100 years ago today Alan Turing was born. As scientists everywhere celebrate the achievements of this pioneer in the fields of computing and artificial intelligence, we are taking a closer look at his life and what both his triumphs (helping to win the Second World War) and his suffering (subjected to torturous treatment by his own government for being gay) can tell us about the impact of technology on our lives.
Turing invented the famous "Turing Test" toward the end of his life, which ended in suicide. This test was designed to differentiate humans from computers. Some scientists speculated that a computer would be able to past this test some time in the 1950s, but they were far off the mark. So how far have we come today, and how can our technological progress be measured terms of the life horizon of one of the 20th century's greatest innovators?
There is also a serious moral and ethical question for us to contend with as well. As we integrate technology more and more into our lives, is it making it more or less human? After all, as Jaron Lanier tells Big Think, Turing's test represented both a defense of life, and a flight from life.