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|Jun-23-12|| ||Bratek: <It’s worth looking up Turing’s original article titled “Digital Computers applied to chess” (1951, published in 1953) on The Turing Digital Archive and admire the typewriter script and the manual corrections in the text. But it’s even more interesting to read what Turing wrote in the introduction:|
When one is asked, “Could one make a machine to play chess?” there are several possible meanings which might be given to the words. Here are a few: –
i) Could one make a machine which would obey the rules of chess, i.e. one which would play random legal moves, or which could tell one whether a given move is a legal one?
ii) Could one make a machine which would solve chess problems, e.g. tell one whether, in a given position, white has a forced mate in three?
iii) Could one make a machine which would play a reasonably good game of chess, i.e. which, confronted with an ordinary (that is, not particularly unusual) chess position, would after two or three minutes of calculation, indicate a passably good legal move?
iv) Could one make a machine to play chess, and to improve its play, game by game, profiting from its experience? Nowadays, it’s hard to believe the first three questions were ever in any kind of doubt, but the fourth one is a different matter altogether.
As anyone in possession of a chess playing program or engine surely has experienced, one of the last shortcomings of such software is the ability to teach the machine anything – from a subtle little move in an opening variation to the concept of a fortress, to a particular maneuver in an elementary rook ending.Nowadays, it’s hard to believe the first three questions were ever in any kind of doubt, but the fourth one is a different matter altogether.
As anyone in possession of a chess playing program or engine surely has experienced, one of the last shortcomings of such software is the ability to teach the machine anything – from a subtle little move in an opening variation to the concept of a fortress, to a particular maneuver in an elementary rook ending.>http://www.chessvibes.com/columns/t...
|Jun-23-12|| ||Marmot PFL: <Ruben Fine, I believe, once wrote an essay on the low incidence of homosexuality in chess players. >|
Fine lived in a different, more repressed era. I met several gay or bi players over the years and heard about others, so I doubt there is much difference between chess players and the general population.
|Jun-23-12|| ||Marmot PFL: <In spite of the extraordinary service he rendered his nation, Turing was subsequently prosecuted for "gross indecency" in having a consensual relationship with another man.>|
I wonder if there is more to the story, like someone setting him up for some reason. I have read accounts of the life of John Maynard Keynes and other British intellectuals, and their numerous homosexual affairs which they seemed very open about.
|Jun-23-12|| ||twinlark: <MarmotPFL>
It doesn't seem like he was set up. One of the links talks about how Turing had gone to the police station to report a problem, a burglary IIRC, and incautiously let them know he was having an affair with a man.
The police lost interest in his initial complaint and went after him.
|Jun-24-12|| ||Boomie: <Marmot PFL: I have read accounts of the life of John Maynard Keynes and other British intellectuals, and their numerous homosexual affairs which they seemed very open about.>|
Not to mention the British spies Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt, who were all openly gay.
This maybe implies that there is more to this story than we know. Instead of intervening on Turing's behalf, the government chose to let him hang. Why? Did Turing, one of the great geniuses of the 20th century, know too much?
|Jun-24-12|| ||King Death: < Boomie: Not to mention the British spies Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt, who were all openly gay.>|
About Guy Burgess and Blunt there isn't any doubt even though according to one source Blunt had some affairs with women. I've read evidence that Maclean expressed homosexual feelings at times but those may have been in the moment and they wouldn't make him "openly gay". When was Philby known to have been involved with men? If it happened in public school (like it did with so many) that doesn't confirm his orientation. By that criterion probably many if not most British boys going through public school would be gay.
Regardless Turing was a brilliant man that fell victim to the laws of his times.
|Jun-24-12|| ||twinlark: Jack Copeland (who wrote his Centenary Conference bio that is partially copied into the bio here) is also speculating that he may not have suicided, and that based upon the evidence available, an open verdict should have been the outcome. |
In other words, it might have been suicide, or it may have been an accident, or...it may have been murder as his mother asserted. The problem as Copeland sees it is that the investigation into his death was badly handled and the coroner jumped to conclusions about his state of mind that were unjustified.
While it's uncontested that he died of cyanide poisoning, the exact details of how this occurred were, and are still, murky.
|Jun-24-12|| ||pawn to QB4: <This maybe implies that there is more to this story than we know. Instead of intervening on Turing's behalf, the government chose to let him hang. Why? Did Turing, one of the great geniuses of the 20th century, know too much?>|
Not necessarily. UK public attitudes to homosexuality back then were roughly what they are to paedophilia today. No contribution to society was great enough to excuse it. Nobody could be seen to intervene in the legal process to rescue a man accused of it. Probably half the politicians, lawyers and police shared the public prejudice anyway.
