Alan Turing: Exhibition offers rare glimpse of the man behind the enigma

Written after Turing's departure from the National Physical Laboratory in 1950, Computing Machinery and Intelligence is considered to be one of Turing's most important papers.

In it, Turing explored ideas relating to artificial intelligence, attempting to define the most reliable way of answering the question, "Can machines think?".

The paper is where Turing posited the now famous Turing test, a method of assessing whether a computer is sentient. In the test, which Turing refers to as an "imitation game", an interrogator asks questions of two players, one human and one a computer, and tries to determine which is which.

Turing said if a machine were to repeatedly pass itself off as human then it would "near enough" answer the question, "Can machines think?".

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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.