Glossary of terms
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Turing machine, Turing test, Turing award
- Turing machine, Turing test, Turing award
- Alan Mathison Turing (1912-1954) was the English mathematician who led the team that cracked the German Enigma code machine during World War II. He pioneered computer science and artificial intelligence with two seminal concepts:
- "Turing machine": an abstract device that executes a task by following a procedure consisting of changing a finite set of states through very basic steps. In other words, it is a computer algorithm. Turing further stated that "every known process" can be turned into a software programme, although he also proved that it is impossible to guarantee that any programme will always run to completion.
- "Turing test": a machine is said to be "intelligent" if an observer engaging in a natural language conversation with one human and one machine, both trying to behave like humans, is unable to tell for sure which is which.
- Turing's name has been given to a most respected prize in computer science, the Turing award, commonly recognized as the "Nobel Prize of computing", bestowed by the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).
- The A. M. Turing Award is given annually to "an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community. The contributions should be of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field".
- As at 2007, the Turing award includes a prize of US$250,000 (about €193,000).