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Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma (Kindle Single) by [Boyle, David]
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Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 361 customer reviews

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Length: 114 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2327 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500985376
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press (10 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IDCH6YA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 361 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,771 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interested in Turing and looking for a broader insight in the man and the enigma (machine), I picked up the kindle version of this book a while ago and read it over my holiday last week. I found it to be really bad. Snippets of information about Alan's life and how he went about his developments and his focus; but nothing substantial and in places incoherent. At 100 pages it's also an extremely short 'book' (I find it hard to even call it a book), and it makes for an unsatisfying and confusing read.
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A marvellous book and a final vindication of a much maligned scientist trapped in the sad mores of his time. How much more would the world have learned had it been more tolerant? I would recommend this book to everyone.
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Wonderful read. Terrible later treatment by our government. Changed the outcome of WW2.
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It seems more a student's dissertation, than a novel or a biography
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Interesting and thought provoking read. All who use mobile devices and computers should be aware of the life of Alan Turing
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Very, very short - it was over before I had got into it.
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a good quick overview of Alan Turing's life
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When I downloaded this book I feared it might be concerned with Turing's personal life at the expense of his mathematics, or vice versa. I was wrong: David Boyle gives an excellent balance.

Turing was an eccentric: at Bletchley Park he chained his mug to a radiator, held his trousers up with string and could be found knitting in a corner. He found social small-talk difficult. But his mathematical thinking was profound. His special interest was the creation of an intelligent machine.

He devised the tough Turing test for artificial intelligence: there would be a man, a woman, and an interrogator in a separate room trying to work out which was the woman - who would be trying to hinder the process. Now, said Turing, imagine the man was replaced with a machine. Could the interrogator tell whether they were talking to a machine or not after 5 minutes of questioning? Turing would have been satisfied if you couldn't tell which was the machine - his test was not concerned with whether the computer was actually 'thinking'.

As a mathematician Turing combined logic with intuition, and he believed that computers could also (eventually) be intuitive. Remember, this was before the digital age. When the opportunity arrived at Bletchley to create machines to assist in wartime code-breaking they were huge; and even the very latest version, the Colossus, had only 1500 valves.

Turing was particularly interested in 'the liars paradox': at its simplest you can express it just by saying 'I am lying'. The statement 'I am lying' must itself be a lie - unless I was actually telling the truth, in which case I would have been telling a lie.
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