File Name: the imitation game book .zip
Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film, is credited as the father of computer science. Christopher, an older student at Sherborne School in Dorset, was also interested in math.
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Librarian Community. Open Science. Research Intelligence. Research Community. Your Career. Professor Cooper's essay is followed by a book chapter featuring the script from a BBC interview with Turing from For Alan Turing, it meant knowing how a bit of the world really worked — in comprehensive detail. In his famous paper " On Computable Numbers ," he introduced what we now term the "Turing machine," based on what " human computers ," following instructions, did in the days before we had real computers.
Imitation and reality, control and what lay beyond control, a wild and dangerous interface to which Alan Turing brought genius and amazingly prescient insight.
Once, the American logician Anil Nerode commented to me, "You would not be a mathematician if you did not like pain. The main point of that amazing paper by a year-old Turing was its main conclusion: almost everything is not computable by a Turing machine.
Morten Tyldum's new film The Imitation Game is full of the subtleties of the relationship between human and machine; like a mathematical proof, it seeks out the real. It is scriptwriter Graham Moore's coaxing out of Turing's secret knowledge, the enigmatic thinking explored by Andrew Hodges' quite literary and very special biography of the great man. I did not ask Andrew yet if he has seen the film, and how he likes it. He earlier went public with his criticism of the movie for making John Cairncross, exposed as a spy for the Russians in , a member of Turing's Enigma team, when everyone knows he worked with Colossus in a completely different part of Bletchley Park.
It's not good just retorting that the film is "not a documentary. Interviewed at the Toronto International Film Festival by CraveOnline , Graham Moore described his commitment and attention to detail in his long gestation of what to me is a marvelous script:.
In some sense I've been working on this script since I was a teenager. I heard of Alan Turing when I was a teenager in Chicago. I was a huge computer nerd. I went to space camp. I went to computer camp. I even went to programming camp. Once I heard his story, I wanted to write about him. He had a very tragic life story. In I had a meeting with producers who had optioned Andrew Hodges wonderful book, Alan Turing, which was the first published biography of Turing and the most seminal and inclusive.
But since Andrew's book has been published, there's been a half dozen other biographies on him. There was a play called "Breaking the Code" that was great and a number of other novels and biographies.
So there became a lot to draw from, but Andrew's book was key. Hockey or watching the daisies grow? Leaving aside the transposition of Cairncross into hut 8, and the manipulation involved in the using of the decrypted info — let us look briefly at the movie account of the end of Turing's life. This connects with another aspect: the narrowness of treatment of Turing's scientific achievements, which has been negatively commented on by some more literally-minded reviewers.
So spoiler alert why give Turing's Manchester house a huge machine called Christopher, with its associations with the Bombe, when we know very well — as Graham Moore certainly did — that at that time, Turing was heavily involved in formalising the mathematics of emergence of patterns in nature?
And Moore's machine leitmotif intensifies the irony of Turing's sad demise following the great adventure and achievements at Bletchley Park. Moore's approach is extremely subtle. One review I read was so well informed about Turing's work, but so adrift about the way in which the film complements what is in our book. The film cannot and should not attempt to engage with the specifics of Turing's thinking on computability.
I'd have loved five minutes near the end of the movie with Turing explaining his ideas on morphogenesis. But what the film does is draws out a coherence of the thinking which is actually the engine of cutting edge science today, framed by still "arcane" conceptual frameworks, in a quite beautiful and dramatically valid way. Alan Turing: His Work and Impact is an Aladdin's Cave of Turingesque wonders, with an overpowering richness of content and range of thought.
Moore spent years on that script, with huge devotion to the mind of Alan Turing. The criticisms are at the level of those editors of Bruckner's symphonies who tried to edit out the "strange silences" inserted into the flow of the music.
Creative people at the top of their game do know what they are doing. The failures are not so often based on simple decisions about methodology. But just as the mathematical proof is both beautiful and painful for the mathematician, with its imperfect mapping of mental complexities, so this extraordinary and classic film confronts those familiar with the history with an imitation that takes seemingly reckless risks with the historical formalities, while taking us to an appreciation of the semantics and psychology of Turing and his quest, quite remarkable and unforgettable in its intensity.
To be honest, it took me half my first viewing to understand what Moore's agenda and methodology were, and a second viewing to traverse levels of meaning more comfortably. Interestingly, much of this deadly serious imitation game is present in the discussion in the transcript of a long-lost BBC radio broadcast kindly contributed to our book Alan Turing: His Work and Impact , and featured below. What is so special about Turing's presence in the conversation of these four very interesting thinkers is the sense of the mediating mathematics.
It is potentially the sort of mediation that Newtonian mathematics performed in turning Robert Hooke's intuitions, that gravity follows an inverse square law, into a scientific revolution which changed our world for years — and which underpins the sense of a level of hidden knowledge permeating the film.
One can but wonder at the level of interchange, over 60 years ago. Of course, both Turing and Max Newman shared links with Cambridge and Manchester, and Newman was a hugely important influence and protector of Alan Turing throughout his adult life.
Both were mathematicians. Richard Braithwaite — the longest living of the participants, born in and 90 when he died — was a distinguished Cambridge philosopher with a special interest in science and religion. And Geoffrey Jefferson was a neurologist, a Fellow of the Royal Society like Turing and Newman and, living and working in Manchester, was very interested in the Manchester Mark 1 computer for which Turing wrote the first programming manual.
