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“If it is accepted that real brains, as found in animals, and in particular in men, are a sort of machine, it will follow that our digital computer, suitably programmed, will behave like a brain.″
Alan Turing, BBC interview (1951)
“It is customary in a talk or article on this subject to offer a grain of comfort in the form of a statement that some particularly human characteristic could never be imitated by a machine. It might, for instance, be said that no machine could write good English or that it could not be influenced by sex appeal or smoke a pipe. I cannot offer such comfort for I believe that no such bounds can be set.″
Can Digital Computers Think? (1951)
“I think of people as pink-coloured collections of sense and data.”
B: In our previous conversation, you mentioned Alan Turing. I hear that name a lot when people talk of artificial intelligence. Why?
C: Turing is widely regarded as a mathematician, but that’s too simplistic: he was fundamentally a student of logic and his view of mathematics and everything else he worked on was informed by the basic presumption that mathematics is, essentially, a mechanical function, i.e., that it operates by the use of cogs, levers and pulleys. So if you can build a machine to do it, it can be done. He was also of the opinion that the human mind was a logic machine and that, therefore, its functions could, given sufficient technological know-how, be made to function like a human brain.
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