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Manual Alan Turings Electronic Brain: The Struggle to Build the ACE, the Worlds Fastest Computer

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Alan Turing's Electronic Brain - B. J. Copeland - Paperback () » Bokklubben

We stated at the beginning of this section that the machine should be treated as entirely without intelligence. There are indications however that it is possible to make the machine display intelligence at the risk of its making occasional serious mistakes. By following up this aspect the machine could probably be made to play very good chess.


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When Turing was designing the ACE, machine intelligence was at the forefront of his mind, as seen in a letter to W. Ross Ashby see image above , circa In working on the ACE I am more interested in the possibility of producing models of the action of the brain than in the practical applications to computing…. This theoretical possibility is attainable in practice…Thus, although the brain may in fact operate by changing its neuron circuits…. We know something about this lecture through a draft copy, which is available from [5] and has been reprinted in several volumes e.

Not only is this the first known public lecture to describe machine intelligence, Turing also clearly articulated the concept of machine learning :. It has been said that computing machines can only carry out the processes that they are instructed to do…It is also true that the intention in constructing these machines in the first instance is to treat them as slaves, giving them only jobs which have been thought out in detail…Up till the present machines have only been used in this way. But is it necessary that they should always be used in such a manner?

Let us suppose we have set up a machine with certain initial instruction tables [i. When this happens I feel that one is obliged to regard the machine as showing intelligence. As soon as one can provide a reasonable large memory capacity it should be possible to begin to experiment on these lines… What we want is a machine that can learn from experience.

Boldface added by me for emphasis.

Alan Turing’s electronic brain

I can best describe it by saying that hitherto the machine has been planned for work equivalent to that of the lower parts of the brain, and he wants to see how much a machine can do for the higher ones; for example, could a machine be made that could learn by experience? The possible ways in which machinery might be made to show intelligent behaviour are discussed. The analogy with the human brain is used as a guiding principle.

It is pointed out that the potentialities of the human intelligence can only be realised if suitable education is provided. The investigation mainly centres round an analogous teaching process applied to machines. The idea of an unorganised machine is defined, and it is suggested that the infant human cortex is of this nature. Simple examples of such machines are given, and their education by means of rewards and punishments is discussed.

In one case the education process is carried through until the organisation is similar to that of an ACE. Turing never published the report, but again it is available via [5] and several anthologies i. It is played with three people, a man A , a woman B , and an interrogator C who may be of either sex.

The interrogator stays in a room apart from the other two. The object of the game for the interrogator is to determine which of the other two is the man and which is the woman…The interrogator is allowed to put questions to A and B…. After giving some examples of the type of questions the interrogator might ask, Turing continues:.

He closes the article with an insightful observation:. We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done. During this time period, Turing also became interested in the topic of Artificial Life. The purpose of this article was to present his earlier and perhaps most lasting contribution On Computable Numbers to a general audience.

In Turing was brought to trial and convicted of homosexual acts, which were a criminal offense in the UK at that time. Hayes Robin A. Vowels Robin A.


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    Alan Turing's Electronic Brain: The Struggle to Build the ACE, the World's Fastest Computer

    Review from previous edition The amount of information collected by the editor is huge and it offers interesting reading for anybody with a deep interest in computer history. This book and the related website of the Turing Archive will be an invaluable reference for anyone seeking to understand the early history of British computers. Aldrich Kidwell, Technology and Culture vol. An excellent documentary of Alan Turing's work The book provides rare insights The presentation is not technical but historical and inspirational Summing up: Recommended for general readers.

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    Is This The Most Powerful Computer Possible?

    Copeland BJ. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Christchurch: The Rutherford Journal.