Fortunately we've moved on. You can drive along Alan Turing Way in Manchester. The mother-in-law commented "who's he? another town councillor naming the city after himself?" Still some way to go.
|Jun-26-12|| ||jahhaj: An excerpt from the lecture GK gave about Turing and computer chess. Includes a game by GK against Turing's algorithm. Turing didn't last long.|
|Aug-05-13|| ||thomastonk: From "The Times" June 24, 1949: Under the titel "WORK OF COMPUTING MACHINES - NON-MATHEMATICAL USES" an article on "mechanical brains" published in to-day's (?) "British Medical Journal" written by Professor M.H.A. Newman, Manchester University, is reviewed. One quote: "For example, the playing of a legally correct game of bridge, poker, or chess could certainly be coded for the Manchester machine, and in this sense the machine could play these games."|
So, I wonder whether the statement "In 1952, lacking a computer powerful enough to execute the program, Turing played a game against Alick Glennie, ..." (quoted from the biography above) is correct.
|Aug-05-13|| ||niemzo: Ruben Fine's remarks make you realize what nonsense even intelligent people used to believe in the past. I wonder if things we now hold as common sense will seem so bizarre to future generations.|
|Dec-24-13|| ||Karpova: <Alan Turing granted Royal pardon by the Queen>|
|Dec-24-13|| ||perfidious: One wrong of those repressed times finally put right in some small way....|
|Jun-23-14|| ||Penguincw: R.I.P. Computer pioneer Alan Turing.|
|Jun-23-14|| ||zborris8: T = s, Q = v, N = d :
"CMLCKM HL UELS FLHEDFO
EZT MQMV EXCCMFMN XZFFLH
IFNMVTHZFN HEM IFDSCLVHZFXM
- H. T. MKDLH
|Jun-23-14|| ||Rookiepawn: Mr Alan Turing needs no pardon since he did no wrong. It is adding insult to injury to "pardon" someone you should apologize to.|
Ms. Windsor may stick her ludicrous pardon up her pocket.
|Jul-22-14|| ||WannaBe: http://www.networkworld.com/article...|
|Feb-11-15|| ||DiscoJew: Just saw the movie "The Imitation Game", featuring Turing. Highly recommended, it made me proud to be a chess player, and to realize how important chess players brains actually were in cracking Enigma and ending World War, saving undoubtably millions of lives. A toast to Turing, Alexander and others!|
|Feb-11-15|| ||WannaBe: <DiscoJew> If there are no disco dancing in the movie, I am not watching it!!|
|Feb-11-15|| ||waustad: When doing lectures on the history of computing it was always a question how to deal with different people involved in porgramming. There have been times I mentioned some of the social issues involved with Turing, but usually I stuck to him as a mathematician and spent more time on Bletchley Park. I gave them lists of web sites that told much more detail that I could in class. A beginning Java class for non-majors didn't seem to be the place for that discussion.|
One reason I did history for the first few days was that there were so many adds and drops that having something they could just read for the first few days meant that I didn't have to repeat as much as I would have had I started out with programming syntax. Besides, I find it interesting.
|Feb-12-15|| ||HeMateMe: How could a nation like GB, which holds it's war heroes in such high esteem, have been so cruel to Turing? Could it be that the general public didn't have knowledge of his aid in defeating the Enigma code? Had they known, surely public opinion could have saved him from harassment? Helpful newspaper articles?|
Think of how many allied merchant sailors and navy members he and his code breakers saved--surely a government would be appreciative of such a thing? Not a monster like Stalin, but a responsible government like that of England?
I can't wait to rent the movie when it comes around on Net flix or cable tv. I wonder if it was political--maybe he embarrassed or was going to embarrass someone in high places, maybe the royal family, and that's why they crushed him?
|Feb-12-15|| ||waustad: <HHM>Much of what was done at Bletchley Park was secret until much later. When the court cases involving ENIAC vs the Atanasoff and Berry computer were being tried in 1973, the British "first electronic computer," Colossus, was still secret. Turing's work was involved with espionage so making it public would have been against the official secrets act, about which you've probably read in Flemming or Le Carre novels.|
|Feb-12-15|| ||offramp: Colossus... The names of early computers showed off their ever-increasing size. In the 1980s there was the opposite effect - micro- and mini- were the prefixes to impress.|
|Feb-12-15|| ||HeMateMe: Turing's work had huge repercussions in North Africa, too. The British had been pushed all the way to Cairo by Rommel's Afrika Corp, despite having numerical superiority in men and tanks. The British historian David Irving wrote a very descriptive book about Rommel in WWII.|
He was a master of deception and movement. His staff would create an array of card board tanks, to fool British spotter planes. The real tanks would be hidden by camouflaged netting. Then, the real tanks would show up by surprise in another sector and win a battle. Or, the German trucks would be put in front of tanks, to create a sand block out of the sun. Then, the tanks would attack by surprise at Montgomery's positions.
It all changed when the Enigma code was broken. Rommel was in the habit of sending out hourly messages to Berlin and Italy, regarding his situations and timetable for battle and supplies. Suddenly the British knew exactly where and when he was going to attack. They knew the delivery times of oil tankers and spare tank parts from Italy, and those boats were duly sunk by the RAF. Without ammunition and enough oil to maneuver, Rommel was slowly ground down.
It wasn't Bernard Law Montgomery who was the biggest hero of North Africa; it was the breaking of the Enigma code.
|Feb-12-15|| ||offramp: "To ture" is a very rare old English verb. It means
<verb, intransitive: to offer toast to a group of people on a large silver platter or trencher (rare)>.
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