Just as Sir Isaac Newton used mathematics to push back the bounds of our understanding of the movements of the planets and other heavenly bodies, Alan Turing was already making the mathematics to take us into the strangely embodied, and even more strangely disembodied, informational world we live in today.
He seeks to map out mathematically the wilds where logic meets information. And The Imitation Game movie is the machine which bears us to the meaning intrinsic to, yet beyond, the mundanities of historical incident. Mathematics is the gatekeeper to the informational mysteries. We have to thank Alan Turing for attempting to guide us through the gate, as in this small excerpt introduced by Jack Copeland, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and author of various books about Turing.
The conversation is reproduced in full, along with Copeland's commentary, in the nearly 1, pages of our book Alan Turing: His Work and Impact. Turing's lecture "Can Digital Computers Think? The previously published interview text, reproduced here, is from Turing's own typescript and incorporates corrections made in his hand.
It was published in our book in the chapter " Can Digital Computers Think? In this broadcast Turing's overarching aim was to defend his view that "it is not altogether unreasonable to describe digital computers as brains.
There is … a priceless analogy that likens the attempt to program a computer to act like a brain to trying to write a treatise about family life on Mars — and moreover with insufficient paper. The broadcast makes manifest Turing's real attitude to talk of machines thinking. In his book? Computing Machinery and Intelligence , he famously said that the question "Can machines think?
In the following excerpt from the BBC interview, Alan Turing answers Richard Braithwaite, as they discuss what is special about human thinking and its embodiment:. Turing: I've certainly left a great deal to the imagination.
If I had given a longer explanation I might have made it seem more certain that what I was describing was feasible, but you would probably feel rather uneasy about it all, and you'd probably exclaim impatiently, 'Well, yes, I see that a machine could do all that, but I wouldn't call it thinking.
From this point of view one might be tempted to define thinking as consisting of 'those mental processes that we don't understand.
Jefferson: If you mean that we don't know the wiring in men, as it were, that is quite true. Turing: No, that isn't at all what I mean. We know the wiring of our machine, but it already happens there in a limited sort of way. Sometimes a computing machine does do something rather weird that we hadn't expected. In principle one could have predicted it, but in practice it's usually too much trouble. Obviously if one were to predict everything a computer was going to do one might just as well do without it.
Newman: It is quite true that people are disappointed when they discover what the big computing machines actually do, which is just to add and multiply, and use the results to decide what further additions and multiplications to do.
If you go into one of the ancient churches in Ravenna you see some most beautiful pictures round the walls, but if you peer at them through binoculars you might say, 'Why, they aren't really pictures at all, but just a lot of little coloured stones with cement in between. Braithwaite: But how many stones are there in your mosaic? Jefferson, is there a sufficient multiplicity of the cells in the brain for them to behave like a computing machine? Jefferson: Yes, there are thousands, tens of thousands more cells in the brain than there are in a computing machine, because the present machine contains - how many did you say?
Turing: Half a million digits. I think we can assume that is the equivalent of half a million nerve cells. Braithwaite: If the brain works like a computing machine then the present computing machine cannot do all the things the brain does. Agreed; but if a computing machine were made that could do all the things the brain does, wouldn't it require more digits than there is room for in the brain?
Jefferson: Well, I don't know. Suppose that it is right to equate digits in a machine with nerve cells in a brain. There are various estimates, somewhere between ten thousand million and fifteen thousand million cells are supposed to be there. Nobody knows for certain, you see. It is a colossal number. You would need 20, or more of your machines to equate digits with nerve cells. But it is not, surely, just a question of size. There would be too much logic in your huge machine.
It wouldn't be really like a human output of thought. To make it more like, a lot of the machine parts would have to be designed quite differently to give greater flexibility and more diverse possibilities of use. It's a very tall order indeed.
Turing: It really is the size that matters in this case.
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By Andrew Hodges and Douglas Hofstadter. This New York Times —bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in , is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program--all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime. The inspiration for a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution. Open navigation menu.
By Beth Accomando. Transcript for audioclip This Christmas you can find him playing the mathematician who helped break the Enigma code in "The Imitation Game " opening Dec. It's Oscar bait season, that time of year when studios release all their "important" films in the hopes of getting Academy voters to bite.
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Trevor Cribben Merrill offers a bold reassessment of Milan Kundera's place in the contemporary canon. Merrill refutes this view, revealing a previously unexplored dimension of Kundera's fiction. Most works of fiction and most movies, too depict passionate feelings as deeply authentic and spontaneous. Kundera's novels and short stories overturn this romantic dogma. At once a comprehensive survey of Kundera's novels and a witty introduction to Girard's mimetic theory, The Book of Imitation and Desire challenges our assumptions about human motive and renews our understanding of a major contemporary author. The Transfiguration of the Object 2. Metamorphoses of Kristyna 3.
I made the mistake, as a former professional historian of logic and meta-mathematics and, as a consequence, an amateur historian of the computer, of going to the cinema to watch the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. This was compounded by both the Golden Globes and the Oscars, as the film won the awards of the respective organisations for best-adapted script! Hodges is apparently prohibited by a gag clause in his contract for the film rights to his book from commenting on the film. They only get mentioned in a passing half sentence, which I strongly suspect almost all viewers failed to notice. You can read about the Polish contribution here , here and here. There is a biting general criticism of the film on Ursula Writes , and another slightly less acerbic by L.
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Editors: Caudill , D. David S. He is the author of No Magic Wand , with L. LaRue and Stories about Science in Law , as well as numerous articles and book chapters on expert evidence.
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