Alan Turing — The Gay ‘Father of Modern Computing and Artificial Intelligence’
If you’re reading this,
it’s thanks to the visionary work of a gay man
born on June 23, 1912, named Alan Turing.
We live in a computerized world of algorithms and artificial intelligence, one in which we must prove we’re not a machine every day. It’s a reality foresaw by British mathematician, Alan Turing who envisioned the ability of “computing machines” to “think” and in doing so turned the tide of World War II intelligence and set the post-war era on a new trajectory into the future.
This is the kind of story the New Right doesn’t want told — the story of a gay hero who helped save the world from Hitler and the NAZIs. But it’s a story that must be told, especially since it wasn’t revealed until fifty years later. Alan Turing’s work breaking the NAZI Enigma Code had been so revolutionary and highly classified, British intelligence didn’t want possible advisories to know how he figured it out and then build the proverbial better mousetrap.
As with most geniuses, Alan Turing and the personal challenges he faced were as complicated as the problems he tried to solve.
Great Britain’s “unknown national hero” died by suicide of cyanide poisoning on June 7, 1954. He was found the next day with a half-eaten apple next to him and suspected to be the means by which he ingested the poison. The scene reminiscent of that from the film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which held great fascination for him. Alan Turing was 41 years old.
But his work, vision, and ultimate recognition has resulted in restorative justice for gay man in the UK which continues today.
Alan Turing once wrote in a letter,
I’m afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.
Turing believes machines think
Turing lies with men
Therefore, machines do not think
Yours in distress,
It deserves a reply.
People want to silence your truth
People are afraid of the truth
Therefore, people are afraid you
Yet, those people could not survive without their Turing Machines
Yours in Pride,
Our Community in the Future
(main image by artist Andy Potts)
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