computer science and of artificial intelligence, a code breaker and, finally, a victim of prejudice. To me his short life encapsulates many of the great changes of the 20th century.”
Dr. John Graham-Cumming is author of “The Geek Atlas.” He also organized the successful 2009 on-line petition to have the British government apologize for its treatment of Turing.
“But until that bitter end, he insisted on adventure both in personal and in scientific exploration: developing his futuristic non-linear biological theory as the world’s first personal computer user at Manchester University. I wish I could unveil where his prolific last years would have led: to chaos theory, perhaps; to a nonlinear quantum mechanics, or cosmology. Instead, they were lost in a death that brought more stigma on himself and inflicted a wound on all around him.”
Turing biographer Dr. Andrew Hodges speaking at the dedication of an historic plaque at Turing’s London birthplace on June 23, 1998.
“One extension of the tragedy of Turing’s death is that he didn’t live long enough to articulate all that he probably would have about his own point of view on the Turing test.”
From Jaron Lanier’s book, “You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.” Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author.
“The things that he contributed to computer science weren’t the things that just happened to be true in one particular year or one particular decade, they were the things that are fundamentally true so they are always going to be with us in the same way as things that Galileo and Newton contributed to physics are always going to be with us.”
Dr. Alma Whitten, Google – Lead Privacy Engineer
“Turing showed how to produce one individual Turing machine that, all by itself, can do anything that could be done by any Turing machine—a mathematical model of an all-purpose computer.”
Dr. Martin Davis writing in his book, “Engines of Logic: Mathematicians and the Origin of the Computer.“
“It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different….The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely….While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly.”
September 10, 2009 statement from then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologizing for the government’s treatment of Turing.