Ideas of Alan Turing, by Theme

[British, 1912 - 1954, Born in London. University of Cambridge and Manchester. A father of computing. Noted codebreaker in WWII. Committed suicide, at Wilmslow.]

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18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / b. Turing Machines
Turing showed that logical rules can be specified computationally and mechanically
     Full Idea: Turing showed that any formal process can be specified computationally, and captured by a Turing Machine. Hence logical rules (and arithmetic) could be obeyed not by someone representing and following them, but by causal organisation of the brain.
     From: report of Alan Turing (works [1935]) by Georges Rey - Contemporary Philosophy of Mind 8.2
     A reaction: It is questionable whether logic is an entirely formal process, if it involves truth. You would need an entirely formal notion of truth for that. But a brain can do whatever a flow diagram can do.
The Turing Machine is the best idea yet about how the mind works
     Full Idea: Alan Turing had (in his theory of the 'Turing Machine') what I suppose is the best thought about how the mind works that anyone has had so far.
     From: comment on Alan Turing (Computing Machinery and Intelligence [1950]) by Jerry A. Fodor - Jerry A. Fodor on himself p.296
     A reaction: I am not convinced, because I don't think rationality is possible without consciousness. The brain may bypass the representations used by a computer.
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / c. Turing Test
In 50 years computers will successfully imitate humans with a 70% success rate
     Full Idea: In about fifty years' time it will be possible to program computers to play the imitation game so well that an average interrogator will not have more than 70% chance of making the right identification after five minutes of questioning.
     From: Alan Turing (Computing Machinery and Intelligence [1950], p.57), quoted by Robert Kirk - Mind and Body 5.9
     A reaction: This is the famous prophecy called 'The Turing Test'. The current state (2004) seems to be that the figure of 70% is very near, but no one sees much prospect of advancing much further in the next 100 years. Dennett sees jokes as a big problem.