Turing's Two Great Insights

Alan Turing, the father of the modern computer, began by thinking about the highly conscious and deliberate step-by-step calculations performed by human “computers” like the women decoding German ciphers at Bletchley Park. His first great insight was that the same processes could be instantiated in an entirely unconscious machine, with the same results. A machine could rationally decode the German ciphers using the same steps that the conscious “computers” went through. And the unconscious relay-and-vacuum-tube computers could get to the right answers in the same way the flesh-and-blood ones could.

Turing’s second great insight was that we could understand much of the human mind and brain as an unconscious computer too. The women at Bletchley Park brilliantly performed conscious computations in their day jobs, but they were unconsciously performing equally powerful and accurate computations every time they spoke a word or looked across the room. Discovering the hidden messages about three-dimensional objects in the confusing mess of retinal images is just as difficult and important as discovering the hidden messages about submarines in the incomprehensible Nazi telegrams, and it turns out that the mind solves both mysteries in a similar way.


Alison Gopnik on how the father of the computer realized machines could do the work of women "computers," and how much of hte human brain was like a computer.

Folksonomies: artificial intelligence computer science cognition

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Mind (0.966844): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Consciousness (0.818407): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Alan Turing (0.817812): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Artificial intelligence (0.800814): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Unconscious mind (0.723876): dbpedia | freebase
Philosophy of mind (0.722660): dbpedia | freebase
Computer (0.712614): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Brain (0.674316): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 This Will Make You Smarter
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brockman , John (2012-02-14), This Will Make You Smarter, HarperCollins, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: science


    02 JUL 2015

     CitC 04: The Stack

    It's turtles all the way down.
    Folksonomies: literacy coding code
    Folksonomies: literacy coding code